3 Styles of Business Intelligence Reports That Tell a Story

business intelligenceWhen you have an important story to tell in order to gain support for your recommendations and decisions, the reports you share may make all the difference. Few people are able to look at big data reports and understand the implications with just a glance. That’s why business intelligence tools with visual graphics are so important.

The right business intelligence tools offer graphs, charts, and maps to create your story and business plans. With just a click, you have information at a glance.

Data visualization, or making pictorial representations of complex data, is essential for good business intelligence use. Data reports can feel overwhelming to many users. Some people are naturally inclined to understand pictures, graphs, and charts rather than numbers. Data visualization within a BI system makes it easy to view data from different perspectives.

Business Intelligence Reports that Tell a Story

The data that lives within your business intelligence system tells an important story. Within those streams of facts lie important clues that can help you chart a course to improved profits, decreased costs, and greater competitive advantage.

But perceiving the story within the data may be beyond the skills of many people. It can be like a foreign language to some. That’s where data visualization comes in handy: it translates data into big-picture stories that can be used to form strategic plans and more for your company.

Types of Data Visualization

Duke University defines seven types of data visualization. Not every business wants or needs all seven categories of data visualization, but many are useful for common industries using business intelligence systems.

  • 2D Planar/Geospatial refers to maps. Maps are useful to see where your customers are located and whether there are any patterns or clusters of customers in specific parts of the country or the world. This type of data visualization can be used in decisions such as whether or not to open a branch office or warehouse in a particular area, or whether to add additional sales staff.
  • Gantt Chart: Gantt Charts are used by project managers and business leaders to identify resources needed and to plan project timelines and personnel.
  • Timelines: Timelines can be used to track the progress of shipments, manufacturing needs, and more.

Other forms of data visualization include line graphs, scatterplot graphs, and various charts that transform raw numbers into pictorial representations. Depending on your needs, each of these data visualization tools may be an important part of your business planning.

Business Intelligence Software Saves Time

Most of us have made graphs and charts using common office software. If you have completed such a task, you know that they take time and are prone to user-based errors. In other words, it’s hard to get them right, and it’s even harder to program them to update automatically.

Not so when you add data visualization dashboards to business intelligence systems. These dashboards can update maps, Gantt charts, timelines, scatterplot graphs, and other forms of data visualizations every time you run them. Best of all, once programmed, they aren’t open to user errors. With one click, you’ve got a picture of your business.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. With the help of data visualization tools as part of your business intelligence system, you’ve got the start of a compelling story that can shape your business’ future.

BizNet and Business Intelligence

Mindover Software offers BizNet as a business intelligence solution for either Acumatica or Sage 300.  BizNet allows you to show your ERP data using any report from Excel’s arsenal. Employees already used to Excel’s functions will find it easy to start using BizNet to gain insights into the BI information.

At Mindover Software, we help you find the best business intelligence solution for telling your story. Learn more on our website or contact us today.

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