The-Best-Visualization-Dashboard-Builder

The Best Visualization Dashboard Builder

    What if you could build an elegant and complex visualization dashboard at the touch of a button? Some tools give you the power to do just that. The best visualization dashboard builders allow you to create multiple charts and other graphics to organize your data—often without writing any complicated code. 

    However, there are hundreds of visualization dashboard builders out there and only a handful of them are generate truly groundbreaking visuals and insights. To find the most innovative and intelligent visualization software, let’s compare five top dashboard builders.

    Five Innovative Visualization Dashboard Tools

    A visualization dashboard is a tool that helps you organize and display data in a visual format, such as a chart or graph. Most dashboards contain multiple visuals on a single page and can track everything from key performance indicators (KPIs) to project timelines. What makes these dashboards so useful is that they are infinitely customizable; you’re only limited by the visuals and tools each dashboard software supports. 

    But this is where the dashboard creation process gets a little tricky. Some dashboard builders don’t have as many visualization options as others. Many also place a limit on the size of the data sets you can use or number of visuals you can display on a single page. 

    This is why it’s important to weigh all of your options and find the tool that offers you the greatest number of benefits and the fewest restrictions. These five popular visualization dashboard building tools are the most robust and have very few flaws.

    • Microsoft Power BI
    • Available for desktop or mobile users.
    • Offers a free license, a Pro license for $9.99 per user per month, or a Premium license for $4,995 or more per month. 
    • Includes hundreds of detailed visual templates and custom visuals
    • Choose a dashboard template or create your own custom layout. 
    • Make any dashboard a featured dashboard that automatically opens for every user. 
    • Link dashboards to Power BI reports to slice and dice data or drill down through the data to identify trends. 
    • Export multiple small data sets (although there is a data size limit). 
    • Easy to use, even if you have no experience with data science, visualizations, or dashboards. 
    • Tableau
    • Available for desktop or mobile users.
    • Offers a personal desktop license for $35 per month, a professional desktop license for $70 per month, a server license for $35 per month, or an online license for $42 per month. 
    • Includes a number of visuals that you can add to the dashboard from a dropdown list (however, custom visuals are harder to add). 
    • Create your own dashboard by dragging and dropping different visuals or objects onto the page. 
    • Link dashboards to Tableau sheets for more detailed data analysis. 
    • Make interactive dashboards to share with other Tableau users. 
    • Export very large data sets. 
    • Requires some knowledge of dashboard design and data science, but is easy to use once you get over this initial learning curve. 
    • Sisense
    • Available for desktop or mobile users (although mobile users may have fewer dashboard creation options). 
    • Offers custom pricing models depending on your business’ needs. 
    • Includes visuals in the form of widgets that you add to the dashboard page. 
    • Customize the appearance of the widgets using the app’s Widget Designer or adjust the layout of the dashboard’s visuals. 
    • Make interactive dashboards. 
    • Export very large data sets. 
    • Has a slight learning curve at first, but once you learn how to use the visualization dashboard builder, it’s easy to design new dashboards on the fly. 
    • Zoho Analytics
    • Available for desktop. There is a mobile app; however, you may only be able to view dashboards from a mobile device. 
    • Offers licenses for $25 for two users per month or more expensive plans for as much as $485 per month for 50 users. 
    • Includes visual widgets that are automatically populated from reports linked to your Zoho Analytics account. 
    • Resize or change the order of visuals on the dashboard. 
    • Create custom themes using an HTML editor. 
    • Export some large data sets, limited to 100 MB or 100,000 rows. 
    • Not as customizable as some of the other options on this list and may require some knowledge of HTML. 
    • iDashboards:
    • Available for desktop or mobile users. 
    • Offers custom pricing options that vary by user. 
    • Includes a list of custom visuals. You can also embed other graphic elements into your dashboards (such as a company logo). 
    • Make interactive dashboards that drill down through your data to display more detailed information. 
    • Export small data sets (users may struggle to export large data sets or tables). 
    • The drag-and-drop feature makes it easy to create dashboards without writing any code. 

    These are only a few of the visualization dashboard builders available on the market, so there may be other tools that better suit your needs. However, for most businesses, one of these five is usually the best option, as they are well-established in the data analytics industry and are known reliable customer support. 

    Although all of these tools are advanced, you’ll need to consider the pros and cons of each before you make your decision.

    What’s the Best Visualization Dashboard Builder? 

    There isn’t a single visualization dashboard builder that meets everyone’s needs. That’s because every business is different. To pick a software that best matches your workflow, budget, and data requirements, ask yourself the following questions: 

    What’s your budget? 

    Power BI is the only software that offers a free license, but if you want to share your dashboards with other Power BI users, then you’ll have to pay for a Pro or Premium license. Still, the Pro license is less expensive than any of the other five software options on this list. Zoho Analytics is the next most affordable option. Tableau is more expensive than either Power BI or Zoho Analytics, but also comes with a number of additional features that may be worth the higher price. Sisense and iDashboards both offer custom pricing options, so it’s wise to ask for an estimate from them before you make a final decision. 

    Do you need to analyze large data sets?

    If you only work with small amounts of data, then Power BI, Zoho Analytics, and iDashboards are all fine options. They cost less than services that support larger data sets. However, if you need to build dashboards from large sets of data, then either Tableau or Sisense are your only out-of-the-box options. 

    Do you have a data science or graphic design background? 

    If you don’t have any experience working with data, writing basic code, or designing engaging web pages or infographics, then some of these visualization dashboard builders will be tough to navigate. Tableau, Sisense, and Zoho Analytics have some of the highest learning curves, whereas Power BI and iDashboards are typically very easy for anyone to use. 

    Keep in mind that these five tools aren’t the only options you have for designing effective visualization dashboards from scratch. You can also hire a third-party data analytics company to create a custom visualization dashboard builder based on your workflow.

    How to Build Robust Visualization Dashboards 

    Although visualization dashboard builders are designed to work straight out of the box, the reality isn’t always as elegant or streamlined. Unexpected costs, steep learning curves, and data limitations make switching to a new piece of software difficult. 

    If none of these dashboard builder options meet your needs, or you’re looking for alternatives to self-service dashboard builders, consider hiring a third-party data analytics firm. They can take a close look at your business strategy and operations to create the best possible dashboards for every data set you’d like to analyze. 

    In some cases, hiring a third party is a better option than buying a software license because the third-party system is built specifically for your business. You won’t have to worry whether you’re missing key features or paying for more than you’ll actually use. Another benefit is that the system is inherently simple. It’s built around your workflow and experience level, meaning you won’t waste time learning how to use it. With help from visualization dashboard experts, you’ll create spectacularly-detailed visuals without lifting a finger. 

