Benefits of Business Intelligence Visualization Tools

There are so many business intelligence visualization tools available in this day and age. Tableau, Power BI, Qlik, and AIR Intel are just a few. These tools will help the users make better and more informed decisions around their business by depicting the data in a graph or chart representation. There are many benefits in using a business intelligence visualization tool and we are going to touch on a few:

• Easier to understand and quick to action: The human brain tends to process visual information far more easier than written information. Use of a chart and/or graph to summarize complex data ensures faster comprehension of relationships than cluttered reports or spreadsheets.
• Interact with data: The greatest benefit of data visualization in my opinion is that it exposes changes in a timely manner. But unlike static charts, interactive data visualizations encourage users to explore and even manipulate the data to uncover other factors. Drilling into a chart to see the underlying data which could be yet another chart or a table/grid of the raw data can assist the user in seeing the data from the highest level to the lowest. For example, we have a pie chart depicting counts of sales calls by region within a specific time frame. You can then click on a region and then see a bar chart, each one of those bars represents a count of the amount of calls each sales person did in that specific region. Then that same user can click on a specific salespersons bar from within the chart to see all the details behind the calls: Who they called, when they called, how long the call was, comments from the call, etc.. This type of functionality is allowing the user to see not only how the sales people are doing overall but allowing you to see who are the best sales people making calls and why are they successful. Are all the successful calls made within a certain time frame? The visualization tool allows you to convey a story easier.
• Creation of new discussions: Another advantage to data visualization is that it provides a ready means to tell stories from the data. Heat maps can show the development of product performance over time in multiple geographic areas, making it easier to see those products that are performing very well or those that are underperforming. With this functionality built into most visualizations tools users (Executives, managers, and employees) can drill down into specific locations to see what’s what is working and what is not and pivot if needed.
• Communicate more effectively: Gone should be the days where you read an eight to ten page document to decipher the findings of what occurred in your business by the month and/or quarter. Now you can supply reports that can decipher complex data into simple outputs and have them automatically delivered to the people that should be reviewing the data. Not only do visualization tools allow you to communicate more effectively but I would also state that the reports are automatically delivered in a more timely manner.
• Absorb more information easily: Data visualization enables users to view and understand vast amounts of information regarding operational and business conditions. It allows decision makers to see connections between multi-dimensional data sets and provides new ways to interpret data through heat maps, bar charts, line charts, bubble charts, and other rich graphical representations. Businesses that use visual data analytics are more likely to find the information they are looking for and sooner than other companies.

Above are just a few of the benefits of data visualization tools and I am sure you can think of several more if you have played around or have used visualization tools.

Your Single Source of Truth

Purchase The Kindle Edition
Purchase The Paperback Edition
Your Single Source of Truth is a quick-read for busy business and IT professionals struggling to create a Business Intelligence solution. Packed with advice, proven methods, and real-world uses cases, this book provides the knowledge to get you not only started but to keep your Business Intelligence solution going.

This book is intended to help you understand how a business can deal with their epidemic data problems and see a bigger clearer picture from the data they are collecting. There are mountains of data being collected in many different departments each with their own transactional system (silos). And each silo is not being joined to give a bigger and clearer picture to the business. This is a data centric world and businesses are collecting and saving data at an enormous rate but most are doing nothing with that data. They are not learning from the data and not making actionable and informed decisions from the data.

Business Intelligence and silos of data is not just a small business issue — it’s an issue that all different size businesses are facing and are having problems getting their arms around. Whether it is lack of resources, low priority, or a lack of understanding that there is a problem. I believe if I can explain the issue, analyze it and point companies in the direction in solving their Business Intelligence issues then I would get to see many businesses grow and flourish. I want to help businesses answer those questions that I believe every business wants to answer: How is my business doing right now? How is my business doing compared to how it did in the past? Are all my areas of my business performing well? Which areas can have better efficiencies? What are my customers thinking and how can I better serve them? This is just a very small sample of questions that I know a business intelligence solution can help businesses answer and this book will help get you started.

Looking at your data in different ways can help your business

You can look at your data many different ways and it will help your business to look at that data in as many different ways as possible and not just one. We will cover some of the basics here and hopefully it will get your mind thinking about what data you currently have and how you can look at it. By looking at your data in different ways or different perspectives you can obtain different business values.


You can group your data. What I mean by grouping is when you have rows and rows of data and you want to bring that data together then grouping logical can help you. Take for instance you have eight to ten sales reps making calls to physicians daily trying to sell them their pharmaceutical drugs. You can group all that data by day for a giving week to show what days the sales people are making the most successful sales calls.


Looking at your data granular is the processing of driving further down into the details of the data. Let’s take the above example of showing successful sales people calls for a giving week. Well we know that Bob on the sales team has be crushing it since he joined, but looking at the data for daily sales calls he and the other sells team members are placing about the same amount of calls Monday through Friday. Let’s get a little more granular and drill down into each of the days calls and see what time he is making his calls. Now the data is showing us that Bob is making all his calls either early in the morning or late afternoon and all the other sales people are consistently calling in between Bob’s hours. Deriving this types of answers and drilling into the data will give you more answers that will help you guide others in the business to be better.


One of the most important ways to look at your data is seeing it in a visual concept or chart. I feel this is one of the most important ways for your data to tell it’s story. One of the biggest reasons visualizing your data is so important is because people are so visual and seeing data in row or tabular form to understand the data can be difficult and sometimes mind numbing. Showing a data story through a picture (chart and/or graph) allows people to understand the meaning quicker. If there was a significant increase or decrease in products sales or customer service calls seeing that spike in a graph will be quick and easy. If there is bad data in your warehouse a picture will definitely tell that story and you will be able to visually see that very quickly. Data visualization tools have greatly changed how businesses have worked with their data as well how businesses have dug deeper into their data gaining valuable insight. So make sure you ask the question “Can this data be visually representing?” and if the answer is yes build out the data visualization and share it with the business. 

Data Relationship

Can my data be related? I think this question not only does not get asked enough, but it is one of the most powerful ways to look at your data. If your data can be related to other data how strong is that relationship? Even though asking about data relationships is one of the most basic questions in looking at your data it is the most overlooked and the most informative. Let’s look at a simple example: You have a subscription form on your website that allows potential customers to fill out and subscribe to your newsletter. You have two sets of data, one set being the customers information and the other being website. If you look at each data separately you can know who the customer is, from the form information. Looking now at just the website data you can see how an unknown person entered your web site and walked it (What I mean by walking, is what web pages did they visit on your web site). Now let’s join the data (the relationship), Once we do that we know who the person is, how they got to the web site, what they did on the web site, what page they came from before filling out the form, and then what they did after filling out the web form. Now you have a complete picture and you can make some pretty good assumptions about the user. Powerful right. Relating your data will take time and thought but trust me it is definitely worth the work.

These are just some of the ways that you can look at your data and get answers to questions that have been asked and possibly questions that have not been asked yet. Never stopping asking questions and never stop looking at data in different ways.