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Data Visualisations and Dashboards Solutions using Microsoft Tools

Data Visualisations

Data Visualisation is used to present information visually so that it is easily understood without the need to study the numbers. The most common form of data visualisation is the Excel graph or chart. But other techniques include the use of colour coding, traffic lights or icons to convey information. Geo-spatial visualisation is becoming a more and more common technique for data visualisation.

Whatever form of data visualisation is used, the aim is to make it easy to understand to the user. This can be particularly useful in supporting management by exception; drawing management’s attention to areas of concern.

Microsoft have a number of tools that can help with data visualisation. Reporting Services, Power BI, Excel or Excel Services and Performance Point. SysTalk can help organisations determine which is the right tool to use as well as building the actual solution.

Dashboards

Dashboards are a visual presentation of key metrics that an organisation needs to actively manage and monitor. Different managers and departments will have different metrics that are key to the success of their business, so an organisation may have a number of different dashboards.

Dashboards are a snap shot of the current situation, but may also have historical trend information.

A good dashboard should support management by exception: what areas of the business need attention? These could be areas that are not performing to expectation or where a downward historical trend highlights potential future problems that should be addressed now.

There is often an interplay between Dashboards and Analytics. Dashboards can highlight an issue to management, but they will need an analyst to use the analytics tool to drill into the problem and identify exactly what the source of the issue is. It is important that the Dashboard and the Analytics tool draw from the same data; otherwise it may be hard for the analyst to explain the issues highlighted in the Dashboard.

Microsoft Tools

The Microsoft Business Intelligence platform has a number of different tools for developing and delivering Data Visualisations and Dashboards. These include:

  • Power View
  • Performance Point
  • Excel Services
  • Power BI for Office 365
  • Reporting Services

SysTalk can advice organisations on the best tools to use as well as assisting in the design and development of the solution.