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Data visualization can lead to greater business insights

Various pundits say that one of the top goals of CEOs this year is to make sense of the terabytes of data swirling in and around their companies and then use that data to make better decisions. Key to that is data visualization technology, which tells a more powerful story than raw data alone.

In a recent blog post, consultant John Sviokla said that in his work with clients, he has seen the following benefits of superior graphic representation:

Great visualizations are efficient — they let people look at vast quantities of data quickly.

Visualizations can help an analyst or a group achieve more insight into the nature of a problem and discover new understanding.

A great visualization can help create a shared view of a situation and align people on needed actions.

Bigger, high-resolution displays, cheaper mapping tools and a ready supply of internal and external data will make this easier to accomplish, wrote Sviokla, who is vice chairman of Diamond Management & Technology Consultants Inc.

“If management teams do not consciously build in great visualizations,” he warned, “their organizations will waste an inordinate amount of time sifting through the river of bits, and not get the effective insights they need. Perhaps most perniciously, people will each be looking at their own part of the puzzle, never getting to the shared understanding that allows teams to take the right action in a tight time frame.”

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