Data visualization – The next big thing in analytics

The increased use of data analytics and business intelligence is one of the most popular paradigm shifts we have seen in the industry recently. The problem is, as data gets spread across disparate forms and platforms, about 80% of the BI effort goes into integrating and extracting data, and only 20% into analysis and presentation. This heavy dependency on IT leaves business users in a reactive status quo, not upbeat for smart and sound decisions. This has caused business users to rapidly move away from basic reporting tools and relying on disruptive technologies, such as data virtualization and visualization, to aid decision making. So how do we change? Here’s look at the upcoming developments in this domain:

Real-time, graphically-intense, shareable, and manageable data
Cloud-based analytical platforms, data integration and analytics solutions leveraged with data visualization capabilities are most sought-after in the business intelligence market space.

Data visualization is not just about giving users the tools to create attractive charts, infographics and heat maps, but it can also help deliver business value through more self-service and user adoption. The latest tools in the data visualization arena provide ‘lightning speed’ insight into data, in a repeatable, self-service mode. These tools help users combine and visualize data from multiple and diversified sources in just a few clicks. Visualization can help derive maximum benefits from all the traditional BI investments made within an organization.

Self-service dashboards
These are getting increasingly popular with business executives in helping to drive their business forward. With just a one-time set up to cloud data, the live dashboards connect to data, get updated in real-time, and present users with customizable, graphically engaging, and manageable data. Be it tapping into historical data to gain better insights for future planning (analytical) or monitoring daily usage of resources within a business unit (operational), self-service dashboards give business users the edge over traditional reporting methods.

Sales dashboards automate sales metrics across product categories, regions, and time, and help identify the constantly changing trends and patterns. Such insight into real-time historical data helps to better align strategic goals to performance management initiatives.

Operational dashboards help manage daily business processes and offer a continuous insight into the operations of a business unit. A server dashboard used for monitoring real-time processing and memory usage across the enterprise, is a typical example. The visualization gauge gives a vivid picture about the usage details. Business users can customize these dashboards and deal with dynamic data themselves, with minimal or one-time IT intervention, helping them radically shift their focus from IT to the business aspect of data. Deriving actionable intelligence from diverse dynamic data significantly enhances decision making and renders a winning advantage.

Business benefits of Data Visualization
We saw a leading insurance provider reduce claim cycle times by 20%–30% by using dashboards. At a global financial services organization, a reporting/data visualization solution provided a holistic business view, enabling faster decision-making. A price comparison services provider, is able to understand ROI from marketing spent using a real time analytical platform on the cloud. These examples lead us to believe that data visualization, enabled through real time, is here to stay, across all industries.

The article was originally published on PCQuest in December print edition and is re-posted here by permission. 

Samir Dhir

President, Banking and Financial services, Virtusa Corporation. Samir is responsible for global delivery, resource management and client delight focus across all our operating geographies. In addition, Samir is the Head of our India operations and is a Board member of Virtusa Consulting Services. Samir previously worked for Wipro Technologies where he managed delivery with over 5,000 people for technology, media, transportation and services business, handled their SAP Practice and ran the managed services business. Prior to Wipro he held leadership positions with Avaya and Lucent Technologies in the UK.Samir received his MBA from the Warwick Business School, UK and holds a B Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee.

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