Business Intelligence and Data Visualization
July 26, 2018

Business Intelligence and Data Visualization

According to SAP, businesses that fail to apply data visualization tools most often typically spend approximately nine (9) extra hours trying to spot trends, patterns, and correlations related to internal data.

In the contemporary business environment, big data processing has become an essential element of effective company operations. Companies deal with huge amounts of information day to day, but none of it can be useful without proper analysis. Without that, no enterprise can gain the vision required to increase efficiency; spot critical and actionable business insights and competitive advantages; improve customer relationship management; find revenue opportunities; and improve general operational efficiency. Obviously, the benefits of business intelligence are immense, and BI software can enable a company to achieve the highest performance possible.

A Bain & Company study showed that companies who utilize the most advanced BI analytics capability are five times more likely to make faster business decisions than competitors who do not.

Raw data without digital transformation makes little sense. Nor can it be said that only using business intelligence software is the best way to develop valuable business insight. However, in combination with data visualization tools, BI software can work real magic.

Business Intelligence services

Research done at M.I.T. shows that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.

Maintaining and processing piles of data is much easier and efficient with the help of data visualization tools that present information in a way that can be seen and felt. Not only is the single user able to process information much faster, but visualization software transforms numbers into something that everybody can easily process.

Best Data Visualization Software

Nuclear Research forecasts that the potential of BI and data visualization tools combined will correspond to $13.01 ROI on every dollar spent.

There is a wide selection of software from which to choose. Each tool has a peculiar set of data visualization features. All of them are unique in their combination, making them suitable for diverse business needs. Similarly, integration options and ultimate cost vary. To illustrate this, our data analysts singled out the five most popular software applications and compared their visualization features and integration options. They are:

  • Power BI
  • Tableau
  • Looker
  • Exago
  • QlikView

Apart from QlikView, all the tools discussed below are fully embeddable. None of them are 100% best or worst. Therefore, the business must be driven by specific needs while choosing the most appropriate software.

Power BI

CoreValue_Power_BI

A comprehensive analytics platform for data processing, Microsoft Power BI enables businesses to retrieve essential sets of data and convert them into comprehensive and visually appealing materials. It can be powered by machine learning algorithms to perform predictive analytics, and allows users to monitor the dynamic flow of business data, from both desktop and mobile devices, making its functionality particularly convenient. Power BI is equally applicable for medium and large businesses. Integration is available for Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, and Google Analytics.

CoreValue has utilized Microsoft Power BI as a perfectly suited cloud-based data analytics platform for visualization of HR metrics. It’s balanced simplicity and performance help to extract business intelligence metrics to uncover trends, biases, and heat maps in our hiring strategy. With an intuitive graphical designer feature, powerful natural language interface, seamless integration with existing apps, and business environment facilitating agile inquiry, it was easy to adopt descriptive analytics and reporting capabilities. Customized business intelligence reports and chart types were tailored to the exact needs of the HR department, and easily embedded in applications to provide a unified user experience.

For example, our HR department has all-in-one stats, charts, and maps combined with advanced analytics on employee retention. They can also quickly pull up an employee count according to a wide variety of criteria, e.g., segmented headcount, technology stack, project assignments, geographical data, age, satisfaction reviews, etc., in order to manage resource capacity, turnover, and KPIs.

Tableau

CoreValue_Tableau

Tableau is probably one of the best data visualization tools, as it provides remarkable data analytics for enterprises, and is praised for being able to create reports with massive amounts of data from multiple sources while maintaining optimal network performance at the same time. This incredibly user-friendly software supports a wide scope of integrations, including, but not limited to Slack, Hadoop, R machine learning packages,Targetprocess, BIM 360, Workable, Smartsheet, Greenhouse, Lever, Clarizen, bpm’online, etc.  

From our experience, Tableau is much easier to use than many other business intelligence software platforms. The strategic and tactical data that it provides to business users is clear and can be retrieved on a frequent basis. Tableau Public allows publishing interactive maps, infographics, and different chart types generated from your data sources to the web.

Our team of data scientists opted for Tableau as the optimal data visualization tool for one of our clients. When choosing Tableau, it was important to have a wide array of sophisticated features for seamless mapping and clean visualization for ad hoc data analysis opportunities. We used both Desktop for creating dashboards and various chart types, and Server for hosting and viewing them. In order to improve the UX, a separate custom web page was built on Amazon. The page replicates all dashboards, charts, and graphs set up in Tableau that improves the user’s experience. A user can now easily go through the all-in-one-place reporting environment with advanced filtering and row-level security functionalities, to name a few. A dozen of the main comprehensive dashboards with multiple charts, graphs, maps and metrics, and daily reports land in a user’s inbox. Product performance, event funneling, marketing and cohort analysis are some of the dashboards from the list. Daily reports send fresh data visualizations, at specific times, for specific user groups. A list of metrics for a specific time series are included in the daily reports; e.g., “yesterday” and “90 days”, etc.

Looker

CoreValue_Looker

This platform enables business owners to make more knowledgeable decisions by retrieving real-time interactive data. This is a well-structured and convenient cloud-based software that does not require desktop installation. Due to a wide range of features, the software analyzes data throughout the entire database. Looker uses GIT, hence all the changes made to the modeling layer are being tracked. This functionality allows several developers to work on it simultaneously with the highest data quality. Likewise, it generates SQL based on the designed semantic level. All information retrieved by the software is shown to the user in graphs or tables, which makes it possible to work directly with the full dataset.

Exago

CoreValue_Exago

Exago is a fully web-based embedded business intelligence software and an incredibly potent application that provides integration via API. The software can be especially useful for enterprises that are interested in providing business data for a specific purpose and comprehensive analytical reporting to their clients. Exago is a perfect match for businesses of any size. Its performance is generally very good, yet, like any other web-based tool, it depends upon the characteristics of the server. Some of Exago’s major characteristics are its user-friendliness and highly customizable settings.

QlikView

CoreValue_Qlikview

Compared to other business intelligence platforms, this software is very different. Unlike query-based tools, QlikView automatically preserves data associations since it is run by an artificial intelligence engine. This BI platform supports integrations via API. On the whole, QlikView can be effective for businesses of any size, provided that the user does not work with big data sets. Due to hardware constraints, it is very likely that speed may be affected.

Embedded Analytics strengthen the power of Data Visualization

In the simplest definition, the integration of analytic content and capabilities into business operation is referred to as ‘embedded business analytics.’ Embedded business analytics enable users to work with applications in a much more productive way due to the availability of corresponding analytical tools and relevant information.

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