Multiple Language Infographics

Information visualization analysts in countries with multiple language preferences by the user community have to work harder than the rest of us. Here’s a look at an infographic that comes in an English language version as well as the original Hebrew version.

This one in particular makes for a good example. You don’t just have the challenge of translation, but all the left to right, right to left parsing issue. It’s almost twice the work!

You can read more about this infographic at this link:

Infographic about competitive intelligence

Hebrew Language Infographic

A Roundup of Business Analytics Commercials

Business intelligence and business analytics platform marketing is getting slicker and slicker. We are seeing a rash of high production value commercials for various BI software and analytics platforms from the major vendors. We also see service offerings being advertised this way. Here’s a look at a couple of these spots.

This first one is from CapGemini and it titled “Business Analytics and Big Data: The Battleground for Competitive Advantage”.

And here is one from IBM called Designed for Data. It’s part of their i for Business series.

This one is in a super wide screen format and is also from IBM. It’s called Business Analytics: Turning Data into Insight. It starts off with a very interesting fact: All the data in the world that existed up to 2003, we generated now in two days.

And this pitch for support, training, and consulting services for IBM Business Analytics from Inca.

Music Video for Java Programmers

I missed this when it came out at last year’s JavaOne 2011. Oracle had this “Java Life” rap video created for marketing purposes. It’s a lot of fun.

The first video below is the music video. The one below that is “The Making of Java Rap”.

And here’s a bonus video:

Plus, of course, you know what this is:

Essentials of the Cloud in 2012

Learn what you really need to know about cloud computing with this free whitepaper bundle. Click “The Essentials of the Cloud in 2012 – Free Kit” to get the following popular white papers in a single download bundle:

  1. A Revolution in Cloud Networking: Citrix TriScale Technology
  2. Five Myths of Cloud Computing
  3. The Best Way to Build a Cloud — HP CloudSystem Matrix and HP 3PAR Utility Storage Provide Solid, Flexible Foundation
  4. Botnets: The Dark Side of Cloud Computing

These are excellent whitepapers on cloud computing.

Excellent Whitepaper on Databases

The Database Revolution Whitepaper

Dashboard Spy readers are encouraged to read this excellent whitepaper: The Database Revolution, A Perspective on the Database: Where We Came From and Where We’re Going. (This is a direct link to the pdf.)

It’s a great review of the “database revolution” and neatly summarizes the new generation of databases.

Here’s an excerpt:

Introducing the Database Revolution

This paper covers three database topics in significant depth:

  1. How to understand the new generation of databases that have recently emerged in the marketplace. We cover both those sometimes described as NoSQL databases and also column-store databases that are like the traditional relational databases to which we have become accustomed. Our intention is to explain the overall market shift and expansion, and in consequence what the database market looks like today.
  2. Guidance on how to view database workloads and technologies, and how they line up. We attempt to provide rules of thumb that may help the reader determine what class of technology is likely to fit with which workloads.
  3. Guidelines on how to select database technology. This is provided primarily because we expect that many of the readers of this paper will be involved in selecting database products and hence may find such guidelines useful.

A Summary of Findings

This paper is the result of a research program driven by Mark Madsen and Robin Bloor, involving interviews with vendors, interviews with customers, four webcasts, two of which took the format of round tables with other respected database technology analysts, and a
survey of database users.

We reached several key conclusions, listed here in summary:

  • The database market has changed, primarily because of advances in hardware technology which have made it possible to scale to much higher data volumes and workloads than was previously possible.
  • As a consequence, a new generation of databases has emerged, most of which are more scalable than before. There is a business need to take advantage of this improved capability; proved, if by nothing else, by the popularity and adoption of many of the
  • new generation of products.
  • These new products include some databases that implement the relational model of data (we’re terming these products “NewSQL” databases) and some that choose not to do so (NoSQL databases). Having said that, we do not believe the term NoSQL is informative since it covers too wide a range of capability to be useful.
  • We currently see the new generation of databases as being specialized to specific workloads rather than being general purpose or universal products as the relational databases were in their day.
  • We do not believe at this point in time that the older universal database products (grouped under the term “OldSQL”) have become outmoded. They are good at what they do, but they lack scalability for some specialized or very large workloads.

Demo of MicroStrategy Cloud Personal

In an earlier post, I showed an example of a sales dashboard built using MicroStrategy’s Cloud Personal. It’s a dashboarding platform that leverages the power of the cloud. This video show a demonstration of Microstrategy Cloud Personal.

First, you browse through your folders for an excel spreadsheet that you want to upload. The platform processes your spreadsheet and tries to automatically determine which columns are metrics and which columns are data attributes. You may have to manually change the column type.

Next, you get to the fun part and choose the dashboard graphs. You select from a library of various chart types. You then drag and drop to configure the visualization.

The most important part is to feel free to “fool around” with the drag and drops and property changes. You may hit upon some visualizations that you may not have thought of in advance.

Be sure to pay attention to the “publication” features. They look very powerful.

Free Chart Icons for Your Business Intelligence Dashboard

Chart and Graph Icons

Click here for some very attractive (and free) icons for use in your business intelligence applications.

There’s nothing like cheesy icons and graphics to spoil the professional look of your dashboard. Give the icons some thought and use well.

Here’s a tip: Try to use icons from the same icon set to ensure a unified look. If you have to go outside of the set of icons, be sure to select ones that are complimentary in some way. It could be color or perspective or other trait. Just make sure that all your icons look like they belong together.

Good luck with your dashboard design.

Example of a Hopelessly Complicated Dashboard

Dashboards are at their best when they are outrageously simple. Their “at-a-glance” nature takes advantage of universal human perception into order to bring instant understanding of data trends.

This example is outrageously complicated instead of simple. Sorry, but I would hate to have to attempt to understand this particular excel dashboard. See if you can make heads or tails out of it.

Sales Forecast Dashboard Example from MicroStrategy

microstrategy cloud dashboard

This sales forecast analysis tool is an executive dashboard powered by MicroStrategy’s Cloud Personal platform. You can view it at this link: MicroStrategy Sales Dashboard.

The various visualizations available on this sales dashboard is accessed via panels and tabs. A panel is the window that contains the visualization. Users can insert any number of panels to view their data in different graphical representations (each panel is represented by a dot located on the top right of the screen). A tab is a collection of panels, and filtering criteria may be specified at the tab level. The two tabs in the Sales Forecast Analysis Dashboard assess revenue trends along two different filter conditions.

With the first panel, Sales Managers can evaluate the revenue by the various industries and at the same time obtain a multi-dimensional performance snapshot for sales revenue at each stage of the sales cycle. The second panel shows a bubble chart that uses size and color to portray total revenue and number of accounts by geography. Each of the ensuing panels showcases a different visualization, from the conventional pie charts to heat maps.

Here’s a look at what you get when you click on the second tab:

Microstrategy cloud personal

More on the MicroStrategy Cloud Personal platform in an upcoming post.