Business Intelligence, Visual Analytics, and Data Discovery – This category is focused on tools and platforms that business users employ to access, analyze, visualize, and share data insights. The goal is to use software to improve data use and enable data-informed decision making. In recent years, user excitement has grown as tools and platforms have been evolving to provide greater ease of use and self-service capabilities. Before, users of business intelligence (BI) tools were primarily well-trained business and data analysts, IT developers, and power users. Now, as BI has become more “democratized,” nontechnical users across organizations are able to work with visual analytics and data discovery tools for a variety of use cases and objectives.
A vital technology driving this evolution is data visualization. Using this technology, tools can support a growing variety of ways to see and interact with data and communicate data insights, including through dashboards, heat maps, geographical representations, and more as visualization libraries expand. Growing out of data visualization is the concept of “data storytelling”; this is a set of practices for connecting multiple visuals with narrative for interpreting data findings, discussing why they are valid and significant, and inviting conversation about them. Users of all types can employ data storytelling to communicate analytic conclusions and show how they were reached.
This TDWI Best Practices Awards category is focused on excellence in the use of BI, visual analytics, and data discovery tools, platforms, and cloud- or software as a service (SaaS) products. Judges will be evaluating how well users in organizations have employed these technologies and practices to achieve objectives, including by applying visualization and data storytelling to communicate analytic insights. Contestants are invited to provide examples of (or links to) data visualizations with their entries.