Visual discovery perceptions and market trends
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Visual discovery perceptions and market trends Visual discovery perceptions and market trends Document Transcript

  • Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends BI Leadership Benchmark Report By Claudia Imhoff June 2013
  • Table of Contents Overview ...................................................................................................... 3 What is Visual Discovery?................................................................... 3 Market Trends and Adoption Rate ..................................................... 4 Business Benefits ................................................................................ 4 Challenges .......................................................................................... 5 Perceptions......................................................................................... 7 Survey Results.............................................................................................. 8 Adoption Rate..................................................................................... 8 Scope .................................................................................................. 9 Deployments .................................................................................... 10 Integration ........................................................................................ 11 Data Sources ..................................................................................... 12 Standardization ................................................................................ 13 Users ................................................................................................. 14 Features ............................................................................................ 15 Satisfaction ....................................................................................... 16 Purchasing Drivers ............................................................................ 17 Challenges ........................................................................................ 18 Future Plans ...................................................................................... 19 Why Not? .......................................................................................... 20 Recommendations ........................................................................... 21 Summary.................................................................................................... 22 Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends 2
  • BENCHMARK REPORT Overview A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS—or in the case of business intelligence (BI), it is worth a thousand or more data points. After all, human beings are visual creatures. This is how we perceive and make sense of our surroundings. So doesn’t it make sense for us to use visually oriented techniques to perceive and make sense of our business world as well? Visual discovery, because of its improved ease of use and consumption, means it is an ideal technology for business users who want to serve themselves. But creating a pretty picture is only part of the batt Visual discovery must also enable the business user to discover new things and interact with the data. Visual discovery tools allow the business user to get a quick understanding of a business situation and then zoom in, filter out and obtain details on demand— basically to allow the data to tell the businessperson its story. It is a dynamic form of a narrative or persuasio—all occurring with minimal IT intervention What is Visual Discovery? THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT OF CONFUSION regarding traditional BI andvisual discovery. Here are two standard definitions for these different styles of BI Traditional BI toolsare predominantly controlled, driven and implemented by corporate IT. The outputs tend to be mostly static dashboards, tabular reports, or simple OLAP analyses. The users have limited interaction, mostly in the form of drilling down through the levels of summarized or aggregated data to the detailed data. Changes and enhancements to the environment generally require IT intervention, which is why many people refer to this form as “managed reporting. Visual discovery tools turn the data into visual perceptions that the users can manipulate and interact with. Corporate IT may still be involved, but a large part of the creation of different visualizatis rests in the hands of the business user. Visual discovery, because of its improved ease of use and consumption, means it is an ideal technology for business users who want to serve themselves. These users want the improved level of autonomy that self-service BI offers them, and surveys have shown that this is a major driver for many implementations of these technologies Visualization techniques vary and include simple actions like mouseover fo displaying tips, metadata, or available functions when e cursor rests over an Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends 3
