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AvdA

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Reply with quote  #1 
I am becoming increasingly interested in this area of data visualisation (thanks to your inspiring contribution) and currently have the exciting opportunity to bring something new to the company I work for in this regard. At this early stage, I am having a little difficulty defining the role in recognisable terms and I was wondering if you might have some suggestions. If I focus on Business Intelligence I am nervous that this will center too heavily on the data crunching that I would rather simply be drawing from (although it may be that is the necessary route to where I want to get to). If I focus on Data Interaction and Ergonomy (eg. User Experience Designer) I have the impression that that often (although I may be wrong) revolves around Data Entry which is not where I want to make the difference. If I concentrate on the Graphic Design side of things I find myself directed towards Computer Gaming schools or Marketing. And of course some psychology would help although it does seem that there is sufficient research available to be getting on with in the meantime. Perhaps it is more along the lines of 'Performance Management' something ... ?

In the hope that you will see how this might bring into existence more people making a positive difference to how data is presented for visual consumption, I wonder if you (or forum contributors) might have a moment to make a suggestion regarding how to pin this field down in terms of a title at least (and potentially tasks and training requirements).


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AvdA
Derek_C

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Reply with quote  #2 

I have it on my resume as *Visual* Business Intelligence, and refer to it in conversation as "VBI".

sfew

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Reply with quote  #3 
Avda,

Tell us a bit more about the work that you want to do. Will you be developing reports? Will you be analyzing data? Will you be designing or building dashboards? Will you be designing or building analytical applications? Will you be teaching others the principles and practices of effective data presentation or visual analysis? Are you hoping to do all of these things?

It’s a shame that those who have expertise in data visualization feel that it’s necessary to have a job title that specifies visualization in some way. Data visualization is central to business intelligence (BI). Anyone who works in BI, other than those who work strictly on the backend (data warehouse DBA, ETL developer, etc.), should have skills in data visualization. Because this is not presently the case, however, I do understand that it’s useful to include something about visualization in your job title, at least for the time being. Perhaps in time, if BI manages to shift its primary focus from backend technical work to data sensemaking and communication (i.e., the work that supports decision-making directly), expertise in data visualization will assume the central role in BI that is its proper place, and it will not be necessary to declare visualization as a specialty.

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Stephen Few
jodwilso

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks Derek C, I shall update my information to reflect VBI as well.  It certainly is a shame, Stephen. that we must make a distinction. 

In my short career, I've never met an analyst that was competent in what Derek C terms VBI and you term data visualization.
hanso

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Reply with quote  #5 
My company brought Stephen Few in for 2 days of training several years ago.
I think it was in SF's course where we did an exercise. I'd like to know what the exercise is called, how it's conducted, and some of the questions from the exercise. My group has changed significantly since the course and i'd like to do this exercise w/ my new folks and perhaps generate enough interest from this exercise to bring SF back in to do another 2 day course w/ my dept.

Here's the premise: A list of 10 questions.
1 question is "Distance from earth to moon?"
Write down a low estimate and a high estimate (i.e., 10% chance below or perhaps 1% change below and above) for all ten questions.

I think the exercise was supposed to show bias or how narrow our thinking is or something like that. In the end, it was amazing how far off people's ranges are from reality.

If this exercise was NOT done in a Stephen Few course, anyone else know what it was called or where i can get more info on this? can't find anything online...thanks
sfew

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Reply with quote  #6 
Hanso,

You must be remembering an exercise from a different course. This sounds like an exercise that Douglas Hubbard might do in one of his courses.

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Stephen Few
Alessandro

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Reply with quote  #7 
Hi,

I am a SAP Consultant and during the last xmas vacation I read two Stephen's books.
I'm very interesting about information design and visual perception but I'm a bit confused about terms.

It could seem stupid but I need some term definitions.

Which is the right definition of analytical application or analystics?

Which is the main difference between dashboard and analytics? 

Sorry for my english.

Thanks

ale

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ale
sfew

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Reply with quote  #8 
Hi Alessandro,

People tend to define these terms in various ways, which creates a great deal of confusion. Here are my simple definitions:

An analytical application is a computer-based system that is designed to help people analyze data, usually for a particular purpose.

Analytics is a general term for anything related to the process of data sense-making (also known as data analysis).

A dashboard is an information display that is used to monitor what's going on (e.g., performance monitoring). It supports monitoring, not data analysis. Unfortunately, many people use the term dashboard to refer to any display that contains more than one chart. This definition is too broad, however, because there are many reasons for which we must display more than one chart on a screen and these different uses require different designs.

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Stephen Few
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