The Hidden Power of Simple Visualizations

Anyone who spends their days staring at spreadsheets understands the appeal of visualizations. Information presented in its most basic form, solely as facts and figures, is often dull to the point that it blurs together. An endless sea of identical information causes even the most committed users to disengage and possibly overlook something important as a result. Yet converting this same information into visualizations like charts and graphs upgrades the experience instantly.

How it does this is more complicated than many people realize, and it merits further exploration. Visualizations aren’t just another way to look at information; they’re the very best way to consume it. Information expressed visually, whether through sophisticated graphics or simple visual cues, can be understood in greater depth in less time. That might sound like an insignificant upgrade, but it actually has a substantial impact on decision making,and on enterprise performance management by extension. To illustrate, let’s consider the experience of one of our customers.

Charts and graphs.

A Simple Visualization in Action

Several insightsoftware solutions offer multiple dashboards that collect important metrics in one place in an intuitive way. They are updated with real-time data, providing an up-to-the-minute picture of performance. How that picture is constructed, however, is what makes these dashboards an asset.

One of our clients created a CFO dashboard for an executive who oversaw finances for dozens of satellite locations. Managers at those sites were responsible for providing updates and information on a set schedule. Timeliness was important because without this complete, updated information, the CFO couldn’t make smart decisions within the context of enterprise performance management. Simply stated, the information needed to be on time, and when it wasn’t the issue required immediate attention.

The accounting team set up the CFO dashboard with entries for every one of the satellite locations. Each entry contained multiple data points, as well as a simple red/green indicator light. Green meant the information was submitted on time, red meant the opposite. Thanks to this simple visualization, the CFO only had to glance at the dashboard to know who to contact. His priorities were always clear.

Here we see the true power of visualizations: They turn information into actionable insights. Visualizations help expedite analysis by giving information context and bringing the most important facts to the forefront. They cut multiple steps out of the decision-making process by highlighting whatever requires action, as this customer’s experience demonstrates. The red/green light, along with the many other visualizations built into his dashboard, turned enterprise performance management into a proactive process. Every company strives to do this, but few expect the solution is as simple as expressing information visually.

Take a Different Approach to Information

Producing informative, actionable visualizations isn’t as easy as using the tools built into Excel. Dedicated reporting tools with extensive toolkits of customizable visualizations give you everything you need to present visual information in whatever way supports your enterprise performance management goals.

insightsoftware is at the forefront of the emerging field of “visual reporting.” Our reporting tools are designed to simplify reporting while bringing the insights to life through graphs, charts, indicators, and dynamic elements. When you’re ready to see what the next generation of reporting looks like, request a free demo.