New Business Intelligence White Paper Explores Trends in Data Visualization

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This third of three papers examines the history of data visualization and its ongoing role in business intelligence.

Data visualization is well-equipped to assume a central role in business intelligence, for it is intelligence that it is tailored to foster

Cognos, the world leader in business intelligence and performance management solutions, today announced the availability of the third in a series of three White Papers exploring core principles of effective data visualization.

Spanning more than 2,000 years of recorded human history, Data Visualization: Past, Present, and Future examines the birth and evolution of data visualization, from early Egyptian tables used to organize astronomical information through bar charts, treemaps, and geo-spatial visualization tools (such as Google Earth).

Written by a leading authority

Commissioned by Cognos, the paper was written by renowned data visualization expert and educator Stephen Few and published by the Cognos Innovation Center for Performance Managementâ„¢. The paper follows the previous releases of two papers, Visual Communication: Core Principles for Displaying Quantitative Information, and Visual Pattern Recognition: Meaningful Patterns in Quantitative Business Information, both by Few.

Stephen Few is Principal of the consultancy Perceptual Edge and the author of two books: Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten and Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Data.

Explores link between data visualization and business intelligence

The paper also explores the academic interest in data visualization and its influence on best practices in real-world applications. "Dashboards, visual analytics, and even simple graphs will continue to develop and conform to best practices," writes Few.

Also explored are future directions for data visualization, such as its increasingly important role within business intelligence. "Data visualization is well-equipped to assume a central role in business intelligence, for it is intelligence that it is tailored to foster," writes Few.

Helping to build best-practice business cultures

The Cognos Innovation Center was established in June 2004 to advance the understanding of proven performance management best-practices and enabling technologies. In June, 2006, it expanded its focus to advance BI competency for the strategic application of business intelligence on an enterprise scale.

"Business Intelligence Competency Centers (BICCs) act as enablers and catalysts for the creation of best-practice cultures," said Michael Dziekan, Cognos Global Program Director, Business Intelligence Competency Centers. "The knowledge and practical guidance provided in these white papers will provide a great start to organizations building an inventory of best practices that drive operational efficiency."

More value from business intelligence deployments

Business intelligence deployments are most successful when they meet a specific business need. By following the principles in these papers, business intelligence professionals will be better able to design reports that communicate more clearly and effectively, thereby increasing the relevance of the content to the user, and the business value of the entire deployment.

Available immediately

The Paper is available for immediate download from the Cognos Innovation Center for Performance Managementâ„¢.

About the Cognos Innovation Center for Performance Management

Staffed by experts in planning, management processes, and technology, the Innovation Center partners with more than 500 Cognos customers, academics, partners, industry leaders, and others who want to accelerate adoption, reduce risk, and maximize the impact of technology-enabled performance management practices. Depending on their area of interest, members focus on advancing performance management practices or business intelligence competency, gaining insights from experts and peers who have experienced similar challenges and paths to success.


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Carrie Bendzsa
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