Big Community: Do you feel data visualization is a necessary element of Big Data Analysis?
Gan Chun Yee: Yes, data visualization is indeed important. Story-telling is always the end-goal we want to achieve for any Big Data Analysis initiative. BDA refers to getting data from many different sources, not only from inside the organization or business, but from external factors also. So, the end-goal is how can you summarize all this data together into an effective story? So the most effective way to tell that story is through visualizations.
Big Community: How does data visualization enhance insight and decision making?
Gan Chun Yee: Visualizations can clearly indicate your strengths – whether your business is performing strongly in a particular region, or with a particular group of customers. Visualizations can clearly articulate the story by showing you trends – showing you the top performing product or outlet. So you can then easily visualize the areas for improvement – to invest in underperforming sectors, or dissolve them completely.
Visualizations are the easier way to see and to understand the data, compared to reading tabular reports where there are a lot of figures and numbers for every row, but you won’t be able to clearly see the uptrends and downtrends of factors like your sales for example.
Big Community: What key functions should people consider when selecting a visualization tool?
Gan Chun Yee: A visualization tool should conveniently allow the user to easily type and ask questions. This way, instead of having to manually construct their own visualizations, the tool should be able to automatically select the most appropriate visualization that would best portray their data.
The tool must also be touch-friendly even when building visualizations because for many users today, mobility is important. More mobile devices are in use and there is more dependency on mobiles now. The ability to see insights via mobile is a very important element for a visualization tool.
Rich interactivity across the charts to perform analysis is also very important. The ability to consolidate multiple sources into a single chart without the need to go through heavy data processing gives users the ability to perform agile analytics. Users can then view, edit, manipulate, drill up and down, compare and contrast multiple datasets, such as sales data and Consumer Price Indices, in a single visualization.
Custom visualization capabilities are also important. There is a lot more creativity in explaining data nowadays. There are a lot of different permutations of how people explain their data. Giving people the ability to develop their own custom visuals to explain their particular unique story is crucial.
Big Community: Are different charts and visuals more appropriate for different lines of business?
Gan Chun Yee: For businesses in logistics or the supply chain industry, the capability to visualize trends and patterns through a graph, or through a network diagram, is important for users to pinpoint exactly where the problem in their process is.
Big Community: Is there anything unique you would like to tell us about your data visualization offering?
Gan Chun Yee: The unique part is that we are more than just a Business Intelligence and visualization tool. We also have a robust data management capability, we have the ability to connect to devices in the Internet of Things, and our system has machine learning capabilities. As for visualizations, we have a very rich visualization library.
Powered by Natural Language Processing, our platform allows users to just ask questions to get the answers and insights they want. We have also developed a range of custom visualization features allowing clients and developers to easily develop their own customer charts. Mobility is also a strong suit where we are mobile device optimized, providing users with visualization tools that they may use at anytime and anywhere.
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