3 business segments you can measure with data visualization tools

3 business segments you can measure with data visualization tools

Posted by Ben Plummer

A number of factors make up a business, which ones are performing right?

Qualitative data analysis can provide you with a list of insights regarding your finances, customers and internal processes.

Smart Data Collective contributor Bernard Marr acknowledged these three elements, also noting several key performance indicators (KPIs) you can use to scrutinize them. The question is, how does each KPI synchronize with visual analytics?

How do you "read" it?
Whether you choose a scatter plot, time series web or horizon graph depends on what kind of information you're trying to scrutinize. In addition, you should keep in mind that each individual processes information in his or her own unique way. Stanford University released a white paper detailing a number of data visualizations, a few of which I believe accompany the three business segments listed below quite nicely. 

Finance 
Before a company outsources particular roles, adopts software, installs new equipment or purchases new property, the CFO or sole proprietor attempts to deduce whether or not it will yield a return on investment in doing so. For example, suppose you're a CMO who believes a customer relationship management solution will enable the sales and marketing team to reduce resource consumption and improve patron loyalty. 

Which visualization should you choose? Because measuring ROI typically depends on time, I'd use a stacked graph segregated into smaller multiples. You can measure current marketing lead generation, sales turnover and other factors, comparing them with anticipated outcomes. 

Customer 
While we're on the subject of customers, let's take a look at market share. Consider the following question as an example: "Why is the enterprise's foothold in Australia lackluster?" While a pie chart can show you the percentage of Australian consumers loyal to your brand, it wouldn't be able to tell you why they continuously buy products. 

There are several reasons why an organization may have strong influence over a particular economy, all of which contribute to a central idea or theme.

If you want to identify these factors (geography, trust, experience, etc.), I'd advise using a hierarchical enclosure diagram. This visualization shows smaller bubbles within a larger one – i.e. smaller elements formulating a comprehensive concept. 

Internal process 
Finally, suppose you wanted to determine whether your largest projects were being completed within budget. Similar to the situation outlined above, there are multiple factors that may cause an endeavor to get financially out of hand. 

Scatter plots are the best option for identifying detrimental elements. For instance, a red dot further up the y-axis and closer to the beginning of the x-axis may show you that prototyping is quickly completed, but too many resources are spent on it. 

So, as you can see, pairing KPIs with the right visualizations will help you draw conclusions quickly, enabling you to take fast action to mitigate an issue. 

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