  • BENCHMARK REPORT object; auto-suggesting for chart types that fit the data better; lassoing o selecting specific data values in a chart by circling them with a cursor; an animations that show how the data values have changed over time. For mor on visualization techniques as well as information on evaluation criteria, s “Visual Discovery Tools: Market Segmentationand Product Positionin” by Wayne Eckerson. Finally, many visual discovery tools have some kind of proprietary data structure for storing and modeling the data. Many times, but not always, this is an in-memory and/or columnar database. The benefits from deploying visual discovery implementations are varied and broad. Market Trends and Adoption Rat VISUAL DISCOVERY HAS HAD A CONSIDERABLE IMPACT on overall BI solution sales. Many companies today consider its capabilities as a mandatory part of their BI environment, often replacing the popular but somewhat limited Excel spreadsheet. It seems that once visual discovery lands on a business user’s desk, others take notice and visual discovery begins to spread rapidly throughout the company. Also, BI vendors have found that attractiv dashboards using visual discovery capabilities make for easier sells to their prospects. When should visual discovery techniques be used? It turns out that these techniques are very useful in performing various analytical acvities like tiseries and performance analyses. It is also useful in analyzing and monitoring predefined metrics and conducting wha-if scenarios, detecting outliers that may indicate a new trend, and uncovering new relationships between events, customers, products, campaigns, etc. The adoption rate for visual discovery tools is quite good. Our survey shows that almost 50% of the respondents have either fully deployed or partially deployed these tools in their organizations. This increase indicates the compelling need of business users to have better and faster ways to gain insight into unfolding business scenarios. Business Benefits THE BENEFITS FROM DEPLOYING VISUAL DISCOVERY IMPLEMENTATIONS are varied and broad. Better insight, faster time to discery, and more analysis with less data manipulation are some. The most popular benefits are Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends 4
  • BENCHMARK REPORT Comprehension: Visualizations of data communicate complex data relationships, such as patterns, trends, outliers, etc., far faster than series of numbers in a table, spreadsheet or a text-based report. It greatly improves the time to insight so mandatory in today’s competiti environment. Basically, visual discovery is very effective at providing access to the right information at the right tim As with all new implementations, visual discovery projects have their own set of challenges. Interaction Visual discovery allows the businessperson to determine what to manipulate, filter, select, and drill into very quickly. The selfservice environment fostered by visual discovery means business users can address unanticipated data needs in a far more timely manne The person’s productivity is greatly enhanced and their knowledge is significantly increased through visual discovery. Discovery of unknown relationships Visual presentations of data quickly uncover previously unknown patterns, trends and other relationship between data and events. This allows analysts to spend more time actually analyzing and thinking about why these relationshipsare occurring rather than grinding through endless spreadsheets, columns of numbers, and tabular reports. Adoption of BI assets Because visual discovery speeds time to insight, it has also increased the number of business users utilizing BI assets throughout the enterprise (see adoption rates above). The resultin effect is that companies are becoming much more data-driven and analytical in terms of their decision making Better leverage of IT resources Because of the business user’s propensity for creating a sel-service BI environment with visual discovery tools, IT resources are freed up to pursue more strategic activities that have greater business value to the enterprise. Thes include developing new applications, expanding data in the data warehouse, improving data quality processing, and incorporating new technologies to improve performance. IT becomes more of a partner than a roadblock to business users wanting BI asset—which means that IT and the businesspeople have an improved collaborative reationship Challenges AS WITH ALL NEW IMPLEMENTATIONS, visual discovery projects have their own set of challenges or pitfalls that can derail a successful initiative. Here are a few of the more common challenge Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends 5
  • BENCHMARK REPORT Bias in visualizations Visualization shold be designed to be devoid of bias—it should be based on what the data actually says, not on what the user wants it to say. You can create a misleading graph easily just by presenting a number that is 3 times bigger than another one in a 3 format. The 3D format makes the number appear to be nine times bigger. Omitting outliers, using capped values, or arbitrary tempora ranges can be fraught with peril in that the outliers or out-of-range values may be early warning indicators of new and perhaps devastatng trends or patterns Visual discovery is meant to breathe life into data; it enhances a person’s ability to improve his or her business insight. Bad design: The visual design is not a trivial matter and much literature has been written covering theproper design of visual graphics. Something to keep mind is that you can bring balance to visual designs by simply presenting the same data in alternative representation labeling everything to avoid ambiguity, and using standardized measurements and units. And make sure you develop a variety of visual graphics—the much-maligned pie chart has many, far more interesting relatives Each user has his or her own way of viewing data so make sure you match the right type of visualization to the business user an the problem at hand. A good practice is to create a prototype and get feedback on the design. Visual overload: Businesspeople are bombarded daily with images from a multitude of different sources. Constant exposure to overly complicated, highly dimensionalized visualizations can actually cause the businessperson to become “numb” to what he or she is seeing. A recommendation is to focus on having the visualization explain the data not decorate it. Secondly, to turn passive viewing into a dynamic and partcipatory experience, businesspeople must be able to interact with the information. They need to be able to view, touch, interpret and identify trends or patterns. The users retain the information better use fewer resources to make a decision when they can interact and discover. Successful visual discovery projects will empower their users without overwhelming them. It is important to remember that visual discovery is meant to breathe life into data; it enhances a person’s ability to comprehend complex relationships quickly and to improve his or her business insight. Visual discovery has a story to tell. If you are unsure how to design your visual discovery environment, hire an expert in design. They can guide you through the process. Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends 6
