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Analytic Democracy -- Spreading the Wealth of Insights: Briefing Room by Eric Kavanagh, Cindi Howson, and Brett Sheppard
 

Analytic Democracy -- Spreading the Wealth of Insights: Briefing Room by Eric Kavanagh, Cindi Howson, and Brett Sheppard

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Brett Sheppard briefed author Cindi Howson in The Briefing Room to discuss Tableau’s data discovery tools. ...

Brett Sheppard briefed author Cindi Howson in The Briefing Room to discuss Tableau’s data discovery tools.

Visual data discovery seems to be all the rage this year with new products and high-growth companies. What’s driving this interest – the pretty pictures or the self-service? And will this new category of tools finally take business intelligence (BI) mainstream or are we simply trading spreadsheet chaos for another kind of chaos?

There is still a fair amount of confusion about what is visual data discovery and what it is not, so I’ll start with a definition:

Visual data discovery tools speed the time to insight through the use of visualizations, best practices in visual perception, and easy exploration. Such tools support business agility and self-service BI through a variety of innovations that may include in-memory processing and mashing of multiple data sources.

Some befuddled BI teams though are shrugging their shoulders and asking, “Isn’t that what ad hoc business queries were supposed to do?” Well, yes, to a degree. Two of the biggest differences in business query tools and visual data discovery tools are the use of graphs and the degree of user autonomy. In a business query tool, a user can certainly add a bar chart to a dense page of numbers. But the chart is an after-thought. In fact, according to a TDWI survey last year, users spend two-thirds of their time analyzing data in tabular versus chart form. This may be appropriate when you need a precise number (How many widgets do we have on hand?), but not when you are trying to identify patterns, trends, and anomalies. With visual data discovery tools, the query and visualization process are one in the same. Drag a time period onto the page and up pops a trend line. Add a product category, and perhaps that trend line is now automatically converted to a trellis or small multiple chart. Research has shown that when data is represented graphically, we use less cognitive resources to make a decision and retain information better. So these graphs are more than just pretty or engaging; it’s about speeding the time to insight.

The other big distinction with visual data discovery tools from business query tools is the degree of user autonomy. Business query tools generally require a metadata layer that IT will often design and build. This metadata layer provides a layer of abstraction from the physical database schema with potentially hundreds of tables. With a visual data discovery tool, business users are often working with a subset of data, either a flat file or spreadsheet, so IT is not a bottleneck. If a real-time query is involved, the visual data discovery tool may automatically model a metadata layer, giving its best guess at what’s a metric and what’s a dimension, again with little to no IT support. Somebody would have to write the SQL for the initial query and define the joins, but once extracted, the data is often loaded into an in-memory engine.

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    Analytic Democracy -- Spreading the Wealth of Insights: Briefing Room by Eric Kavanagh, Cindi Howson, and Brett Sheppard Analytic Democracy -- Spreading the Wealth of Insights: Briefing Room by Eric Kavanagh, Cindi Howson, and Brett Sheppard Presentation Transcript

    • Tuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Twitter Tag: #briefrEric KavanaghEric.kavanagh@bloorgroup.comYour HostTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Twitter Tag: #briefrReveal the essential characteristics of enterprisesoftware, good and badProvide a forum for detailed analysis of today’sinnovative technologiesGive vendors a chance to explain their product tosavvy analystsAllow audience members to pose serious questions...and get answers!MissionTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Twitter Tag: #briefrAugust: AnalyticsSeptember: IntegrationOctober: DatabaseNovember: CloudDecember: InnovatorsAugust: AnalyticsTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Twitter Tag: #briefrAnalytics has always been about discoveringinsights that lead to better business decisions.Organizations can be challenged by the complexityof information management as they try to leverageanalytics against disparate sources.A growing number of vendors are offering robustvisualization tools to help customers quickly andeasily perform analytics against data from anysource, from any device.AnalyticsTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Twitter Tag: #briefrAnalyst: Cindi Howson Cindi Howson is the founder of BI Scorecard, a resourcefor in-depth BI tool evaluations based on exclusivehands-on testing. She is the author of several BI booksincluding Successful Business Intelligence: Secrets toMaking BI a Killer App,  a TDWI faculty member, and afrequent contributor to Information Week. As aconsultant, she advises clients on BI strategies and toolselections.Prior to founding BI Scorecard, Howson was a managerat Deloitte & Touche and a BI standards leader for aFortune 500 company.She has an MBA from Rice University. Tuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Twitter Tag: #briefrTableau builds software for data visualization andrapid-fire business intelligence. Their mission is tohelp people see and understand data.Tableau offers a wide variety of data representationpossibilites.Its BI platform fits both power users and casual BIusers.Tableau was recently ranked by Forrester as the #1Advanced Data Visualization vendor.TableauTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Twitter Tag: #briefrBrett Sheppard is the Senior ProductMarketing Manager at Tableau Softwarewhere he helps people and organizations see,understand and communicate data. Previousroles include Gartner senior analyst,financial editor at Investor Relations Corp.,and product or solution marketing roles atGreenplum (acquired by EMC), HP businessintelligence solutions, Nortel Networks andSymantec.An early starter, Brett worked in productmarketing at data storage startup MaynardElectronics (acquired by Symantec/ArchiveCorp.) and in college as a data analyst at theU.S. Department of Defense as an employeeof CASDE Corp./DDL OMNI Engineering.Brett SheppardTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Bloor Group Briefing RoomAugust 7, 2012Tuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Where we started…Tuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Help peopletheir datasee and understandTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Tableau DesktopFor Anyone• Explore and visualize data• Self-service analytics for everyone• Blazing speed against massive dataTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Tableau ServerFor Organizations• An easy business intelligence system• Web dashboards and applications• Secure information management• Enterprise scalabilityTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Any Data…DATABASES ANDCUBESDATA WAREHOUSE“BIG DATA”FILES &SPREADSHEETSTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • OR…As you ChooseTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Author Once Experience for MobileTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • VizQLServerDataServerApplicationServerFast DataEngineSQLConnectorMDXConnectorData MartsDataWarehouse Files CubesGateway / Load BalancerRepositoryCustomer dataData connectorsMain componentsGatewayClientsDesktop Browser MobileTableau ArchitectureTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • What Customers Say18Tuesday, August 7, 2012
    • DemoTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Twitter Tag: #briefrAnalyst: Cindi HowsonPerceptions & QuestionsTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • 21Analytic Democracy:Spreading the Wealth of InsightCindi HowsonFounder, BI ScorecardContact: cindihowson@biscorecard.comTwitter: BIScorecardTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Visual Data Discovery Defined22Visual Data Discovery tools speed the time toinsight through the use of visualizations, bestpractices in visual perception, and easyexploration. Such tools support businessagility and self-service BI through a varietyof innovations that may include in-memoryprocessing and mashing of multiple datasources.Tuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Business Users Are Excited About BI23Visual Data Discovery DriversTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Business Users Are Excited About BI23Visual Data Discovery DriversVisualAppealTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Business Users Are Excited About BI23Visual Data Discovery DriversVisualAppealEase ofUseTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Business Users Are Excited About BI23Visual Data Discovery DriversVisualAppealEase ofUseFreedomfrom ITTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Business Users Are Excited About BI23Visual Data Discovery DriversVisualAppealEase ofUseFreedomfrom ITSocialdataTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Visual Data Discovery – Hidden InsightsTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Visual Data Discovery – Hidden Insights• What are sales bycustomer?• What are sales bycustomer this year versuslast year?Tuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Visual Data Discovery – Hidden Insights• What are sales bycustomer?• What are sales bycustomer this year versuslast year?Tuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Visual Data Discovery – Hidden Insights• What are sales bycustomer?• What are sales bycustomer this year versuslast year?• What are characteristicsof customers with highersales?• What are characteristicsof customers who havechurned?Tuesday, August 7, 2012
    • 25Visualization vs. Visual Data DiscoveryVisualization• Common charts types– Bar, line, pie• Sometimes additional charttypes such as maps, gauge• Query, get tabular result,then visualize• Data often from DW orOLAP cube• Interactivity not guaranteedVisual Data Discovery• Less common chart types– Small multiples, waterfall, network, heator tree map, spark line, tag cloud• Best practices in visualization– No pies, smart use of color• Single-step query and visualize• Highly interactive• Data mashed from DW, marts,spreadsheets• May be “personal” analytic tool• Rapid prototyping anddeploymentTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Self-Service BI ContinuumTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Self-Service BI ContinuumFree-formSQL &Ad-hocquery,broadExplorer &navigateTweak areportTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Self-Service BI ContinuumFree-formSQL &Ad-hocquery,broadExplorer &navigateTweak areportReportingapplication orvisual datadiscoveryTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Self-Service BI ContinuumFree-formSQL &Ad-hocquery,broadExplorer &navigateTweak areportReportingapplication orvisual datadiscoveryCasualUserTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Self-Service BI ContinuumFree-formSQL &Ad-hocquery,broadExplorer &navigateTweak areportReportingapplication orvisual datadiscoveryCasualUserExpertTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Self-Service BI Trade-Off ContinuumIT Involvement User AutonomyAnalyticComplexity•Size of bubble=userflexibility•Darker color =skillsrequired to authorTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Self-Service BI Trade-Off ContinuumIT Involvement User AutonomyAnalyticComplexityFixedReports•Size of bubble=userflexibility•Darker color =skillsrequired to authorTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Self-Service BI Trade-Off ContinuumIT Involvement User AutonomyAnalyticComplexityFixedReportsSpreadsheets•Size of bubble=userflexibility•Darker color =skillsrequired to authorTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Self-Service BI Trade-Off ContinuumIT Involvement User AutonomyAnalyticComplexityFixedReportsSpreadsheetsBusinessQuery•Size of bubble=userflexibility•Darker color =skillsrequired to authorTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Self-Service BI Trade-Off ContinuumIT Involvement User AutonomyAnalyticComplexityFixedReportsSpreadsheetsBusinessQueryVisualDiscovery•Size of bubble=userflexibility•Darker color =skillsrequired to authorTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Twitter Tag: #briefrTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Twitter Tag: #briefrAugust: AnalyticsSeptember: IntegrationOctober: DatabaseNovember: CloudDecember: InnovatorsUpcoming TopicsTuesday, August 7, 2012
    • Twitter Tag: #briefrTuesday, August 7, 2012