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Business Intelligence (BI) as a Tool for Middle Management Monday, January 2, 2012

With the evolution of BI tools, the effectiveness of Business intelligence continues to  improve by the day  and the software vendors are developing more complete solutions. However, these systems are far too expensive and complicated to use at the  middle management level. Access is often limited to senior executives and the system is maintained by an army of technical and analytical staffs.

 

When one considers the decision and process structure for most organization , it is easy to see how  even the  most complete BI solution can fall short in providing the value expected by the enterprise. Whether an organization is large or small, it is comprised of staff members with diverse responsibilities. Line staffs, supervisors and middle level managers are required to contribute information to support business decisions, yet these managers rarely have access to information outside their own department.

 

Most middle managers are experts in their own discipline, but rarely  understand other aspects of the business causing to missing information and assumptions in decision. An ideal Business Intelligence (BI) solution should provide a cost effective integrated environment in which a knowledge base reporting methodology and critical metrics can empower users to take day to day and long term middle management decisions.

 

At the center lies the business decision. Rather than keeping the business components integrated, the critical knowledge remains the sole property of each functional domain.

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Posted by Marlabs | No Comments
Using Treemaps to Visualize Complex Hierarchical Data Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Treemaps are a growing trend in data visualization and chances are that you have spotted one or two around the web. But what are they?

Treemaps are basically graphic-based information and exploration tools that are especially helpful when examining data in an interactive mode. They represent hierarchical and categorical data in a mosaic form containing embedded, rectangular shapes, where the size of each shape is germane.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treemapping

History of tree maps from the “founder”

http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/treemap-history/

The above link also has some downloadable tools for generating tree maps, along with some excellent algorithms.

How to create Treemaps?

Most leading commercial BI tools support creation of tree maps in their dashboards. But if you don’t have access to one and want to play with and understand it, you could do worse than go here:

http://manyeyes.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/page/Treemap.html

Here’s a good treemap that I stumbled upon recently:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10187248

The interesting stuff on supercomputers is a bonus!

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Posted by Rajesh Ramaswamy | No Comments
 
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