      To get a custom visualization dashboard of your own, contact Tek Leaders today. We specialize in creating robust and visually-engaging dashboards that are designed to track all of your most important KPIs and generate insights that have the greatest impact on your bottom line. If you’d like more information about the custom dashboard services we offer, you can reach us by email directly.

      Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

      Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

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      Power BI Report Server On Premise vs. Cloud

      f you want to improve your business intelligence (BI) and data analytics, then Microsoft’s dynamic Power BI platform is a viable and flexible option. It lets you generate attractive report visualsI It also helps you make strategic choices based on precise business data analysis. 

      However, to migrate to the Power BI system, you have to make a few tough decisions. First, you should decide whether you want to invest in Power BI Report Server on premise vs. cloud services. Both systems have many useful features, but they also have a number of potential drawbacks. This guide will help you find the Power BI system that makes the most sense for your organization so that you can leverage your data more effectively. 

      Which Power BI Options Are Available? 

      Power BI is a versatile data analytics and visualization tool. Microsoft offers multiple Power BI services, including free, Pro, and Premium versions, each with different sets of features. Each version gives you different levels of control over your visuals, reports, and data. 

      Before you can select one of these three versions of Power BI, you have to decide how you want Power BI to access your data in the first place. 

      Power BI works by taking data from a source—either onsite or from a cloud-based storage warehouse—and processes it so that users can generate visuals or reports from this information. Microsoft offers two options for accessing data: Power BI Report Server on premise vs. cloud services. 

      Power BI Report Server On Premise

      Power BI Report Server on premise lets you store all of your data onsite or on your organization’s own cloud servers behind a firewall. You can then host reports and share them with other members of your team through the Power BI desktop or mobile applications.

      Power BI Report Server is also based on the SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) framework. This means that you can track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), connect to existing Excel workbooks, and access paginated or mobile reports. Your organization will have full control over its data from end to end. 

      Power BI Cloud Services

      Unlike Power BI Report Server on premise, Power BI’s cloud-based service requires no installation or onsite data storage. Power BI’s cloud services work by accessing data that has already been uploaded to the cloud.

      When you sign up for a Power BI cloud service license, you’ll gain access to a user-friendly dashboard with everything you need to create engaging visuals and reports right out of the box. You won’t have to configure the system at all. Because this information is located in the cloud and not behind a firewall, you’ll be able to access data from a web browser at offsite locations.

      The differences between Power BI Report Server on premise vs. cloud don’t end here. To verify that you’re making the right decision, you should look carefully at both. 

      Power BI Report Server On Premise vs. Cloud: A Comparison 

      Some of the other key differences between Power BI Report Server vs. cloud are: 

      FeaturePower BI Cloud ServicesPower BI Report Server On Premise
      Installation In the cloud on any device On site 
      Requires onsite infrastructure and maintenance No Yes
      Data can be stored and processed behind a firewallNoYes
      Hybrid cloud and on premise services available No (cloud only)Yes 
      Is included with other Microsoft licenses Yes (Power BI Pro or Premium)Yes (Power BI Premium or SQL Server)
      Uses the Power BI desktop and mobile application  Yes Yes 
      Can use web-based applicationsYesNo
      Generates custom visuals and reports YesYes 
      Includes a user-friendly dashboardYesNo 
      CostIncluded in Pro and Premium licenses. Pro costs $9.99 per user per month; Premium costs about $5,000 per resource per monthIncluded in a Power BI Premium license for about $5,000 per resource per month 

       

      These are the main differences, but the list is not comprehensive. To select the right system for your organization, make a list of must-have features. If you want to generate reports on-the-go from multiple locations, you should choose cloud services over Power BI Report Server. If you’re in the banking industry or work with sensitive information such as health records, data security is often a much higher priority. Power BI Report Server on premise offers greater control over data permissions and end-to-end encryption. 

      There are pros and cons to both of these systems, which is why you should consult with Power BI experts before you make your final decision. 

      Choosing Between Power BI Report Server On Premise vs. Cloud

      Tthe main difference between Power BI Report Server on premise vs. cloud services is that Report Server is more complicated to install and configure. That often makes the time to deployment and ROI longer. If fast ROI is a core goal in your business strategy, then this system is likely not the right choice. 

      Power BI Report Server also isn’t as user-friendly as the cloud service, and it requires more frequent maintenance and updates. Cloud-based systems are easier to use, and are updated and patched frequently. Moving to a cloud-based system can help you prepare for future innovations. The future is in the cloud, so migrating to Power BI cloud services now is an important first step to full cloud storage migration. 

      However, Power BI’s cloud services aren’t a perfect solution. While the cloud storage system is secure, it’s not as secure as data that’s stored, processed, and managed behind a firewall like Power BI Report Server on premise. 

      If you’re still unsure which system is right for you, an IT consulting firm can help you decide between Power BI Report Server on premise vs. cloud services. 

      Get Help from the Experts 

      When you enlist the help of one of these firms, you’ll gain the knowledge and experience of an entire team of data scientists. These experts have advanced degrees in data analytics and computer science, along with firsthand experience with Power BI, including on premise and cloud services. 

      The firm will perform a comprehensive audit of your business intelligence practices and come up with a detailed BI roadmap with all the data analysis tools you need. They can also build custom systems from scratch, including powerful interactive dashboards fine-tuned to your workflow. There is no one-size-fits-all visualization tool that works perfectly for every organization. These custom systems fill in any service gaps leftover by Power BI or other BI software, allowing you to optimize your reports and visualizations. 


      To discover the right system for your organization’s needs, contact Tek Leaders. Our skilled data analysts work with the most popular visualization tools on the market, including Power BI services and licenses. If you want to learn more about custom data analysis and visualization system, you can reach us by email directly.

      Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

      Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

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      Dashboard Data Visualization Infographic: An Example

      What makes a data visualization dashboard effective?

      They’re not the easiest tools to design from scratch. They need to display information and insights in the clearest way possible, and be interactive so that users can filter data and generate new insights. With so many factors to consider, it’s easy to get it wrong. 

      To help, we’ve made a series of detailed dashboard data visualization infographic examples to help you create the most efficient and user-friendly dashboards for your data. Using this guide, you’ll know precisely what goes into creating a custom dashboard for your organization’s needs.

      What Does an Effective Dashboard Database Visualization Look Like?  

      To make a custom dashboard, you should first consider the role that dashboards play in your organization. A dashboard is an information hub that collects and displays data and visuals in one place, either on a desktop computer or a mobile device. Like other types of web and mobile applications, users can interact with the dashboard to display different types of information. For example, you can toggle between data filters to analyze the data from multiple angles. 

