Treemaps: Spot Outliers in Structured Data
The Treemap and its cousin the Heatmap are two of the most powerful information visualization techniques available for analyzing structured business data. They display tree-structured data in an easy-to-understand, intuitive set of nested rectangles.
Treemaps were invented by Professor Ben Shneiderman at the University of Maryland as a way to monitor and analyze disk space usage in his lab. Today, customers in many industries, particularly financial services, use them to look at large, fast-changing sets of structured data. Datawatch's Treemaps are unique in their ability to process and display data from real-time streaming sources and CEP engines.
Fast comprehension of complex data
In a Treemap, the size of a field reflects its importance. The color conveys urgency; good news is usually shown in shades of blue and bad news is normally shown in shades of red. Most people can learn to understand the information presented in this visualization within a minute – even if that Treemap is showing data representing an underlying database containing millions of records.
Chandresh Iyer, Citi's Global Head of Custody and Investment Administration Services, describes how Heatmaps and Treemaps function as part of the CitiDirect® PRISM system, an industry first performance and risk reporting middle-office application using Datawatch data visualization technology. Learn more about the CitiDirect PRISM system.
Treemaps use our innate ability to comprehend size, color and groupings very quickly – much faster than we can read and interpret reports, tables or diagrams. They enable users to easily filter out less interesting data, focus on crucial outliers, and act quickly based on patterns and trends they are able to visualize in what otherwise would be unfathomable mounds of data.
Monitor and analyze real-time streaming data
Our Treemaps are not static pictures. They are an effective way to visualize the information contained in large column-oriented tick databases, standard relational databases and/or streamed in from CEP engines or real-time message buses. The real value of this unique information visualization is quickly apparent when you interact with the data. You can zoom, filter and view details on demand, as well as link to and highlight other sources of information.
Find outliers and correlations in seconds
Utilizing a Treemap, you can point out important values in a matter of seconds – much faster than you can read any report. The visual display in a Treemap lets people utilize their innate ability to quickly interpret, understand and compare object sizes, colors, and groupings.
Invoke external systems from within a Treemap-equipped analytical dashboard
Like all Datawatch information visualizations, our Treemaps are designed to be connected to other systems. You can easily mouse click on an element in a Tree Map to launch a third party system. This can be as simple as invoking a web browser to jump to a specific website containing more information about the item, or something more complicated like initiating a purchase order or a shipping change in a supply chain management system.