I’ll Take Some Science with My Art

April 8, 2014

We’ve kicked off some amazing new content around Pentaho’s data visualization and dashboard capabilities that you won’t want to miss.

For those of you who don’t know, we have a team of in-house data design experts who specialize in creating 100% tailored analytics experiences for organizations with unique visualization and user interface needs. The team creates Pentaho platform solutions to business problems presented in a visual, elegant and intuitive fashion. And now, we’ve taken the opportunity to share that process with you in The Fine Art of Business Intelligence.

FineArt_Before

from ‘back of the napkin’…

FineArt_After

…to stellar visualization

What’s so special about this content is that it starts with sketches and business objectives (the kind our team receives all the time) – and provides visual design proposals and recommendations to satisfy those needs. We see too often in the BI marketplace an emphasis on ‘pretty pictures’ without consideration for guiding goals and strategy.  As you might expect, we at Pentaho believe that beautiful visuals can (and must) solve business challenges before all else – hence the ‘Fine’ in ‘Fine Art’.

There’s also a little something for everyone on the Fine Art of BI pages – with examples addressing real needs in social media marketing, finance and investing, telecom, and healthcare.

Additionally, in conjunction with this project, we’ve  collected visualization and dashboard best practices from our in-house design experts and shared them in this quick project guide. It’s definitely worth a read if you are struggling with how to begin your project, which visualizations you should consider, or what dashboard layout makes sense. The guide (and the Fine Art of BI samples) highlight a few key themes that are broadly applicable:

  • You need to have a plan before anything else: This includes considering the high-level organizational goals, analytics user needs, relevant and measurable KPIs, as well as data readiness. If your visualizations and dashboards are to be effectively utilized, they must align with the right user and business objectives.
  • Less tends to be more: Don’t put too many charts in your dashboard, don’t insert complex overlays on your location visualizations, and don’t discount a simple yet elegant bar chart (it may be the best way to convey information).
  • Engagement drives adoption: Whether in the form of interactive hover and drill-down features, eye-catching theming and branding, or embedding analytics into existing applications – the more effectively you can engage your users, the more likely they will be to continue to use your analytics.

In case you missed it before, here’s another link to the Fine Art of BI. We’d also recommend this Visualization Paper from TDWI for further reading.

Finally, here is a link to more information regarding our Custom Visualization and UI Design services offerings.

Ben Hopkins
Product Marketing Manager
Pentaho

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