  • BENCHMARK REPORT Perception A PERCEPTION IN THE MARKETPLACE is that business departments, frustrated with their IT departments, purchase visual discovery tools predominantly. This may have been true 5 years ago; but more and more today, we are seeing enterprise-class solutions being rolle out by IT. Of course, these implementations are still quite different from traditional-driven BI environments. They are far more self-service oriented and give the business users much more freedom and access to their own data sources as well as ITcreated data warehouses and marts. The bottom line is that visual discovery tools are complementary to BI tools, not alternatives to them. A second perception is that visual discovery will replace traditional BI. It i important to acknowledge that traditonal BI still has its role and is the appropriate way to communicate certain types of data. For example, rankings (top 10, bottom 10%, etc.) of sales, customers, salesperson performance, etc. are easily and best displayed in a text-based format. Traditionl BI technology is suitable for situations where the exact number or value of a metric or measurement is required or where there is a need to provide routine information quickly and efficiently Third, many people believe that visual discovery tools are implemented by individual departments or business units in their attempts to create a selservice BI environment. Our survey dispels this perception. When asked which best describes the scale and scope of their visual discovery deployments, the highest respondent answer (39%) was for the enterprise. Respondents selected business unit 29% and departmental 25% of the time. It seems that organizations want visual discovery tools to reside in a centralized fashion much like their traditional BI environments. Tis is further reinforced by our respondents’ response to the question, “Which data sources are accessed by your visual discovery tools?” An overwhelming 72% answered the enterprise data warehouse. Finally, there is a perception that visual discovery tool belong solely to the business users and IT either does not have a role or does not need to know about them. Neither of these is correct. Corporate IT has a significant role in monitoring this environment, ensuring that security and privacy policies are in place, and expanding the sources of data and making them accessible to the business community. The savvy IT department will embrace these technologies and truly become the business partner they should be. The bottom line is that visual discovery tools are complementary to BI tools, not alternatives to them. They enhance the overall user experience for certain Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends 7
  • BENCHMARK REPORT types of BI analyses, thus improving the overall adoption of BI assets in most organizations. They improve the adoption of BI assets throughout th organization, thus moving it to a more analytically savvy enterpris Survey Results Visual discovery tools have built quite a following in the past decade, and it is safe to say that they are mainstream BI tools. THE REMAINDER OF THIS REPORT PROVIDES MARKET PERSPECTIVES on visual discovery tools. The following charts are based on a survey of 192 BI professionals conducted in April 2013 by the BI Leadership Forum, a LinkedIn group for BI directors and their teams. Two-thirds (66%) of the respondents are BI professionals, 19% are BI consultants, 8% are business users or sponsors, and 7% are “other”. (We discarded responses from vendors and academics.) About half (46%) come from large companies with more than $1 billion in revenue, while another third (33%) are medium-size companies with between $100 million and $1 billion in revenue, and 21% are small companies with less than $100 million in revenue. Slightly more than half (51%) rated their BI maturity as “intermediate” while 25% rated their maturity as “advanced” and 23% said they were “beginners.” Adoption Rat VISUAL DISCOVERY TOOLS HAVE BUILT QUITE A FOLLOWING in the past decade, and it is safe to say that they are mainstream BI tools. Almost half (49%) of respondents have deployed visual discovery tools (fully or partially), while another 18% are under development. One-third (34%) have yet to take the leap, saying that they either have “no plans” or have a project “under consideration.” (See Figure 1. Figure 1: What is the status of visual discovery tools at your organization No plans 10% Under consideration Under development 24% 18% Partially deployed Fully deployed 30% 19% Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends 8
  • BENCHMARK REPORT Scope MOST VISUAL DISCOVERY VENDORS SELL THEIR PRODUCTS to business unit and department heads, not IT. As such, the products have a reputation as being departmental BI tools. However, our data shows that 39% of companies have deployed visual discovery tools on an enterprise basis. This could mean that either they’ve standardized on a visual discovery toolset or that visual discovery tools have proliferated independently throughout the organization. More than half (54%) said that the scope of their deployments is confined either to business units or departments. (See Figure 2.) Our data shows that 39% of companies have deployed visual discovery tools on an enterprise basis. Figure 2: Which best describes the scale and scope of your visual discovery deployment? Not deployed 3% Departmental 25% Business unit 29% Enterprise Other 39% 5% Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends 9