      The most effective dashboards look simple, but display very detailed information. They focus on just one area of business like mortgage production reportscommercial loan reports, or sales performance by product. 

      Narrowing the scope of your data visualization dashboard allows you to zero in on the insights that matter. It also makes the dashboard easier to read and use. Most organizations create multiple dashboards for every aspect of their businesses to keep their data organized and track vital metrics.

      To create an attractive, informative interactive display, take a look at a few examples of effective dashboard data visualization infographics.

      Examples of Dashboard Data Visualization Infographics 

      In the dashboard data visualization infographic below, you will see an example of an effective design layout that displays all of the information you need to identify patterns in a given dataset.

      This particular dashboard focuses on mortgage loans as they relate to various demographics. Banks and lenders that use this dashboard can quickly see median loan amounts by demographic and more detailed breakdowns of loans by each dataset. This helps lenders serve their customers better and verify that they are following Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) guidelines. 

      What makes this dashboard effective is that it follows three simple layout rules. 

      #1 The Main Visual: In the top left corner of the dashboard, we created a series of bar graphs that represent median loan amounts by demographic. Even if users only glance at this visual, they will understand the overall pattern that the entire dashboard is designed to track. This visual aid works as a summary of information. When you design your own dashboard, follow this basic layout: Put the most important and informative visual at the top of the page, preferably in the top left, since that’s where users usually look first. 

      #2 Filters and Interactive Components: Place data filters near or at the top of the dashboard alongside the main visual. Having these options at the top of the page is important for two reasons. First, users can immediately see that they have some control over the information being displayed. It encourages them to interact with the data. Second, it makes it easier to see how each filter affects the main visual and all of the other visuals underneath it. 

      #3 Supporting Visuals: Place all supporting visuals underneath the data filter controls and the main visual. Supporting visuals are any charts or graphs that show detailed information about a specific aspect of the data. For example, in the dashboard data visualization infographic above, we created visuals for: 

      • The most common reasons why loans were denied. 
      • The number of applications received in each location. 
      • The number of applications received per race. 
      • The median income of loan applicants by county.

      None of these visuals are comprehensive enough to be the main visual at the top of the page. They only show you part of the bigger picture. However, having them in the dashboard is still important because you can use them to generate insights, such as why certain demographics receive more mortgage approvals or denials than others. You can then improve your business products and services in response to this data. 

      For example, you can see that Tarrant County (the green bar in the center visual) receives a higher number of applicants than average. Using this information, you may look into why so many applicants live in this county and what you can do to increase application rates elsewhere. 

      Every dashboard is different. The specific visual aids that you choose for your dashboard depend on a number of factors including your business strategy and the type of data you collect. Experienced data scientists and dashboard designers can help you identify the best visuals to use. 

      How to Create Dashboard Data Visualizations

      The main challenge of creating a dashboard is selecting the right visuals for each dataset. To do this, you must think carefully about your business strategy and the goals of the dashboard. 

      In the dashboard data visualization infographic above, the visuals are designed to track every aspect of HDMA guidelines, including income, race, location, and reasons for application denials. Every visual has a specific role in this process.

      • Applications per county visual works best as a bar chart because users need to quickly see how many applications they’ve received from each county and whether this is below or above average (marked by the thin grey line).
      • Applications by race visual works best as a pie chart because this makes it easy to see which groups submit the highest and lowest percentage of total applications.
      • Loan denial reasons visual features boxes that vary in size and hue to signify how many applications were denied for each specific reason. In this case, you’ll see that debt-to-income ratios are the most common reasons for denial across all counties.
      • Median income by race visual is shown as a heat map graph, allowing you to see which groups have the highest and lowest income in each county.

      Having more than one type of visual in the dashboard makes it more engaging and helps you sift through data more effectively. However, understanding how to display each dataset or metric involves some trial and error, especially if you’re not experienced with data analytics. 

      This is where a knowledgeable dashboard designer can help. When you hire a data analytics firm to create custom dashboards and visuals for your business, you won’t have to guess which visual aids to use. These firms often already have basic templates that track metrics related to your industry that they adjust to fit your organization’s workflow and preferences.

      They can also design a new dashboard from scratch. With experienced data scientists on staff, the firm will know exactly which types of visuals are most effective. They also have advanced data analytics and visualization tools. This is a major benefit for small businesses or those that have limited budgets, with access to the world’s best visuals at a much lower cost. Partnering with the best dashboard consultants will help you connect more strongly to your data and find solutions to your organization’s most pressing issues.


      Contact Tek Leaders to design your own custom dashboard today. Our detailed and interactive dashboards harness the power of your insights and get immediate results. If you have more questions about our dashboard services, you can reach us by email directly.


      If you have additional questions about how to handle data extraction, filtering, and/or visualization, contact Tek Leaders. Our team of visualization experts can also create custom dashboards that enable you to generate robust visuals and make stronger evidence-based decisions. You can reach us by email directly.

      Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

      Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

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      best-dashboard-database-design-for-your-company

      The Best Dashboard Database Design for Your Company

      You’re driving down a long stretch of highway and aren’t sure whether you should refuel now or at the next gas station about 30 miles away. You glance down at your car’s fuel gauge and see that you still have enough gas to get you through the next 50 miles, at least. So, you decide to drive on.

      Database dashboards work in the same way as vehicle dashboards. They display the most important information right up front so that you can make the best decisions.

      However, unlike the dashboard of your car, your company’s dashboard database design is much more complex. In some cases, you have to display hundreds of numbers and dozens of metrics on a single dashboard to get the most accurate view of what’s happening.

      Effective dashboard database design distills all of this complicated information down to its simplest and most visually-engaging form. There are six design principles that will help you get the most out of your dashboard:

      1. Base your design on business-related questions. 
      2. Design for your end-user or audience. 
      3. Select the most accurate visuals
      4. Tell a story in the design. 
      5. Keep the graphic elements simple. 
      6. Use color to your advantage.

      By following these six tips, you’ll create a beautiful and interactive dashboard database design to drive all of your future decisions.

      How to Get the Best Dashboard Database Design

      Tip #1: Ask Questions Upfront

      One of the biggest mistakes that companies make when they create dashboards is that they try to cram too much information onto a single page. This results in an overly-complicated dashboard that doesn’t tell you what steps you need to take to make your business more successful.

      To prevent this, start by asking what you want to achieve with your dashboard database design. Asking business-related questions helps you to drill down to what’s important. Your dashboard will answer these very specific questions, rather than attempting to cover everything all at once.

