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Christopher JonesChristopher Jones 

Data Visualization core functions

What are the core functions I should consider when identifying a Data Visualization tool? 
Best Answer chosen by Miglena (Salesforce.com) 
Nissam PSNissam PS
Hi Christopher, 

Here is my 2 cents based on my experience.

First thing is you need to have a solid grasp on your data, you also need to understand your goals, needs and audience.

1. Understand the data you’re trying to visualize, including its size and cardinality (the uniqueness of data values in a column). 
2. Determine what you’re trying to visualize and what kind of information you want to communicate.
3. Know your audience and understand how it processes visual information.
4. Use a visual that conveys the information in the best and simplest form for your audience.

Check carefully into the kinds of visualization a tool supports. Compare that not just with the kinds of data your organization collects but with how your company likes to consume that data. Grab a free trial and experiment with new visualizations. Many companies have standardized on a certain way to look at their key data.

Next, find out exactly which data formats the query tools supports. There should be a long list and it should include not just basic data formats such as SQL and NoSQL databases, but also specific apps such as Salesforce/NetSuite/BigMachine/Oracle/SAP financials and similar business platforms (especially the ones your company is currently using). And if you're contemplating a move into Big Data processing, then support for Hadoop is critical.

Next, examine the degree to which a tool can drill down on all of that source data. What's required to drill down on data beyond first-tier querying? Can the tool drill down on a live data visualization

Next, check into exporting capabilities. After you've built your query and visualization in the BI tool, what are your options for exporting it to where other folks can consume it

Finally, if your business is collecting Big Data or is about to enter into such a venture then look at a product's advanced processing capabilities.

Again, when evaluating your tool using its free trial, make sure to test its performance capabilities by running as many complex queries through it as you can.

Hope this helps you!!
 

All Answers

Nissam PSNissam PS
Hi Christopher, 

Here is my 2 cents based on my experience.

First thing is you need to have a solid grasp on your data, you also need to understand your goals, needs and audience.

1. Understand the data you’re trying to visualize, including its size and cardinality (the uniqueness of data values in a column). 
2. Determine what you’re trying to visualize and what kind of information you want to communicate.
3. Know your audience and understand how it processes visual information.
4. Use a visual that conveys the information in the best and simplest form for your audience.

Check carefully into the kinds of visualization a tool supports. Compare that not just with the kinds of data your organization collects but with how your company likes to consume that data. Grab a free trial and experiment with new visualizations. Many companies have standardized on a certain way to look at their key data.

Next, find out exactly which data formats the query tools supports. There should be a long list and it should include not just basic data formats such as SQL and NoSQL databases, but also specific apps such as Salesforce/NetSuite/BigMachine/Oracle/SAP financials and similar business platforms (especially the ones your company is currently using). And if you're contemplating a move into Big Data processing, then support for Hadoop is critical.

Next, examine the degree to which a tool can drill down on all of that source data. What's required to drill down on data beyond first-tier querying? Can the tool drill down on a live data visualization

Next, check into exporting capabilities. After you've built your query and visualization in the BI tool, what are your options for exporting it to where other folks can consume it

Finally, if your business is collecting Big Data or is about to enter into such a venture then look at a product's advanced processing capabilities.

Again, when evaluating your tool using its free trial, make sure to test its performance capabilities by running as many complex queries through it as you can.

Hope this helps you!!
 
This was selected as the best answer
Christopher JonesChristopher Jones
Thank you. This is extremely helpful