Use Data Visualisation Tools to Facilitate Decision Analysis

23 May 2019

Data visualisation means so much more to the enterprise than pretty images. It allows you to make informed, strategic business decisions. However, that can only happen when you have the right tools.

Microsoft’s Power BI, a business analytics service, delivers insights so that you can make better choices for your firm. Here's how to use it to drive your company forward.

The Impact of Data Visualisation

The right hemisphere of the human brain is dedicated to processing visual information, meaning that our brains are hardwired to prefer pictures.

Research has shown that articles with visual content have 94 percent higher readership than those without. Another study showed that people who used visual  communication to persuade an audience succeeded 43 percent more often than those who relied upon text. 

“Research has shown that articles with visual content have 94 percent higher readership than those without.”

Data visualisations are incredibly powerful in their own right. With the proper data visualisation tools, you can harness their power for the good of the enterprise.

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Making Your Message Easier to Interpret

Let's face it; lots and lots of text without any pictures is just boring. Think back to a time when you had to read a report that had no visuals in it. By the same token, spreadsheets can sometimes be equally impenetrable.

Data visualisations make your reports easier to interpret. Instead of staring at a spreadsheet full of numbers, you’re looking at a picture that makes things clearer. When you understand what’s going on, it’s easier to make decisions. 

“When you understand what’s going on, decision making is easier.”

Power BI offers best-of-breed data visualisation tools. It features Power Query, a tool that allows you to combine, transform, and organise large amounts of data quickly. Before Power Query, you’d have to spend a great deal of money on analysts, who could take days or longer to provide you with the information you needed. Power Query saves you time and money by completing this process quickly.

In addition, Power BI incorporates AI. AI provides you with automatic visualisations on your data set. This capability enables you to gain insights quickly for faster decision making. 

A lone laptop on a desk displaying a data visual

Giving You the Right Data, Every Time

While data visualisations are an attractive way to get people’s attention, what if the information contained therein is wrong? You could make a costly mistake that could deeply hurt your company.

In 2012, researcher Thomas Schleicher reported that mid-level managers have a nasty habit of picking out favourable data points to share with their superiors, or they resorted to vague language when delivering bad news. The impact of the decision to hide bad news is obvious and negative; Schleicher noted that misreporting data resulted in poor choices by their superiors. Moreover, organisations that report inaccurate data had poorer financial results than those that released accurate numbers.

What if you didn’t have to worry about using the wrong information? Power BI’s data visualisation tools ensure that visualisations contain the most up-to-date, accurate information available to help you with strategic decisions.

Power BI’s data visualisation tools allow you to connect directly to data sources, wherever they are, even if they’re real-time or streaming. It offers over 90 connectors for information in the cloud or on premises.

“Power BI’s data visualisation tools ensure that visualisations contain the most up-to-date, accurate information for the best decisions.”

One of the issues with using information in visualisations is that you might have to prepare the same information more than once if you want more than one model. Power BI’s data visualisation tools make that problem a thing of the past; you only need to prepare data once, then you can use it for multiple models. The solution features a point-and-click interface that enables you to create models automatically, saving you valuable time and effort.

Exceptionally well manicured hands working on a laptop showing a data visual

Gain Insights Quickly

Kevin Troyanos once wrote in Harvard Business Review that “an organisation should take little interest in evaluating — and even less in justifying — past decisions. The totality of its interest should rest with how its data can inform its understanding of what is likely to happen in the future.” That’s all well and good, but what if it’s difficult to spread that data quickly and efficiently? The people who need it most won’t be able to understand what’s likely to happen in the future.

Effective knowledge sharing is a problem at many organisations across the globe. In fact, research shows that only 20 percent of companies consider their knowledge sharing efforts effectual. While there are many barriers to effective knowledge sharing, the result is always the same – the wrong decision gets made, and the company can suffer for it.

“While there are many barriers to knowledge sharing, the result is the same – wrong decisions are made.”

Power BI’s data visualisation tools make knowledge sharing easy as well as fast. With Power BI, you can empower data-driven decisions across your entire organisation.

Because Power BI is part of Microsoft’s family, it’s easy to onboard employees. Power BI integrates with Office 365, SharePoint, Excel, Teams, and other tools with which your employees are already familiar. Their familiarity will also reduce the learning curve and time-to-value.

“Power BI’s data visualisation tools make knowledge sharing easy and fast.”

Power BI enables you to collaborate on reports and share insights with users across the breadth of your organisation. Additionally, you can distribute insights on any device with just a few clicks.

One of the reasons information sharing can sometimes falter is security fears. Microsoft understands those concerns, which is why it’s built data governance controls into Power BI. You can select user access and set security levels from a centralised console, keeping your data safe in a hassle-free manner.

Why Should You Choose Enlighten to Help with Your Data Visualisation Tools?

Enlighten has over twenty years of helping our clients with simple, seamless, personalised digital experiences. We also have a proud history of working closely with Microsoft; in 2017, Microsoft named Enlighten a finalist in Data Platform and Analytics. To learn more about our use of data visualisation tools, contact us.

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