      Examples:

      1. How many new customers did we get this month? How did this compare to last month?
      2. What are our top 10 products? Why are these products so popular? 
      3. How is our marketing team performing? How do we improve performance?

      The more specific the questions, the more effective your dashboard database design will be. You’ll see exactly which metrics to track to get the right answers.

      Tip #2: Design for Your Audience 

      Once you have a list of business-related questions you’d like to answer with your dashboard database design, consider who is going to look at the information. Is your audience a group of employees or your CFO? They’ll want to see different things in the design.

      For example, upper management and stakeholders likely want to see big-picture figures that will help them steer the company in the right direction. If you include daily operational metrics in the dashboard design, you’ll only muddy the waters and make their jobs more difficult.

      Likewise, your employees want to know what they should be doing differently to reach their individual goals. If the dashboard is too broad in scope, they’ll struggle to see their roles in the company’s overarching strategy.

      To decide on the right dashboard database design for your audience, choose one of the three most popular dashboard styles:

      • Strategic dashboards for tracking individual goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
      • Operational dashboards for managers to monitor systematic efficiency, like time to market or equipment maintenance records. 
      • Analytical dashboards for tracking larger market trends and big picture KPIs that stakeholders want to see.

      All of these dashboards are designed with similar layouts but different visuals and metrics.

      Tip #3: Choose the Right Visuals for the Job 

      Visuals can be misleading. For example, if you’re missing key data sets, then the visual representation of the information won’t be accurate. Another common problem is choosing the wrong type of visual to display the data.

      To prevent this problem, your dashboard database should have access to all of the data you currently have in storage. Your in-house IT team or a third-party dashboard database designer can help you connect your data warehouse or cloud storage source directly to the dashboard.

      You should also choose the best visual representation for each data set. There are four main types of visuals:

      • Comparisons that show the difference between two or more sets of data;
      • Relationships that show how two or more sets of data correlate;
      • Distributions that group data by commonalities or values; and
      • Compositions that break data down into new categories, so you can drill down to get a more detailed look.

      The best dashboard database designs feature a combination of these four types of visuals. By analyzing the data from multiple angles using a few different custom visuals, you’ll get a much fuller picture of what’s happening at your company.

      Tip #4: Tell a Story in the Design 

      What’s the best way to organize all of these visual elements on the dashboard? You should structure the information like a news story.

      This means placing all of the most important data at the very top of the dashboard. Even if the stakeholder or employee only glances at the information at the top, they’ll understand the key insights. Your supporting visuals then go under these essential visuals—they are more detailed and enrich your understanding of the data.

      For example, a well-structured dashboard database design includes:

      • Top visuals: Big picture insights (e.g. a heat map showing total mortgage amount by county);
      • Middle visuals: Trends that support these insights (e.g. a line and bar graph comparing total mortgage amounts to goals set earlier in the year); and
      • Bottom visuals: Individual performance KPIs or operational details that lead to the figures above (e.g. a chart showing individual loan officer performance).

      When you structure your dashboard database design in this way, you make it easier for people to connect with the data through compelling visual storytelling.

      Tip #5: Keep it Simple 

      It’s easy to get carried away when you design a new dashboard from scratch. Many organizations pack as much information into the dashboard as possible because they believe it will lead to better insights. However, the opposite is usually true. Too many visuals or data sets on the page will only confuse people and make it harder to see what truly matters.

      A clean, simple dashboard database design is most effective. Not only does this make your dashboard look more polished and professional, but it also is easier to use on a daily basis. Users know exactly where to input data or filter results. They also know where to find crucial information so they can take immediate action.

      Include no more than about five to ten visuals or widgets on a single dashboard. Your entire dashboard should also fit on a single screen without requiring users to scroll down. This allows them to see everything at once. It also makes it easy to adjust data filters and see how the visuals change in response.

      Tip #6: Make it Colorful 

      Cohesive color schemes serve two purposes in dashboard database design:

      1. They make it easier to quickly understand the data on display. 
      2. They lend the dashboard a more professional look.

      For example, if you color-code the data so that profits are shown in green and deficits are shown in red, stakeholders will instantly know whether the figures are overall positive or negative. You can also show different gradients of color to represent information, such as in heat maps.

      You also have the option to choose background colors that match your company’s logo or official color scheme. When presenting this information to stakeholders, potential investors, or others outside of your organization, this makes your dashboards and reports look more authoritative.

      How to Create the Best Dashboard Database Design 

      Dashboard database design is both a science and an art. You need to be familiar with how to link the dashboard to data sources, program interactive components, and create innovative visuals based on data science best practices—but you also need to weave a compelling story and make a beautiful, user-friendly dashboard.

      Combining all of these traits can be time-consuming and challenging, particularly if you don’t have a data science or graphic design background. By hiring a third-party dashboard database designer, you’ll save time and effort. Dashboard experts will:

      • Connect all of your data to the dashboard;
      • Build a dashboard that answers key business strategy questions;
      • Choose the most appropriate visuals for each data set; and
      • Customize the dashboard based on staff workflows and your business philosophy.

      Having a fully-customized dashboard built by data science experts lets you identify the key insights and trends that will help your business blossom.


      If you’re ready to build aesthetic and functional dashboards for your organization, contact Tek Leaders today. We create custom dashboard database designs from scratch that help organizations gain valuable insights. If you have more questions about our design process, you can reach us by email directly.

        Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

        Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

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        Is There Other Visualization Software Like Tableau?

        You may have heard that Tableau is one of the best visualization software systems on the market. However, while it is indeed a powerful tool that many businesses find useful, it’s not perfect for everyone. It’s expensive, and out of the range of small organizations—especially if their IT budgets are already tight. It also takes a big chunk out of the budget of large-scale organizations, which may be better spent on other tools and resources.

        Tableau isn’t the only visualization tool out there. There is other visualization software like Tableau that is not only more cost-effective, but also provides compelling visuals and detailed data analysis. There’s no need to sacrifice the quality of your visuals when you opt for one of these seven alternatives to Tableau.

        What to Look for in a Tableau Alternative 

        There’s no doubt that Tableau is a robust visualization tool. Tableau software is powerful because:

        • The standard visuals are beautiful and detailed; 
        • You can drag-and-drop to create visuals in moments; 
        • Data is filtered and normalized;
        • Users can share visuals, dashboards, and reports;
        • It supports desktop and mobile applications;
        • You can generate data notifications and comment on dashboards; 
        • The software imports and visualizes large sets of data from multiple sources; 
        • Dashboards are intelligent and interactive;
        • User authorizations and permissions improve data security; and more.

