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Data visualization: the power to produce an engaging, insightful experience

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The power of visualized data is well documented, both by research and through our own experience. Even a simple bar chart shows relative values more quickly and clearly than a numerical table. For more complicated presentations of data or results of analytics, visualization is essential. The more data that organizations must assimilate, the more important it is to create meaningful visualizations. New capabilities in visualization are helping to make information easier to explore and interpret and better at surfacing conclusions on which decisions can be made. They include interactive discovery and AI-assisted analysis, which make BI both more engaging and more informative.

All business intelligence (BI) software products have visualization capabilities, including the ability to present the results of predefined reports and maintain an updated dashboard. However, at times a visualization tool other than the one that comes with the product is useful. “It is common inside a company to use multiple BI solutions and data sources for different purposes,” says J. Tyler McGraw, senior product consultant at Yellowfin. In those cases, a single frontend can become an integrative force.

For example, a company might use one BI software product to analyze its marketing activities and another to track revenues. In some cases, a data warehouse might have been created, while in others, the sources remain distributed. In that situation, a visualization tool that could access and analyze data sources in any location and then present the results would allow insights across multiple departments.

Yellowfin can be used to draw data in from different sources and present visualizations that reflect the interaction among different data elements. “If an analyst wants to connect to multiple data sources, such as a variety of SQL databases, Yellowfin can sit on top of these sources and get insights very quickly,” McGraw says. “Any dashboard shows what happened, but not why. Yellowfin allows the user to dive into data that shows a change, or is out of normal range, and interactively explore the results.”

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