The data visualization vendors have had a lot of success over the past several years by providing easy to use data discovery tools targeted at average line of business users. I have always looked at this approach with skepticism. While I think providing business users self-service analytics is clearly the right thing to do, I have seen too many presentations and reports which have just justified someone’s opinions or hunch.
Let’s take a look at how using only traditional business intelligence, data visualization or data discovery tools can be completely misleading…enabling the average business user to make “dumb and dangerous” decisions.
Woah…We need to shut down cheese production immediately! Apparently the amount of cheese consumption per capital can lead to dying by getting tangled in bed sheets! Holy cow!
Now lookee here….If I were a lawyer in Maine, I would be working closely with the makers of margarine. That dip in margerine consumption seems to be linked to the dropping divorce rate!!! Let’s harden our arteries with a little hydrogenated oil and get ourselves a divorce!
Ok, my kid is never ever going to the finals of the Scripps National Spelling bee! Other than the fact neither of them are good spellers….this is just downright frightening. Long words = death by venomous spiders! Creepy crawlies are less fun than 22 letter words.
Yes, I know…..this is a stretch. A good data scientist will tell me I am thinking about this all the wrong way. Nonetheless, the point is this: straight up data visulization can show you what happened and in some cases, like these funny examples, lead to incorrect conclusions. So how can you avoid this?
We can take the best of both worlds: business intelligence + smart data discovery.
BI tells you “what” happened through interactive visualizations, reports and dashboards.
Smart Data Discovery helps you discover why things happened through predictive analytics, pattern detection, guided discovery and visualizations.
DM me @BrendanRGrady to learn more