How to Make Analytics Easy

We’ve noticed some things in operational intelligence and data analytics. Well, two main things really. It’s cloud-based and getting pretty popular. According to recent studies by Ventana Research “analytics deployed in cloud-based systems is gaining widespread adoption. Almost half (48%) of participating organizations are using cloud-based analytics.” The research then goes on to state that another 50% will either purchase a solution within the next year or sometime in the future. The other 2% will just stick to the old ways, we suppose (you can read the whole breakdown here.)

But the research showed something else that we find incredibly disturbing even as cloud-based analytics platforms. Of those that have implemented a system already, “only one in seven organizations reach the highest Innovative level of the four levels of performance in their use of cloud-based analytics.” Now that’s worrying.

Why? Because 42% of respondents said they do “not have enough skills to use cloud-based analytics.” That keeps us up at night. How are we, as a human population, supposed to benefit from data when so many of us feel we can’t even use it?

Read more

The Power of Presentation

If you’ve seen our introductory video or read our philosophy page you’ll notice we often say VisualCue is “powered by sight.” We spend a lot of time talking about the speed and power of the eyes and brain to decode and comprehend images.

It’s because our entire approach to data visualization and operational intelligence is centered on the presentation of information. It’s our firm belief that data is useless unless it can be easily consumed, understood and acted upon. There are dozens of data transformation tools out there to clean up your data (and we connect to the vast majority of them, just see our new data connections section) no tools have made any great innovations in presentation. It was a huge missed opportunity, because recent discoveries prove there is amazing power in your eyes.

Read more

The Great Wave off Kanagawa - Katsushika Hokusai

The Problem with Data Visualization: Old Ships.

So-called modern data visualization software isn’t anything of the kind. They use outdated methods and are inadequate to the task of providing immediate, valuable insight into the new world of data.

Vannevar Bush
Vannevar Bush

He’s one of those people who seems to have faded, unjustly, into historical obscurity. But Vannevar Bush was perhaps one of the most important figures of the 20th century. He began the long collaboration between government, industry and academia that has led to some of the greatest inventions and breakthroughs of the modern age. Digital circuits and the atomic bomb are just two results from his work.

In 1945, he published an article in The Atlantic Monthly called “As We May Think.” Some say it was this article that inspired a young Ted Nelson (or Doug Engelbart, depending on who you read) with the idea for the hyperlink, an innovation that irrevocably changed the world.Read more

The Hidden Prediction for 2015

Those crystal balls have to be getting tired.

It’s a New Year’s tradition that has become as commonplace as the midnight smooch: extravagant tech predictions for next year. It’s a time when analysts compete with meteorologists for the title of “most-mocked” when their predictions turn out to be incorrect and Nostradamus for “certified soothsayer” if they were right.

Just take a look at the forecast for 2014. The Washington Post famously wrote that we would all be wearing Google Glass and playing on VR headsets by now. While they are both fun to read and courageous, bold predictions that largely fail set you up for ridicule.Read more

Do you fear your data? Here’s a thought…

I’m going to say something, and it might make some people out there a little miffed, but here goes- spreadsheets can be the worst. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not talking about the data that gets shoveled into that sheet, which is the good stuff, the life-blood of any enterprise. It’s just how that data has been presented that gives me an ulcer: columns with numbers that have combined other numbers to produce numbers that mean something. To me, data in a spreadsheet can almost be as meaningless as just saying numbers over and over again. An excel wizard I am not.Read more