Essential Guide

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Dashboard development and data visualization tools for effective BI

Learn about business intelligence dashboard design best practices and data visualization trends in this Essential Guide covering the use of data visualization tools in the age of big data.

As the use of business intelligence and advanced analytics technologies proliferates in more companies and plays a bigger and bigger role in business success, deployments of data visualization software and tools are also expanding -- and evolving. BI and IT teams increasingly are getting requests from business users for data visualization capabilities, often delivered through user-friendly BI dashboards, to help meet business intelligence objectives. Furthermore, the growing adoption of big data applications increases the complexity of business data analytics, including the types of visualizations that data scientists and other users are looking to run. Used effectively, new data visualization tools and well-thought-out dashboard designs help streamline the visual presentation of large, complex sets of data for better business decision making.

Yet the wide array of available features and options can be overwhelming. Business intelligence managers and consultants say that dashboard designers must fight the temptation to create glitzy dashboards with bells and whistles galore and instead focus on what business users most need. In addition, a variety of vendors have advanced data visualization tools on the market. Understanding the different capabilities they support and identifying the appropriate tools for an organization's specific BI program needs are crucial steps for companies looking to effectively and meaningfully represent large sets of data without weighing down BI and IT staffers with development and end-user support tasks.

To help analytics and BI project teams navigate the challenges, this guide offers expert insight and advice on dashboard development and data visualization trends, including the application of data visualization tools in big data environments.

Streamlined dashboard design

1. Flash vs. function in dashboard design and development

While sleek looks are appealing, BI dashboard users need to be able to quickly access useful business data. The stories and tips in this section explore ways to concentrate on the functional aspects of dashboard development, tempting as it may be to make use of flashy graphics and animations.

Visualizing big data

2. Data visualization tools evolve with big data

Data visualization in the world of big data is challenging, yet increasingly necessary. And, in many cases, the use of data visualization tools must change to accommodate the needs of big data. In the articles in this section, experts offer fresh ideas on combining data visualization and big data analytics.

Trends in data visualization

3. News and trends in dashboards and data visualization

The expanded use and growing complexity of business intelligence is creating demands from business users for improved dashboards, scorecards and data visualization capabilities. The news and trend stories in this section discuss the growing importance of dashboard and data visualization technologies that can help meet the needs of BI users and the objectives of BI programs.

Glossary

4. Dashboards and data visualization terms, defined

Learn or review the definitions of terms related to data visualization in this glossary.