Data visualizations can make or break the analytics functionality in your application, particularly as you collect more and more data. Finding the best way to communicate this complex information isn’t always easy, and it’s one of the capabilities that separate sophisticated data visualization platforms from those that are more barebones.
We’ve previously discussed how to choose the right visualizations for your data. Now, let’s explore the features that will keep users engaged within your applications. If you’re looking to increase user adoption, here’s what may be missing from your data visualizations:
Customizable Dashboard Components
Customization is a great way to get more out of your data visualization platform. If your users can move dashboard components around the interface and change which components they see, they can more easily get the views they want while hiding features they rarely use. Customizable dashboards can also make analysis more efficient, since users can lay out new dashboards in a format they’re familiar with.
User-centric design is a concept that gets a lot of industry buzz, but it does have some key implications for data visualization platforms. One way to approach user-centric design is to make sure that your data visualizations incorporate your users’ industry right into the design. For example, laying data over a geographic map is a great way to show network stability and uptime information for telecommunications professionals. For more industry-specific examples, check out our data visualization gallery.
Another possible consideration for designing visualizations that users will love is incorporating end-user feedback into the development process. When working on tools for groups of users, you can help ensure buy-in by reviewing requirements with key stakeholders regularly.
In addition to giving users access to data quickly, enabling self-service analytics and data visualizations frees up IT resources that would otherwise be spent managing ad hoc reports. This is also an area where self-serve reports and visualizations can pair nicely together because users can get the data they need and then use the software to show it in an easily digestible way.
Enabling full-featured self-service analytics can involve significant upfront investment in terms of training users in how to leverage the platform for the most benefit. However, it’s an investment that can pay off, particularly if you have many users in your organization who want to explore their data more freely, or who regularly need to view it in different ways.
Learn more on customizing your analytics in our on-demand webinar: Beyond the Box – Using Plugins, HTML and CSS to Extend BI.