  • BENCHMARK REPORT Deployments WHEN ASKED HOW MANY SEPARATE INSTANCES of visual discovery tools exist in their organization, respondents were split into two camps. Almost half (49%) said they only had one or two instances, which suggests either an enterprise deployment or a limited departmental deployment. Another 28% said they had more than 10 separate instances, with 12% citing more than 21 instances. These latter results reflect the “land and expand” strategy of visual discovery vendors in which a single department purchases a tool and, when word gets out, other departments jump on board with their own purchase and implementation. “Enterprise deployment” means that the tools have proliferated independently to the point that they have become a default enterprise standard. When we drilled into the respondents with enterprise deployments, the results were not dissimilar. Fift-one percent of enterprise customers said they had one or two instances (versus 49%) and 31% said they had 10 or more instances (versus 28%) with 20% citing more than 21 instances.So, it appears that “enterprise deployment” means that the tools have proliferated independently to the point that they have become a default enterprise standard. Figure 3: How many separate instances of visual discovery tools exist in your organization 0 2% 1 to 2 49% 3 4 to 5 14% 7% 6 to 10 11 to 20 21+ 10% 6% 12% Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends 10
  • BENCHMARK REPORT Integration THE MAJORITY OF DEPARTMENTS AND BUSINESS UNITS generally deploy visual discovery tools independently and don’t do much to integrate them. Almost two-thirds (64%) said that some or all of their instances of visual discovery tools are not linked. However, the remainder (36%) said either most or all their instances share data and definitions. Organizations with enterpris deployments have done a much better job of integrating multiple instances visual discovery tools. Organizations with enterprise deployments have done a much better job of integrating multiple instances of visual discovery tools. More than half (53%) said that either most or all of their instances are integrated (versus 36% for all respondents.) As we’ll see in the next question, most of this integration comes from querying integrted data in a data warehouse rather than source systems directly. Figure 4: To what degree has your organization linked separate instances of visual discovery tools? None – Instances are not linked; each is an island of information 19% Some – Some instances share data and definitions, but most don't Most – Most instances share data and definitions, but not all All – All instances share data and definitions Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends 45% 15% 20% 11
  • BENCHMARK REPORT Data Sources THE IDEAL WAY TO DEPLOY A VISUAL DISCOVERY TOOL to avoid creatng departmental data silos is to point the tool at the enterprise data warehouse. Comfortingly, almost tw-thirds (72%) of organizations take this appoach. But they also populate the visual discovery tool with data from many other sources, especially local files (58%), which is a legitimate way to enhance corporate data. Less comforting is that more than half of respondents (52%) said they use visual discovery tools to query enterprise applications, which is a surefire recipe for creating stovepipe analycal systems. The ideal way to deploy a visual discovery tool to avoid creating departmental data silos is to point the tool at the enterprise data warehouse. Figure 5: What data sources does your visual discovery tool access? Enterprise data warehouse 72% Local files (e.g., Excel) 58% Enterprise applications (e.g., ERP) 52% Departmental data mart 49% Departmental applications (ERP/CRM) 44% External data 31% Web services 12% Hadoop/NoSQL Other 10% 5% Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends 12
  • BENCHMARK REPORT Standardization A MAJORITY OF COMPANIES HAVE ESTABLISHED STANDARDS governing the use of visual discovery tools, but those standards vary widely. (About one-third (35%) have no corporate policies or standards for visual discovery tools.) More than one-third (38%) have standardized on the tools for creating enterprise dashboards, while slightly less than one-third (32%) standardize on the tools for business analysts. Another 30% also standardize on the tools for creating departmental dashboards. Only 14% prohibit departments from purchasing the tools. (Good luck with that!) A majority of companies have established standards governing the use of visual discovery tools. Figure 6: What is the corporate policy regarding the use of visual discovery tools? Standardize on the tools for creating enterprise dashboards 38% No corporate policy needed 35% Standardize on the tools for business analysts 32% Standardize on the tools for creating departmental dashboards 30% Prohibit departments from purchasing the tools Require the departments to point the tools at the EDW 14% 13% Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends 13
