Monday May 02, 2016

Oracle Data Visualization Desktop is available now!

Data Visualization Desktop (DVD) is a standalone capability that provides rich, consumer-style analytics, including intelligent data visualization, self-service data discovery, visual storytelling, and predictive analysis, as well as out-of-the-box access to numerous data sources and built-in data preparation.

 Highlights and benefits include:

  • Easy, Engaging Visual Analytics: Oracle Data Visualization blends drag-and-drop simplicity with powerful analytics, making it fun and easy for anyone to blend, visualize, and gain new insight from their data.  DVD makes visual analytics even more accessible through a quick download and install, allowing anyone to have a local best-in-class visual analytics capability that includes new visualizations, free form layouts, custom coloring and highlighting, and more.  See the new features video.

  • Anytime, Anywhere:  DVD complements DVCS, BICS, and BI 12c, making the same rich experience and technology available for personal use on the desktop.  DVD is ideal for organizations that are still sorting out their cloud strategy, offering easy access to visual analytics that creates a natural bridge between premises and cloud.  Equally, it offers cloud customers a simple solution for local analytics, enabling people to work anywhere they need to.     

  • Push-Button Data Management:  Point-and-click data blending allows users to blend data from a variety of sources – Oracle and other SaaS applications, on-premises systems, external sources and personal files, including:  OTBI/E, Oracle database, Spark, SQL Server, MySQL, DB2, Teradata, Redshift, Hive, Impala, MongoDB, SybaseIQ, and Salesforce.  DVD also offers integrated data preparation capabilities, enabling anyone to quickly clean and enhance data as it is loaded, as well as export to CSV files.

  • Predictive Analytics:  Analytics has progressed from providing oversight to offering insight, and now to enabling foresight.   Oracle Data Visualization supports that progression, delivering embedded predictive capabilities that enable anyone to see trend lines and other visuals with a click, and extend their analysis using a free R download.  

Download DVD from OTN

Tuesday Jan 19, 2016

What’s the Hype about Data Visualization? Seems like the Same Old Graphics to me.

By Barry Mostert

 “All I see are the same bar charts, pie charts and scatter plots that I’ve always had.” “I don’t see much difference from what’s in my current dashboards.”  “Where are the new, innovative, different types of charts?” 

When I talk to people about data visualization, initially they express disappointment that they’re not seeing “new ways” to present data. Actually, data visualization isn’t about replacing reliable forms of graphic expression; after all, a pie chart will always be pretty good at easily portraying a metric against a single dimension.  A visual’s intent is to present information that allows the viewer to quickly digest the meaning of the data and in a way that will help to lead them to new insights.  My experience has shown me that new ways of presenting and enhancing graphics are often poorly applied – and often for novelty effect. Adding effects like shadows, 3D, or making them spin doesn’t actually improve the information being represented. Sure, they may be “prettier” or “more fun” and so they’re great when doing a presentation, but these effects do little to support analysis of the underlying information – actually, they are more likely to create a distraction than to add value. 

Of course, with data visualization tools, brand new types of charts are available, and I will discuss new chart types and the use of the technology called D3 in a subsequent post. For now, keep in mind that this isn’t the major benefit of data visualization.

“So if data visualization tools aren’t to provide a broader array of graphics, why is there so much hype about them and why shouldn’t I just stick with my classic dashboard tool?”  The answer lies in the way that users interact with these two tools.  A classic dashboard is usually created an answer to a specific, predefined question whose answer changes over time (e.g., revenue to date, production throughput).  Classic dashboards are usually built to help users discover what has happened. Data visualization techniques, on the other hand, empower data exploration by supporting a guided conversation through the data. There is no predefined requirement and no predetermined end point - the conversation may lead anywhere.  Data visualization goes beyond what has happened to encourage the user to uncover why it is happening.

The difference between data visualization and a classic dashboard is not in the appearance, but in the type of question that initiates the conversation with the data, and how you employ the visuals to answer the question.

In subsequent posts, we will offer more thoughts and observations about data visualization – applications, techniques, considerations for people, and tools. 

Friday Jul 22, 2011

Data Visualization and Mobile BI

I flew up to the OAUG Connection Point BI & EPM event in Seattle this week to deliver a keynote presentation, and was lucky enough to catch Edgewater/Ranzal consultant Iain Curtain’s awesome presentation on data visualization. The topic has been on my mind lately for several reasons. Now that Oracle is delivering BI capabilities on the iPad, I’m finding that my favorite dashboards are those that spotlight the visuals, and are lighter on the numeric tables. The bright, crisp resolution of the iPad, combined with its’ smaller than a laptop display area, make charts, maps, and pictures especially important for mobile dashboards. Those killer new visualizations that are in the Oracle BI 11g release look fantastic on the iPad! Iain shared some best practice design principles for data visualization, informed by his years of field experience and a few healthy doses of Edward Tufte and Stephen Few.

If you missed the OAUG Connection Point event in Seattle this week, odds are good that you’ll get another chance to catch Iain at the OAUG BI SIG Meeting at Oracle Open World on Sunday, October 1st, or at the next OAUG Connection Point event in November in Atlanta. And if you just can’t wait until fall, Iain has written a short blog on the topic.

Speaking data visualization, Louis Columbus, a longtime friend, industry colleague, and maniacal blogger about all things related to business and tech, tipped me off to comScore Data Mine, a web site that is chock full of visualizations that render a million fascinating factoids about global adoption of technology and other trends. I highly recommend giving it a quick look. You’ll probably end up bookmarking it.

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