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TDWI Checklist Report // Seven Steps to Deploying Visual Analytics for Improving Actionable Insight

TDWI Checklist Report | Seven Steps to Deploying Visual Analytics for Improving Actionable Insight

March 15, 2013

With data growing in volume and diversity, users need analytical tools that will help them avoid drowning in a deluge of information. Data visualization can make a difference by providing graphical and interactive features and functions necessary for visual analytics. Visualization types range from primitive bar charts to histograms, heat maps, scatterplots, and more. Integrated with powerful underlying analytic data management that prepares data sets drawn from multiple sources and runs analytic operations against the data, visualizations such as these enable nontechnical users to find relationships, discover correlations, and uncover business-changing insights.

Although visualization is important for all types of business intelligence (BI) and analytic application deployments, including highly centralized systems, it is vital for meeting growing user expectations for “self service”—that is, the ability for users to work independently of IT to perform ad hoc data discovery and create dashboards and other visual interfaces on their own. Even though the freedom of self-service BI and analytics is alluring, organizations are finding the most success in using a managed approach. This mode applies software and best practices to guide users toward understanding data and analytics and determining the best visual elements with which to convey and share insights.

Visual analytics options are evolving as organizations seek to include cloud deployment for cost-effective scalability and serve users interested in BI and analytics functionality on mobile devices. Cloud initiatives can help in scaling visual analytics to large numbers of users; rather than install software, organizations can provide access through Web browsers. Mobile device deployments must take advantage of native features such as the ability to swipe, pinch, zoom, rotate, and pan across reports and graphics. Mobile deployments must also support robust analytics through Web access to analytic data management systems. Both cloud and mobile options can help organizations provide users with faster speed to insight.

This TDWI Checklist Report details seven steps for successful visual analytics intended to help organizations develop strategies for improving actionable insight to a growing population of users.

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