“But where the BI industry lags in general is answering those complex questions, such as what is different about those customers with higher sales? So the less precise or the more exploratory questions, such as what are some of the characteristics of those customers? Or even what are characteristics of customers that are likely to churn? So if your users are asking more of these exploratory type questions, that are a big signal that advanced visualization, should be on your radar.
Visualization as a term gets thrown around a lot, so what do we mean by advanced visualization versus general visualization? General visualization is any kind of common chart type. All of the common BI tools support things like bar, line and pie charts, but they might make it more engaging. Things like adding gradients or different color hues make prettier charts. Some people will say that is an advanced visualization. But I would differentiate it by the degree of interactivity, the process to get there, and whether less common chart types are supported.
Some of the less common chart types that you will only see only in a niche product, an advanced visualization tool, or you might only see it in the dashboard interface are examples such as small multiples where you are comparing the same time period, the x-axis and y-axis, but across different categories. Waterfall charts or network charts where you are trying to look at relationships, heat maps, or spark lines, or bullet graphs, are all types of advanced visualization chart types.
So the idea behind these less common chart types is that you’re getting more insight per pixel. So you are communicating more information. So think about that data overload. You’re trying to get to more information but distill it in a singled display or dashboard.
Advanced visualization tools tend to be much more interactive. Whereas a general purpose visualization within a report, there may not be any interactivity. It’s not guaranteed. Sometimes these advanced visualization capabilities are a separate tool, or a few of the vendors, like InetSoft, incorporate it as part of the core BI platform.” - Mark Flaherty, Chief Marketing Officer