5 Questions to Ask While Considering Data Visualization Tools

If you are planning to select Business Intelligence (BI) tool for your Big Data solutions, it is important to evaluate which one is the best suited and not best rated for your company. Selecting a right visualization tool that can help you get the most out of Big Data and has well-defined functions, is an important criterion of the process. So you should ask the following questions before selecting the best tool for your company.

1. What are you visualizing?

It is important to first understand why you are looking for the tool in the first place. If you are planning to visualize the internal data such as marketing, finance, etc. you should look for a tool that is in alignment with your management system. For example, if you are using SAP ECC/Net Weaver system for handling internal data, an SAP-based BI will work better for easy implementation and cost reduction on training. Similarly, if you are going to use the tool for a client, it is better to use something that is compatible with what your client is using.

2. How is the tool’s interface?

It is imperative that the tool has an easy to use Graphical User Interface (GUI). Tools are meant to save time and make the task easy.  A well-designed tool that offers access to various options can be put in the pipeline with ease. Check if it has nice graphics capabilities in case you need to visualize decision trees and so on.

3. Does it have the essential support for visual discovery?

Tools should provide the most basic support for visual discovery and query processing. This might include something as simple as comma-separated values file, text, Excel, and XML support. Apart from these basic things, you might need to check what programming language it supports. Your decision will rest on what your internal team is expert at handling. Your team can get to support for various well-known programming languages such as C++, Python, Java, and Perl.

Data Visualization

The other thing to check is whether or not the visualization tool you are planning to use is compatible with the operating system you use. In case of cloud implementation, ask the cloud provider for an OS that is compatible with your visualization tool. If you are catering to a client, ensure that the OS you select is compatible with their systems too.

4. Is the price right?

It is no surprise that price plays an important role in finalizing a lot of things in any company. BI projects cost a lot and the cost will largely depend on a number of criteria such as the level of in-house expertise and the ultimate goal to be achieved. Visualization tools should not be judged on the basis of their price alone but compared with how big is the need and what is being provided.

A good way to make a decision is to try a free trial version of the software to check whether it works for you or not. The tool provider should offer good technical support along with the documentation that covers all aspects of the tool.

5. How flexible is the tool?

Big Data is evolving at a phenomenal rate and so is the technology around it. Make sure that the visualization tool that you are seeking is flexible enough to adapt to these changes. Ask the provider how easy it is to upgrade the tool so that you do not hit a roadblock and require a complete overhaul in the near future.

Big Data

Understanding these points will help you start zeroing on a list of visualization tools but seeking the support of an experienced tool provider will help you finalize it. Look for someone like us who have an expertise in understanding the requirements of the client and providing a complete solution.  

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Ashmitha Chatterjee

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