Visualisation or Navigation

Nov 11, 2013
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The Next step in Visualisation - Navigating the whole data story.QV_3-D-icon_small_RGB

Posted by Christopher Mabardy in Business Discovery Blog 13/9/13

I recently came across an interesting blog post by Curt Monash entitled "Visualisation or Navigation." In this post Curt proposed that 'navigation' is more important than visualisation, and that this capability is a product of platform technology that underlies a BI product. A quote from the article...

"It might seem that a lot of the action in business intelligence revolves around ever-better visualisation...But I don't think that's exactly right - rather, I see navigation as being a much bigger deal. And unlike most pure visualisation, navigation usually depends strongly on underlying platforms capabilities."

We at QlikTech couldn't agree more. That's not to say data visualization isn't important. In fact, we have invested heavily in our visualization capabilities in QlikView. It's just that visualisation is only one piece of a broader set of capabilities that enable discovery and insight.

What Curt calls navigation we tend to think of as interactivity. This means giving the user a natural and effective way to go beyond the information that is offered in the initial set of charts and graphs. No matter how good a visualisation is, it can't possibly tell the entire story,  furthermore, a good visualisation will prompt more questions than it will answer. That's why we see visualisation as a starting point, not the whole picture.

 

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Watch a YouTube on how to create your own dash board by clicking on the image above...

Another recent trend has been around the concept of data storytelling. Several vendors including ourselves at QlikTech, are moving in this direction. We see data storytelling as a way to collaborate and persuade with visuals and narrative presented in a manner that articulates insights and opinions

Interactivity is a key ingredient. It's not enough to publish data stories that are still a form of one-way communication. There is a need for interactivity and discovery even when telling stories. The experience should be a dialogue, not a monologue. Data stories should allow for a user to seamlessly move between lives, interactive analysis and presentation of per- determinded insights.

In the end, it all goes back to the strength of the platform. Interactivity is only possible when the underlying technology supports it in a powerful and unique way. QlikView's Natural Analytics@technology drives interactive experience that is hard to match.

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