“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see”,
– The Polar Express
Agility is a term that gets thrown around a lot, fundamentally it’s the ability to understand where you are, where you want to be, and how to get there as quickly as possible.
Blocking agile progress is the challenge of getting everyone who can be engaged to make decisions quickly.
‘Empowerment through visual analytics’ sounds like a buzz-word (or phrase), too. Maybe it is. Our take on it is that, if you invest in the platform or system (BI portal, analytics app, reporting, data design) it doesn’t just look great; it fundamentally changes how your organization interprets data.
It changes how you think.
Our clients want visual analytics to improve their reporting and help time-poor senior management understand information quickly. This is a good thing but doesn’t go far enough.
Invest in visual analytics and do it from the bottom up, for everyone. This investment in your people will pay dividends for your business because it gives everyone the ability to understand and analyze data.
Great companies value the ideas and insights of their employees; give them the opportunity with visual analytics.
Get visual analytics into your ecosystem and it will pay for itself.
It’s useful across the organization
If employees engage with visual analytics, it allows people to cross-skill. They become less reliant on experts and data scientists for information. They themselves can now understand data trends that trigger an idea or insight.
It’s an investment in their ability and it allows an organization to identify trends. Employees can identify irregularities, collaborate, and improve their performance by simply making what you’ve already got (ie. data) accessible (ie. visual).
As an incentive to use visual analytics (or better analytics in general) is that it frees your analysts to do actual analysis, rather than make reports or cleanse data. As a pure money-saving measure, having your analysts actively finding solutions to problems rather than pulling data sets from your data sources and working PowerPoint makes good sense…
One-time cost for agility
Training is an investment in the future. A future where your people can work in a bottom-up environment, where they can use their analytical skills to identify new ways to reach customers.
It bridges the gaps between the frontline: data owners, data scientists, and business leaders. Engaged employees collaborate better from top to bottom and provide valuable feedback all the way back up to the top-level managers.
Effective decision making
Employees become effective components of the decision-making process. As they understand systems better, they can see the trends and make impactful decisions based on those trends.
Visual analytics enables people to understand complex information which allows them to view a problem or question from a different perspective.
Democratisation of Data Solutions
Visual analytics allows democratisation of data, adding the development of creative solutions to everyday challenges. It allows employees to harness data and draw valuable, unexpected interpretations. It helps to implement the strategic decisions based on trends that frontline teams see in their day-to-day contact with their market, competitors, and audiences.
It can allow you to manipulate existing resources and incorporating the insights in any situation. The employee focus moves to recognize facts and reduces time-consuming activities such as reporting, which should be automated.
Access to real-time data means proactive integration of data-driven insight into everything you do, from marketing campaigns, HR reporting to financial forecasts.
Employees become more effective with visualized data driving their thinking. With alerts generated by visual analytics, the employees acquire speed-of-thought responsiveness and can positively influence the company’s performance.
Apart from improving efficiency with reduced delays in data interpretation, visual analytics can be applied to improve decision-making.
People who are given the ability to change the way they think, how they adapt to challenges and solve them creatively, are seriously empowered. It’s hard to quantify an exact value on that, but in terms of making business decisions, there is inherent value.
There is also a serious potential for risk mitigation. If everyone understands exactly where the business is before a decision is made, then the chances of unforeseen problems are significantly reduced.
We hear a lot about the need to be data or insight-driven, about how workplace cultures are moving in that direction. Why is that? People speak about data and analytics in vaguely mystical terms, that if appeased, the data and analytics will dispense logic and truth to those that are worthy.
There are amazing things happening with machine learning and algorithmic intelligence; things that will use data in ways we cannot even imagine in the next few years. Today though, every company has an under-utilized resource in their staff, we simply need to input the data in a format that works for humans.
That format is visual.