        However, other visualization tools like Tableau have many of these same features–some even have all of them. Before you invest in a Tableau license, ask yourself the following questions:

        Can I get the features and support I need from another software vendor?

        It’s important to think about the tools you’ll actually use when you purchase a software license. Don’t get distracted by extra bells and whistles or you’ll end up paying for features that ultimately go to waste.

        For example, Tableau can process very large amounts of data, but if your organization only needs to handle small data sets at a time, then this feature isn’t really essential. Make a list of all of the features your organization truly needs and eliminate any software that can’t perform those tasks.

        Is Tableau more expensive than my other options?

        The cost of a Tableau license depends on the plan you choose.

        • Tableau Viewer plans cost $12 per user per month and only allow you to view and interact with visuals. 
        • Tableau Explorer plans cost $35 per user per month and allow you to view visuals as well as edit and publish new workbooks and manage user profiles. 
        • Tableau Creator plans cost $70 per user per month and include all of the software’s features. You have control over every aspect of the visual creation and sharing process.

        These are only the on-premise or public cloud plans. If you want your content to be fully-hosted by Tableau and accessible online, some of the plans cost slightly more:

        • Tableau Viewer costs $15 per user per month. 
        • Tableau Explorer costs $42 per user per month. 
        • Tableau Creator costs $70 per user per month.

        To estimate how much a Tableau license will cost, tally up how many users you will have under each plan. It’s important to note that all of these plans require your organization to have at least one Tableau Creator account, so you should factor this into your budget.

        Compare this number to offers from other vendors of visualization software like Tableau. You may find that it is cheaper to go with a Tableau alternative, particularly if you have a large staff or if multiple users need to access the visuals.

        With these criteria in mind, take a look at the seven most popular Tableau alternatives below and consider whether they’re a better choice for your organization.

        Other Visualization Software Like Tableau 

        If you’re looking for visualization software like Tableau, you’ll find many options. However, there are seven systems that are particularly powerful and quite similar to Tableau in terms of what they can do for your organization. They are:

        • Microsoft Power BI: At a lower cost, Power BI allows you to create equally beautiful visuals and interactive dashboards. It is also more customizable than Tableau.
        • Qlik View: If your team already has a data science background, this software enables you to compile data, upload it into an interactive dashboard, and model trends. However, it’s too complex for beginners.
        • Oracle BI: Supports in-memory processing and multiple data sources. You can also choose between on-premise or cloud-based systems. Its main drawback is that its visualizations are not as detailed or customizable as the other options on this list.
        • Sisense: A user-friendly software that recommends visualizations based on the data presented and the organization’s needs. However, it’s not as scalable as some of the other options on this list and users don’t have full control over the security of their data.
        • SAS Business Intelligence and Analytics: From the dashboard view, users can embed charts, images, or video and collaborate on their colleagues’ projects. That said, the visuals are not as visually-appealing or robust as those offered in Power BI or Tableau.
        • IBM Cognos: A self-service business intelligence software that allows you to create reports. The system is very customizable and interactive. It’s primarily used for businesses to track inventory and make decisions in real time. The downside is that there is a steep learning curve.
        • Custom interactive dashboards: Hiring an IT services firm to build a custom visualization dashboard from scratch is another alternative to Tableau. The cost is often on par with purchasing a software license. You also won’t have to train your staff on how to use the system because the firm will handle all of the details for you. Additionally, you’ll get access to every feature you need and won’t pay for features you’ll never use.

        You’re by no means limited to these seven choices. These are simply some of the most popular and best-supported software systems on the market today. The software you choose ultimately depends on your organization’s infrastructure, visualization requirements, and budget.

        Choosing the Best Software for Your Business 

        If you’re unsure whether you should purchase a Tableau license or opt for alternative visualization software, consider the size of your organization. Generally, Tableau is best for organizations that have a small staff and need to generate basic visuals quickly.

        If you have a larger staff, a limited IT budget, or require more detailed data analysis, then Tableau is likely not the best choice for your organization. The software doesn’t scale up very well; it could cost your organization many thousands of dollars per year to invest in multiple Explorer and Viewer licenses.

        Additionally, Tableau’s visuals are not as customizable as ones offered from other vendors, like an IT services firm or Power BI. This is a problem if you need to analyze a great deal of data or perform exploratory data analysis to decide on your next business strategy.

        If you want a scalable system that enables you to generate stunning visuals, you should hire an IT services firm to build a custom platform for your organization. Unlike Tableau, which charges per user, a custom platform can be accessed by all of your team members at any time. The price is also adjusted based on the features you want. For a predictable monthly fee, you’ll have access to all of your data and visuals. You’ll also get a custom interactive dashboard that makes it easy for your staff to generate new visuals, no matter how much previous experience they have with data or reports.

        So, while Tableau is an excellent tool for very small teams to generate visualizations fast, it’s not necessarily the best tool for every business or situation. By weighing all of your options and getting quotes from multiple vendors, you’ll make a more informed decision.

        To get a free custom visualization quote, contact Tek Leaders. We take into account your organization’s specific needs to offer competitive pricing on custom dashboard systems. Our team will take a close look at your staff’s workflows and the type of data analysis you wish to perform in order to create a system that blends seamlessly into your enterprise. If you have more questions about our pricing structure and visualization services,  you can reach us by email directly. 

          Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

          Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

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          ms-power-bi-pros-cons-and-costs

          MS Power BI Pros, Cons, and Costs

          Do you want to make more precise data-driven decisions? Microsoft’s Power BI is an incredibly useful tool for organizing and visualizing complex sets of data.

          However, while there are many advantages to using this system, there are also some potential disadvantages. To decide whether the service is right for your business, you should consider MS Power BI’s pros and cons as well as how much it will cost in the long run. When you weigh the strengths and weaknesses of each version of Power BI, you’ll choose a system that will help your business thrive.

          MS Power BI Pros: Robust Visualizations on a Simple Platform

          Power BI is popular because the software generates detailed visualizations from a user-friendly platform. You don’t need any training on how to use the system because every feature is intuitive.

          Power BI works by taking data from a spreadsheet, data warehouse, or cloud storage source and generating visuals from the information. Most businesses use this tool to create compelling visuals for reports. You can also use it to find new patterns in the data and make accurate business decisions based on these trends.

          The Power BI system is quite complex. It includes:

            • desktop application for creating and publishing reports;
            • Software as a Service (SaaS) option that you can access online;
            • Mobile applications for smartphones and tablets;
            • gateway for syncing data between different sources and applications;
            • On-premise servers for storing data on-site; and
            • visuals marketplace where you can download custom visuals made by Power BI users.