  • BENCHMARK REPORT Users VISUAL DISCOVERY TOOLS SERVE MULTIPLE AUDIENCES. Although the desktop tools are designed for power users to analyze data, they can also be used to author Web-based dashboards that can be used by casual users. Accordingly, 47% of companies say that both casual and power users are the primary users of visual discovery tools. However, 44% say their tools are used primarily by power users only. Not surprisingly, in companies that have standardized on visual discovery tools for business analysts (see Figure 6 above), a larger percentage say their primary users are power users (54% versus 44% for all companies). Forty-seven percent of companies say that both casual and power users are the primary users of visual discovery tools. Figure 7: Who are the primary users of your visual discovery tools? Casual users 9% Power users Both equally Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends 44% 47% 14
  • BENCHMARK REPORT Features WHEN IT COMES TO FEATURES, POWER USERS ARE MORE ACTIVE USERS of visual discovery tools. A majority use the tools to connect to a single or multiple data sources and analyze predefined metrics. More than one-third use the tools to monitor predefined metrics (37%), conduct what-if analyses (37%), and author and publish dashboards (33%). The top feature used by casual users is to “monitor predefined metrics” (37%), followed by connecting to a single data source (24%) The top feature used by casual users is to “monitor predefined metrics,” followed by connecting to a single data source. Figure 8: To what degree do your users use the following functions in the visual discovery tool? (Percentages based on responses equal to “high”) Power User Casual User Connect to, explore, and analyze a single data source Connect to, explore, and analyze multiple data source 55% 15% Analyze predefined metrics 37% 37% Conduct what-if analysis Enter or update data Transform, clean, and/or combine data Apply data mining algorithms (e.g., regressions) 49% 22% Monitor predefined metrics Author and publish dashboards 59% 24% 37% 11% 33% 7% 4% 4% 4% Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends 21% 21% 20% 15
  • BENCHMARK REPORT Satisfactio A MAJORITY OF BUSINESS USERS RATE VISUAL DISCOVERY TOOLS either “better” or “much better” than their existing BI tools. The most enthusias users are business users (81%), followed by department heads (68%) and executives (67%). Least enthsiastic are IT managers (45%), which is not surprising since most implementations are not initiated or cleared by them Nonetheless, 45% is still a large percentage. And 49% of IT managers are neutral about the tools, leaving only 5% who rate them less favorably than existing BI tools A majority of business users rate visual discovery tools either “better” or “much better” than their existing BI tools Figure 9: The value of visual discovery tools is better or much better than othe BI tools in use at our organization Business users 81% Business department heads 68% Executives 67% IT department heads Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends 45% 16
  • BENCHMARK REPORT Purchasing Drivers THE PRIMARY REASONS FOR PURCHASING a visual discovery tool are “better visualization” (78%), “easier to use” (77%), and “sel-service analysis” (66%). This was followed by “fast-changing business requirements” (53%), “self-service authoring” (51%), “quicker to deploy” (51%) and “faster queries” (45%). Figure 10: What drove the decision to purchase a visual discovery tool? Better visualization The primary reasons for purchasing a visual discovery tool are “better visualization,” “easier to use” and “self-service analysis.” 78% Easier to use 77% Self-service analysis 66% Fast-changing business requirements 53% Self-service authoring 51% Quicker to deploy 51% Faster queries 45% Faster data integration More affordable 33% 25% Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends 17
  • BENCHMARK REPORT Challenges NO TECHNOLOGY IS WITHOUT ITS CHALLENGES, and that holds true for visual discovery tools. About one-third of respondents experience significant difficulty with the following four issues: No technology is without its challenges, and that holds true for visual discovery tools. 1. Sourcing data from complex ERP/CRM systems (complexity) 2. Maintaining data consistency across environments (consistency) 3. Getting executives to fund the installation or expansion of the soft (funding) 4. Identifying and fixing ata quality issues (data quality) 5. Maintaining performance as number of users and volume of data increases (scalability). They have slightly fewer issues with meeting performance commitments and integrating the tools with other environments, such as dataase management systems. Figure 11: “To what degree have you experienced the following challenges with visual discovery tools?” (Percentages based on responses equal to “high.”) Complexity 33% Consistency 33% Funding 32% Data quality 31% Scalability 27% Performance 21% Integration 21% Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends 18
  • BENCHMARK REPORT Future Plans DESPITE THE CHALLENGES above, companies are bullish on visual discovery tools—in fact, very bullish. The vast majority (84%) plan to expand their deployments, while just 2% will decrease the scope of their deployments. This is the best reference for the value and quality of visual discovery tools as any since it involves spending hard-earned dollars on a technology. Figure 12: What are your future plans for deploying visual discovery tools? Despite the challenges, companies are bullish on visual discovery tools. Expand deployment 84% Maintain, but not expand Decrease deployment 13% 2% Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends 19
  • BENCHMARK REPORT Why Not? SO FAR, OUR DATA HAS FOCUSED on those users who have deployed visual discovery tools. It’s clear that they are very pleased with the tools. However, one-third of survey respondents have yet to deploy a visual discovery tool. Among this group, there are various reasons for holding off a purchase. The primary reason is lack of budget to buy the tools (35%), followed by the fact that they are adequately served by their existing BI tools (29%), the tools are not part of the corporate standard (27%) and, perhaps most significant of all, there is a fear that the tools will proliferate spreadmarts (25%). One-third of survey respondents have yet to deploy a visual discovery tool. Figure 13: What prevents you from deploying visual discovery tools? Our budget is tapped out 35% We already have suitable BI tools 29% Not a corporate standard 27% Fear of proliferating spreadmarts 25% Don't know enough about visual discovery tools 19% Performance and scalability issues 18% Other 18% Not enough value for the price Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends 12% 20
