Intelligent business demands a bold future for big data

Never before have we had such access to such a range of statistical information, and never before has it been so crucial for us to find intelligent and intuitive ways in which to visualise and understand that data.

Beginning with the swathes of information generated by e-commerce solutions and moving swiftly on to the mostly unknown quantity of the Internet of Things, business is moving inexorably toward a digitised existence with transactions and customer behaviour quantified at both the macro and micro level.The challenge then is to ensure that the rise of big data is followed by a rise in intelligent and democratic business practice that is accessible to all – regardless of technological know-how.

>See also: The era of big data won’t materialise without fast data

Smart solutions

Business intelligence demands the immediacy of the humble infographic in opposition to hours spent pouring over unsophisticated Excel charts or navigating overly complex propriety data management systems. As pointed out by infographic expert David McCandless, at least when it is compressed into formats which can be digested instantly rather than over an eternity. It will be this democratisation of data that really sets the next generation of business leaders apart from the rest – with transparency, accessibility and accuracy at the very heart of a system that includes even the most non-technical workers

Thankfully, companies such as datapine are beginning to offer smart solutions to these seemingly complex challenges. By combining familiar drag and drop interfaces with flexible data management systems, data visualisation software has never been easier for companies to integrate into existing structures and set-ups. The aim being to empower entire hierarchies of any given business concern from the bottom up – providing analytical data that anyone can access and, more importantly, understand. This in turn will ensure that better business decisions can be made based upon more accurate, up-to-the-minute data.

Flexible management

Ad-hoc analysis and the increasing demand for instant data access is inspiring companies such as datapine to develop truly flexible management systems. In the past, traditional business intelligence offered by providers like SAP have been all too rigid and inflexible, requiring the intervention of IT experts or managers with IT experience for interpretation. However, the need for up-to-the-minute information is perhaps more crucial than ever – with increasingly complex distribution systems and global supply chains presenting an ever-growing challenge for both small and large-scale business. For this reason, datapine hopes to translate the power of raw data into a visual medium that can be accessed by all employees, at any time, for greater transparency and efficiency.

>See also: Is big data dead? The rise of smart data

Underpinning the idea of flexible management is the mobile device revolution, a technological advance that is proving the perfect platform for the distribution of data directly into our palms. Pioneers within the data visualisation field are already aware of the critical importance of responsive design as this new industry begins to gather speed and so, the democratisation of data must be fundamentally driven by its accessibility and functionality. For this reason, the move from the traditional type, scroll and click to the more tactile swipe, tap and flick is undoubtedly a step forward for the data visualisation field.

Finally, whether accessed through the convenience of mobile devices or via more traditional computing platforms, data visualisation and the democratisation of data within the work place is crucial as the rise of big data continues. As companies begin to embrace these intuitive new tools, they can expect increases in efficiency and productivity as intelligent visualisation empowers employees to make better business decisions – the perfect marriage between raw data and easy accessibility.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...