Data is becoming increasingly more important for companies. This leads to the increasing necessity to easily extract information from them for communication purposes within and outside the organization. It is precisely for this purpose that data visualization was designed.
However, dataviz solutions have developed so much over the last few years, that it has become very difficult to choose a suitable tool, especially since each company is different and needs specific options.
Fortunately, there are some basic criteria that can help you assess the various solutions available to you and answer the challenging question: ‘Is this dataviz tool suitable for my company?’
Unless you are looking for a very specialized and limited solution, the versatility of your dataviz tool is a key criterion. For an optimal data processing, it must cover a large number of functionalities, starting with data preparation, which will allow you to generate relevant visualizations containing really useful information.
Advanced and predictive analytics are also essential to help you make the most of your data and better anticipate the future. Thus, you will be able to make the best decisions for your company.
Notwithstanding, a versatile tool is also a tool for all users, regardless of their level and role. For instance, while to some it can be used to analyze data to extract information, design charts and other forms of data presentation, other can only edit or read these visualizations.
In any case, a suitable dataviz platform must be accessible to data specialists and neophytes in the same way, at all hierarchical levels.
The type of proposal
Data visualization software use two main models: the All Inclusive proposals where all the functionalities are included in the subscription and the ‘custom-made‘ proposals with additional options available paid for.
The first type of proposal has the advantage of providing total clarity and transparency: You know exactly what you are paying for and why you are paying, without unpleasant surprises. Custom-made solutions, on the other hand, first offer some level of flexibility in choosing functionalities, but the accumulation of additional options can quickly become a real financial drain.
The cost of deployment
It is important to properly anticipate the cost of a large project like implementing a dataviz solution deployment. This is why pricing is one of the most important criteria. It must of course be adapted to your company, its size, its needs and its resources. As explained in the previous point, the proposal must be as clear as possible when accessing essential functionalities, without restrictions, and a well-defined price.
For large structures, it is necessary to ensure that the solution chosen has a model suitable for a large-scale deployment. In fact, the more users, the greater the chances of a price hike; hence the need for a reasoned proposal which is suitable for large companies, for example with rates based on the number of users or the existence of a competitive or general public license.
Data processing capacity
This point is crucial, since the very purpose of a data visualization tool is to speed up and simplify data processing. It is therefore necessary to ensure that the solution chosen is capable of delivering optimal performance while handling a large volume of data. Actually, while some tools have some restrictions, others lose speed and efficiency when processing a large amount of data.
The ability to manage multiple sources must also be examined closely. The tool must be able to easily connect to various databases and import files of all kinds. In addition, you need to be able to easily view multiple data sets from a single dashboard in a consolidated manner.
Each company has its own specific characteristics and needs. Hence, the importance of a flexible solution capable of adapting to the functional development requirements of each structure.
A good data visualization tool should also be customizable according to the sector the company belongs to. In other words, retail companies do not have the same needs as financial professionals or public administrations.
The former will focus on increasing their sales, optimizing their supply chain (online or in stores) and improving their customers’ experience. As for finance and banking professionals, they will need relevant business-specific reporting and reliable decision-making information for proper risk management. Finally, communities and other administrations will need to manage a large amount of data, and public resources and expenditures precisely.
Personal Data Protection
For several years now, personal data protection has been at the heart of many debates. In Europe, the entry into force of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has had a significant impact on companies that use their customers’ information. Data visualization solutions are not an exception and must comply with this European directive, which strictly regulates the use of data.
To safeguard both yours and your customers’ data, you must also ensure that the supplier of your solution is not subject to the CLOUD Act. This U.S. federal law allows authorities to compel U.S. companies to provide them with data stored on their servers, even if they are located abroad.
Since many of the solutions on the market come from the United States, opting for a French or European tool is still the best way to guard against the CLOUD Act.
Interactions with the Solution
The issue of interaction between users of the solution is important, since sharing information is one of the keys to data visualization. In this context, the use of an open language promotes the implementation of specific interaction tools. Meanwhile, if a proprietary language is owned by the editor of the solution your flexibility is reduced, since you cannot improve it directly.
The implementation of a dataviz platform can be quite technical, as can its daily use. That is why it is essential to have your supplier by your side and to be able to count on their support if you have any problems or questions.
The chosen solution must therefore offer you easily accessible support in French to ensure a perfect mutual understanding. Choosing a local company based in France is also a matter of trust and proximity.
Sharing and Communication
A good dataviz solution should enable you to easily export all your visualizations and communicate with different actors, whether they are internal or external to the company: managers, customers, partners, shareholders, the general public, etc. All users should be able to easily consult your visualizations, or even modify them if their role allows it.
Internally, data visualization is also supposed to represent a real support for decision-making: your tool must therefore be easily usable during your meetings, seminars and other presentations. Finally, make sure that your solution not only allows for the publication of your graphics and visual supports on the web, but also for their integration into other applications.
To be truly effective, your dataviz platform must be accessible to everyone at all times. This will of course be achieved, first, through an intuitive interface and being easy to use, and, secondly, by being available on every medium.
As such, it is preferable to choose a solution with a fully responsive design or a mobile web app facilitating the easy deployment of a dedicated mobile application: all users will be able to consult it easily from their tablet or smartphone and get the information they need at any time.
The selection of a data visualization solution should never be left to chance. This choice requires finding the right balance between the tool’s analytical capabilities and technical performance, the functionalities needed now and in the future, and the cost of deployment. By carefully examining these different criteria, you can more easily find the ideal solution: powerful, intuitive and adaptable, all without prohibitive costs.
DigDash offers you a powerful dataviz and Business Intelligence solution, even on a very large scale, which can be adapted to all types of companies. With an all-inclusive proposal and clear, transparent pricing, DigDash offers you the functionalities you need while meeting your long-term evolution needs. You also benefit from responsive and 100% French support.
16 January 2020