          However, not all of these services are available to every user; service availability depends on the product license you purchase. There are three types of licenses that Microsoft offers: 

          MS Power BI Free MS Power BI ProMS Power BI Premium 
          Cost: FreeCost: $9.99 monthly per userCost: $4,995 monthly
          Create visuals 
          Export visuals 
          Publish to the web 
          XUse custom applications and app workspaces
          XSet up email subscriptions to dashboards and reports
          XGreater control over the Application Programming Interface (API) 
          XMore sharing options
          XData analysis through desktop and Excel 
          1 GB maximum data set size1 GB maximum data set size 10 GB maximum data set size
          10 GB storage per user 10 GB storage per user 100 TB storage per user 
          XCloud servicesCloud services
          XData encryptionData encryption
          XAccess to custom visuals
          XXCloud computing 
          XXOn-premise storage 
          XDistribute content to other MS Power BI Pro users only Distribute content to anyone (not only MS Power BI Pro users)
          XXPerform advanced data analytics 

          If you use the free version of MS Power BI, pros include access to the software’s robust standard visuals and the ability to publish and export reports. It’s also the least expensive option.

          The benefits of an MS Power BI Pro license are that you’ll get more options to share, publish, and collaborate on visuals and reports. This is useful for organizations with larger staffs or that need to communicate with remote teams.

          MS Power BI Premium has some advantages over both the free version and MS Power BI Pro. You’ll get more storage and a higher maximum data set size. You can also choose between on-premise, cloud storage, or a hybrid option. Additionally, any authorized user can access the content you’ve created in Power BI; there’s no need for every staff member to have an MS Power BI Pro account. This is the best choice for large organizations that need to store, analyze, and visualize a great deal of data and distribute reports across the enterprise.

          No matter which version you choose, you’ll have access to Power BI’s detailed visuals and sleek platform. However, before you select a system, you should also consider some of Power BI’s greatest weaknesses.

          MS Power BI Cons: Lack of Data Quality Control

          Every version of Power BI has one major downside: Insufficient data quality control. When you sign up for a Power BI license, you bring your own data. It’s your responsibility to collect quality data, normalize it, and decide which sets of data to compare in each visual.

          Unless you have experienced data scientists on staff, this isn’t easy. It’s common to collect the wrong type of data. You may also compare the wrong data sets and make inaccurate business decisions that hurt your bottom line.

          Power BI also doesn’t support large data sets. Even the most expensive version, Power BI Premium, supports less data than some of its competitors like Tableau.

          Additionally, each individual version of Power BI has its own unique list of weaknesses: 

          MS Power BI Free MS Power BI Pro MS Power BI Premium 
          Visuals are more limited Expensive if you have a large staff and need multiple Pro licensesMuch more expensive than the other two versions 
          No customization optionsLimited storage Storage is still relatively limited
          Little IT support No cloud computing or on-site storage On-premise storage requires additional infrastructure 
          Few sharing options Can only distribute content to other MS Power BI Pro users May take longer to deploy 
          Limited cloud storage Few advanced data analytics options More complex and has a higher learning curve 
          No cloud computing or on-site storage 
          No advanced data analytics 

          These weaknesses may not be dealbreakers for your organization. For example, if you just need to generate a visualization quickly and have a very limited budget, the free version or an MS Power BI Pro license will meet these needs. If, however, you want to perform more complex data analytics, then you’ll need a more powerful system like MS Power BI Premium.

          The Most Cost-Effective Visualization System 

          Generally speaking, MS Power BI is useful for organizations that only need basic visualizations or can afford a Premium license. For small organizations with limited budgets, hiring a data analytics firm is often a better choice.

          If one or more of the following statements are true about your organization, then hiring a data analytics firm is the most cost-effective and favorable option:

          • Your organization doesn’t currently have a data scientist on staff;
          • The IT budget is tight;
          • You don’t have any data storage infrastructure in place already;
          • You generate multiple reports daily, weekly, or monthly;
          • You collect large amounts of data or need to compare data sets from multiple sources;
          • You want to make improvements to data quality or your overall business intelligence (BI) strategy; and
          • You want to present personalized, professional-looking reports to stakeholders.

          A data analytics firm can give you all of the benefits of an MS Power BI Premium license at a lower monthly cost. Additionally, you’ll get a full BI audit assessing the quality of your data, a custom BI roadmap, and personalized platforms tailored specifically to your staff’s workflows. All of these innovative tools and resources combined will help you gain a richer understanding of your data and identify the key business trends that will lead to future victories.

          To get a free business intelligence audit today, contact Tek Leaders. We will assess the quality of your data and help you decide which system is most appropriate and cost-effective. Our team of visualization experts can also create custom dashboards that enable you to generate robust visuals and make stronger evidence-based decisions. If you have more questions about the innovative and affordable visualization services we offer, you can reach us by email directly. 

            Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

            Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

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            sharepoint2019-on-premise-off-premise-or-hybrid

            SharePoint 2019: On Premise, Off Premise, or Hybrid?

            Microsoft’s latest SharePoint 2019 update is out, and its new features are making it easier than ever to store information and communicate internally. With the new update, you can create communication sites, generate new sites faster, store more files, and integrate SharePoint with other cloud-based data applications.

            To take advantage of these new SharePoint 2019 options, you need to select the right edition for your business. Microsoft offers on-premise, off-premise, and hybrid options—each with its own benefits and trade-offs. This guide will help you find the appropriate version of SharePoint 2019 so that you can leverage your data and communications more effectively.

            The Benefits of SharePoint 2019 On-Premise Services

            SharePoint 2019 is an online platform that business owners use to keep critical documents and information organized. However, it isn’t just a web-based service. Business owners also have the option to store information on-premise.

            SharePoint on-premise requires you to store data in a secure location of your choice. This means purchasing and maintaining SharePoint servers onsite and hiring an IT team to update the system periodically.

            The benefits of using SharePoint on-premise depend on whether you purchase a Standard or Enterprise version.

            SharePoint 2019 Standard allows you to:

            • Regulate data governance;
            • Store data securely;
            • Target key audiences;
            • Perform web analytics;
            • Manage user profiles;
            • Organize metadata and content;
            • Search existing data; and more.

            By comparison, SharePoint 2019 Enterprise offers all of the features above as well as:

            • Rich web indexing;
            • Custom dashboards; and
            • Integration with business intelligence tools like Power BI.

            SharePoint Enterprise is the best option for organizations that manage a large amount of data or that want to maximize business intelligence. The features are more robust than the Standard version.

