Dashboards are a powerful tool when the right metrics are displayed. But it is equally important to properly visualize the metrics. Rebeckah Blewett, product manager for Dundas Data Visualization Inc., explains the importance of data visualization in decision making:
The practice of representing information visually is nothing new. Scientists, students, and analysts have been using data visualization for centuries to track everything from astrological phenomena to stock prices. Only recently, with the adoption of more sophisticated BI technology in the corporate world and the ever-increasing practice of data collection and data mining activities, has data visualization in the form of dashboards been used as an important presentation tool in business analysis. As a result, the use of dashboards in making quick and accurate business decisions has become an essential requirement for remaining competitive.
Data visualization, when done correctly, is an effective way to analyze large amounts of data to identify correlations, trends, outliers, patterns, and business conditions. The author does a great job of conveying how this can be accomplished through the many visual examples in the article. Although some data visualization purists would argue that the radial and semi-circular gauges are to be avoided, the overall principles are sound.
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