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What Is Visual Business Intelligence?

Article Details
  • Written By: D. Nelson
  • Edited By: M. C. Hughes
  • Last Modified Date: 30 October 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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Business intelligence describes all of the information, technology, and processes that help managers and executives to make effective decisions. Professionals who use visual business intelligence may work with forms such as charts, graphs, and pictures that clearly illustrate data. Many experts believe that visual business intelligence is incredibly valuable for managers interested in gaining new perspectives of commonly seen data sets regarding factors such as consumer satisfaction and effectiveness of marketing. Retail businesses may use this kind of business intelligence most often, though it can be found in a number of different industries.

Proponents of visual intelligence believe that users are better able to retrieve essential data by incorporating this method. Instead of having to read and interpret the texts of traditional reports, managers can view graphs and charts that clearly and elegantly illustrate complex ideas. Many professionals who use visual business intelligence also believe that it can help them to create unique solutions to common problems.

A first step in producing valuable visual business intelligence may include a researcher gathering all data that he or she believes might be relevant to an organization's goals. Instead of simply presenting this information, however, a visual data researcher or analyst should organize data in an original way. He or she might highlight patterns among various data sets or combine sets of data in ways that can illustrate unique relationships between different aspects of a business.

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Once a researcher has gathered and presented visual business intelligence, he or she can meet with managers to discuss possible interpretations of data. Professionals at this stage can determine why certain systems are not working properly and why others exceed expectations. By doing so, managers and analysts can begin to discuss options for optimizing systems and processes.

As a general rule, visual business intelligence is only considered effective if it can be turned into practical knowledge. In other words, a manager hopes to apply the information he or she receives to real world processes he or she oversees. If a store manager uses visual intelligence to determine that sales drastically decrease when a certain item is out of stock, he or she can turn that information into knowledge by making restocking of an item a top priority.

Smaller organizations that are interested in using visual business intelligence often hire consultants and analysts who specialize in presenting data in a visual format. Businesses with greater budgets can hire in-house financial and process analysts who make visual intelligence a common resource. Software that generates visual models of data is available to professionals from a number of different organizations and industries.

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