            The main benefit of using SharePoint on-premise is that you have greater direct control over data security. It’s also helpful if you want to customize the system to fit your staff’s workflows.

            However, there are also downsides to going on-premise. It costs more to maintain the servers onsite and hire a full-time staff to keep the system operating at peak efficiency. It also requires more physical space. If you have a small office, you may not have the infrastructure required to make the system work. It also takes time to set up a server onsite, so your return on investment (ROI) may be delayed.

            This is why many business owners opt for SharePoint 2019’s off-premise services instead.

            The Benefits of SharePoint 2019 Off-Premise Services 

            SharePoint 2019’s off-premise, cloud-based option doesn’t require any existing infrastructure. Microsoft stores your data securely in the cloud. You access it using a web-based portal. SharePoint online allows you to perform all of the same tasks as the on-premise Enterprise version.

            The off-premise version is also less complicated and sometimes less expensive. You won’t have to hire an IT staff to maintain servers or find a secure physical location to store your data. You’ll receive frequent software patches directly from Microsoft whenever they’re available. Plus, you’ll see a faster ROI. Once your data has been uploaded into SharePoint’s servers, you’ll have immediate access to it from any authorized device.

            However, there are also a few downsides of SharePoint 2019’s off-premise option. It isn’t as customizable as the on-premise version. You don’t have any control over the software patches or the look of the dashboard user interface. Some business owners also feel more comfortable controlling their own data, rather than trusting a third party with it. While modern cloud data storage is very secure, you may still wish to have your own security protocols in place.

            SharePoint 2019 also offers a hybrid option that combines features from both versions.

            Should You Go with Hybrid Services? 

            Business owners who want to continue to store their data locally but also want to have access to this data from any location can choose SharePoint 2019’s hybrid services. This option includes:

            • The ability to access locally-stored data in the cloud from a secure sign-in;
            • Monthly and annual patches and important cloud updates (which saves your IT team time); and
            • Cloud backups of locally-stored data (and vice versa).

            You’ll still have the added cost of maintaining servers onsite and hiring IT staff to maintain them, but a hybrid system takes some of the pressure off of your team. They can focus more of their time and attention on servers and security issues without worrying about updating the software side or making new user dashboards. You also have greater access to your data. Staff can locate data in the cloud from any location and aren’t limited to using computers on site.

            How to Choose the Best SharePoint 2019 Plan 

            The choice you make ultimately depends on your goals and existing infrastructure. Generally, SharePoint 2019’s on-premise option is best for large organizations that want to control every aspect of data security themselves. Larger enterprises can afford multiple servers and IT teams on site. They also often have more unused physical space to store it all.

            If you’re a small enterprise, a cloud-based version is most beneficial. Not only does it cost less up-front, but it also is easier to manage over time and more flexible. With all of your data stored in the cloud, you can quickly scale up or down without making adjustments to your physical infrastructure.

            If you want both the flexibility of a cloud-based system and a local backup of all of your critical data, then a hybrid version is a great choice.

            No matter which SharePoint 2019 version you’re considering, an experienced IT services firm can make the migration seamless. Knowledgeable data scientists are very familiar with the pros and cons of each SharePoint version and can help you choose the option that works best for your organization’s needs.

            Another reason to hire an IT services firm is that they can offer you additional features that SharePoint doesn’t currently support. If you need a cloud-based system but also want custom user dashboards, an IT firm can do both. The firm will help you upload your data into SharePoint online and will create user-friendly portals that connect with your data in the cloud. You don’t have to choose between customization and secure cloud storage. An IT firm will offer you all of the benefits of these SharePoint versions without any of the drawbacks.

            If you want advice on transitioning to SharePoint 2019, contact Tek Leaders today. We offer a free business intelligence audit. If you have more questions about the cloud storage and dashboard services we offer, you can reach us by email directly.

              Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

              Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

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              Visualization-Software-for-Financial-Services-When-To-Go-Custom

              Visualization Software for Financial Services: When To Go Custom

              Many financial service providers face a major challenge. They collect a massive amount of financial and operational data, but aren’t sure how to present this data most effectively. Visualization software makes it possible. The tool filters and organizes data into a clear graphic form that anyone can understand.

              However, there are two different types of visualization software systems that financial institutions must choose from: standard and custom. Both have their pros and cons. This guide will help you decide whether you should stick with the off-the-shelf software or go for a fully-customized experience.

              Standard vs. Custom Visualization Software 

              There’s a huge difference between standard and custom visualization software.

              Standard software provides a list of visual aids and basic templates that financial institutions can use to display data and generate reports. Microsoft’s Power BI, Sisense, and Tableau are examples of standard visualization software. Each software includes different visual aids, tools, and templates. Some standard visuals are very complex, while others are simpler and designed to be easily understood at a glance.

              However, standard visualization software is limited by what the developers build into the system. If you can’t find what you need in the standard templates or software add-ons, then you’ll have to make do with the options you have.

              Custom visualization software gives you far more flexibility. A custom system often includes all of the visuals and templates that you get in standard visualization software, but it also provides in-depth visual aids that are tailored specifically to your institution. Rather than buying a single software license and making your own visuals, you can hire a custom visualization software provider to take care of the process for you.

              Which option is best for your business, a standard software license or custom visualization software? It depends on your current needs and business strategy. While some institutions are satisfied with the standard visualization options, others require much more detailed options.

              Should You Go Custom? 

              Financial institutions really benefit from custom visualization software. That’s because financial services are heavily data-driven. Banks must assess loan risk, track payments, analyze loan officer performance, and flag delinquent loans—and perform many, many more types of monitoring and analysis.

              While some standard visualization software tools have templates for these types of calculations, it’s often difficult to put together a full picture in one detailed report. You have to find the visual tools you need, upload the data, and adjust the look of the visual to make your findings as clear as possible. Then you have to display multiple visuals in one place without crowding the page or confusing your audience. You may also need different visuals and reports to interact with each other.

              All of these steps are much easier with a custom visualization dashboard. You simply tell the provider what you want and their team of developers will create all of the visual tools and dashboard options you need.

              You can tell the provider that you want to analyze how well your mortgage loan officers are performing so far this year. They will make a detailed business intelligence report that displays everything from a map showing total loan amounts by county to line graphs showing whether individual loan officers are meeting their quotas. They can also make the report interactive. With the click of a button, you can filter all of this information by individual loan officers or counties.

