Project Management

Visualize This?

George Ball

Can't see the forest for the trees? Feel like you're standing right under the Iguazu falls in a deluge of data that never stops coming?


Perhaps one of the greatest challenges facing today's fast-paced businesses is synthesizing vast amounts of data into actionable knowledge. Enter the burgeoning field of information visualization software. (One way you can tell the field is still relatively new is that a search on Yahoo turned up only 611,000 hits.)


No, it's not software that your CIO's shrink gives him to help him find that "quiet place" when things get stressful. It's software that takes vast amounts of data and organizes it in interactive graphical formats--pictures that make the information much easier to grasp quickly and to explore thoroughly in ways that fit better with how you best assimilate things (I, for one, am not a spreadsheet or database kind of guy).


The idea of data visualization has actually been around for some time, since even before the first bar chart you created in a Lotus spreadsheet.


Although still highly specialized and focused primarily on few targeted data-crunching markets (oil and gas, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, finance, etc.), information visualization software offerings are rapidly expanding to cover more mainstream needs such as sales and supply chain management. There are several reasons …

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