  • BENCHMARK REPORT Recommendations OUR SURVEY RESPONDENTS OFFERED LOTS OF ADVICE about how to get the most out of visual discovery tools while avoiding its pitfalls Complementary. Many said visual discovery tools complement their BI standard, not replace it. “Use the right tool for the right situation,” said one. Another said BI vendors could help here by allowing visual discovery tools to query enterprise BI tools. Most respondents recommended getting th corporate BI team involved prior to deploying visual discovery tools to avoid creating problems down the road. Metadata. Most respondents were adamant that visual discovery tools do not address business metadata but, in fact, often undermine it. Thus, they said it is imperative for the BI team to build the data layer (i.e., consistent definitions) that visual discovery tools can leverage. One said, “I closed three instances last year because the business didn’t have control over data quality or MDM. Nice tool but utterly useless if the underlying data isn’t under control.” IT Involvement. Most recommended getting the corporate BI tea involved prior to deploying visual discovery tools to avoid creating problems down the road. Many respondents worried about proliferating spreadmarts, which they would eventually be asked to manage on an enterprise basis despite data quality, scalability and performance limitations. “These tools are creating a lot of l-value work for the BI team” said one. Another said, “The tools are powerful but need to be governed.” Training. Although visual discovery tools support self-service, most respondents insisted that users require lots of training to become proficient users. In fact, one who uses the tool for discovery said, “Few users have the aptitude and desire to explore data and tease out those nuggets of gold.” Another who uses the tool for dashboard development said, “These tools require highly skilled people to build solutions.” Target. Some respondents also said to pick target applications for visual discovery carefully. One said, “Start small with a high value data set that is not currently being leveraged.” Another said, “Be specific about what the tool delivers and deploy it only for that.” Some said the tools are great for prototyping dashboards prior to enterprise development. Another said that unless you have a “defined deployment model” you are likely to be swamped with individual requests later on. Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends 21
  • BENCHMARK REPORT Summary VISUAL DISCOVERY TOOLS ARE POPULAR TODAY. Once they enter an organization, they spread quickly. Business users love the tools because they are highly visual, interactive, analytical and affordable. Moreover, they can b used to create departmental dashboards, so they serve both power and casual users. Organizations get a lot of bang out of every dollar they spend on visual discovery tools. To gain the full benefit of visual discovery tools, organizations must ensure that tool users don’t independently source data that already exists in the corporate data warehouse. But visual discovery tools are not a panacea for every BI ill, despite what vendors claim. They are the newest low-cost, analytical tool that power users can use to create data silos and spreadmarts. To gain the full benefit of visual discovery tools, organizations must ensure that tool users don’t independently source data that already exists in the corporate data warehouse. IT needs to get involved to ensure the consistency and quality of data. Finally, despite their self-service moniker, visual discovery tools are not easy to use as authoring tools. Some, in fact, require a great deal of data and programmatic skills. Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends 22
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR CLAUDIA IMHOFF Ph.D., is the president of Intelligent Solutions, aconsultancy on business intelligence technologies and strategies. She is a speaker and internationally recognized expert and serves as an advier to many corporations, universities and leading technolog companies. She has co-authored five books and more than 100 articles on these topics. She is also the founder of the Boulder BI Brain Trust, a consortium of leading indeendent BI analysts, consultants and practitioner Email her at CImhoff@IntelSols.com. ABOUT TECHTARGET: TechTarget publishes media for information technology professionals. More than 100 focused websites enable quick access to a deep store of news, advice and analysis about the technologies, products and processes crucial to your job. Our live and virtual events give you direct access to independent expert commentary and advice. At IT Knowledge Exchange, our social community, you can get advice and share solutions with peers and experts. Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trend is a BI Leadership e-publication Wayne Eckerson Director, BI Leadership Doug Olender Publisher Jean Schauer Editor in Chief TechTarget 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA 02466 www.techtarget.com © 2013 TechTarget Inc. No part of this publication may be transmitted or reproduced in any for or by any means without written permission from the publisher. TechTarget reprints are available through The YGS Group. Visual Discovery: Perceptions and Market Trends 23