              Some of the main benefits of going custom are:

              • More detailed and accurate visuals: Data scientists and visualization experts know which visual aids best express certain patterns in data sets. They’ll choose the right one for what you need to show.
              • Scalability: You can add new features to the dashboard quickly. You can also eliminate visuals that are too confusing or that your stakeholders don’t find very useful.
              • Cost: You only pay for what you actually use. The custom visualization software provider charges you a monthly fee and in return you get all of the features you requested on a user-friendly dashboard.
              • Ease of use: The dashboards are intuitive and designed around your staff’s workflows. There’s no training required and you don’t need any background knowledge in data science or visuals.
              • It’s made for the financial industry: Unlike standard tools that are designed to address a wide range of user needs, a custom dashboard focuses only on the best visual aids for financial reporting. Custom providers truly understand the industry, including the need for tight security and data governance.
              • It’s made for your business: The best custom software providers include special details like dashboards that match your business’ official color scheme or logo. This makes your reports look more professional.

              If you want to generate the most accurate, detailed, and sleek-looking reports, then hiring a custom visualizations software provider is the best option.

              How to Get Custom Visualization Software 

              Once you’ve decided to go custom, you’ll need to select a provider that offers the most comprehensive services.

              First, research providers that have previous experience designing visual aids for financial institutions. Banks, credit unions, and lenders require in-depth data analysis and visualizations, so the service provider must be capable and familiar with the industry’s best practices.

              Next, look at a few samples of dashboards and reports that the provider offers. For example, Tek Leaders has custom visualizations for:

              After confirming that the provider has experience making the custom visualization software and tools you need, start a conversation with the provider about your next steps. They will assess exactly what your visualization requirements are and come up with a detailed plan to meet your expectations. With their help, you’ll begin generating the most stunning and detailed visualizations possible.

              To get custom visualization software designed for your financial enterprise, contact Tek Leaders today. We’ll help you create beautiful and detailed visual aids from scratch, and design an intelligent dashboard for generating your own visualizations in moments. If you have more questions about custom visualization, you can reach us by email directly.

                Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

                Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

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                exploratory-data-analysis-and-visualization

                How Can You Make the Most of Exploratory Data Analysis and Visualization?

                What makes a data visualization dashboard effective?

                They’re not the easiest tools to design from scratch. They need to display information and insights in the clearest way possible, and be interactive so that users can filter data and generate new insights. With so many factors to consider, it’s easy to get it wrong. 

                To help, we’ve made a series of detailed dashboard data visualization infographic examples to help you create the most efficient and user-friendly dashboards for your data. Using this guide, you’ll know precisely what goes into creating a custom dashboard for your organization’s needs.

                When I worked as a financial reporter for a life insurance company, I often used exploratory data analysis and visualization to track claims payouts and identify patterns in these numbers. The spreadsheets I used contained thousands of data points–—everything from the amount paid to the policyholder’s age, location, and lifestyle.

                At a glance, all of this data was incredibly intimidating. Our brains simply can’t process this much information without the help of visualization tools. They let you glean vital information from mountains of data. Regardless of your industry, when you choose the right visualization method, you’ll gain valuable insight into the issues that impact your company and can make the most out of every bit of information you gather.

                The Relationship Between Exploratory Data Analysis and Visualization

                Exploratory data analysis is the process of gathering information without making any assumptions about what you might find. In this sense, it’s the most accurate type of data analysis. Researcher bias doesn’t skew the results of the data, and you can let the facts speak for themselves.

                Visualization is the use of specialized tools to help you make sense of exploratory data. Tools like scatter plots, heat maps, and histograms display the data set in a way that anyone can readily understand. You can also switch between different types of visualization tools to identify patterns. For example, an insurance reporter might use a scatter plot to see whether there’s a correlation between the claim payout amount and the policyholder’s age. You can then switch to a histogram view for the same data set, which will help you see what the lowest and highest claim payouts are in each age group.
                Exploratory data analysis and advanced visualization tools help you tell a story through data. When you use the best analytics tools, you’ll ensure that your staff and shareholders connect with the data and appreciate its impact.

                The Best Exploratory Data Analysis Visualization Tools  

                Because the data you’re gathering is exploratory, the visualization tools you use should also be experimental in nature. You have to look at the data from multiple angles. But which tools offer you the greatest flexibility?

                To choose the right exploratory data analysis (EDA) and visualization tools for your needs, first, consider what types of charts you want to create. I recommend beginning with a histogram and a scatter plot. Although these two charts analyze similar data (they both compare two sets of data to find correlations), using both may enhance your understanding of the data. A scatter plot shows you whether a correlation is present at all, while a histogram shows you how frequently this correlation appears.

                To deepen your understanding of the data, you can also use:

                • Heat maps to find patterns in populations or locations;
                • Dot distribution maps to analyze how frequently the data points appear in specific locations;
                • Pie charts and polar area diagrams to analyze proportions;
                • Dendrograms (tree diagrams) to sort your data hierarchically;
                • Ring charts that combine your dendrogram and pie chart findings;
                • Alluvial diagrams to track changes over time; and
                • Custom matrix charts that track multiple types of data in one document or dashboard.

                With so many different types of charts to choose from, the exploratory data analysis and visualization process can be very complicated and time-consuming. It can take hours just to create a simple scatter plot by-hand. This is why you should use an EDA system that automatically generates these charts for you.

                Choosing the Right Visualization Method for Your Needs

                Every company is different—there is no one-size-fits-all data visualization solution. A data analytics firm will help you identify the most effective charts for your unique data sets and create a custom EDA system from scratch. You won’t have to sort the data on your own or waste time generating dozens of exploratory reports. Instead, you can focus on taking immediate action in response to these reports.

                For example, when we worked with a successful life insurance and annuity carrier, we focused on fraud detection and prevention. Our exploratory data analysis and visualization process involved gathering detailed information about the company’s insurance agents and customers. We then fed this data into advanced algorithms, which ranked each agent and customer according to risk.

                Using these visualization tools, the insurance company could identify which agents were most susceptible to getting fooled by fraudulent claims and which customers were most likely to commit fraud. As a result, fraud detection experts were able to identify fraudulent cases three times more effectively than they could before this process began. The key to selecting the best exploratory data analysis and visualization method is to hire a firm that can come up with a customized plan tailored specifically for your company. Firms like Tek Leaders have both the time and resources required to gather detailed data, clean it up, and present it in a visually-engaging and easily-accessible way. With an experienced data analytics team at your side, you can enrich your understanding of the issues that impact your company and find the perfect solutions.

                To create detailed, clear visualizations to go along with your exploratory data analysis, contact Tek Leaders today. Our firm is comprised of seasoned IT experts who understand how to display complex data so that it can be readily understood by everyone who reads it. Or, if you have more questions about our data visualization services, you can reach us by email or call us at (214) 504-1600 directly.

                Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

                Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.

                Read more