Dataviz and Organizational Health

On the importance of seeing potential dangers.

The era of Big Data has arrived, but so has the hype. Many organizations are confounded about what to do. Fortunately, tools like Hadoop dramatically increase data storage capabilities.

As I write in Too Big to Ignore, he who stores the most data doesn’t win. Moreover, storing data doesn’t necessarily tell you what you need to know. How do you know if there’s a budding problem? A massive opportunity?

An Example

For instance, imagine for a moment that you’re working in a network operations center. How do you get your arms around what’s going on? Failing to act may yield disastrous consequences–not only for the NOC, but for many other affected parties.

In point of fact, IT operations folks have visualized Small Data for decades. Network ops centers normally employ multiple screens to monitor what’s taking place. Think War Games. Typically of great import are the statuses of different systems, networks, and pieces of hardware. Record-level data has historically been rolled into summaries. A simple red or green status has presented data in an easily digestible and highly visible format.

We now have the ability to store, access, and analyze petabytes of raw data.

Over the last few years, the status quo in many NOCs has given way to recent technological advancements. We have seen a transformation of sorts. Tools like Hadoop allow for the easy and inexpensive collection of vastly more data than even a decade ago–especially the unstructured kind. As a result, NOCs can now maintain, access, and analyze petabytes of raw data. Next-generation dataviz tools can interpret this raw data on the fly, allowing employees to conduct ad hoc analyses.

Brass tacks: With the right tools, it’s now relatively easy to summon virtually unlimited data for any given area into a simple webpage. Dataviz tools let employees spot anomalies and diagnose operational issues before they turn red.

Simon Says: Use Dataviz to Understand the Health of Your Organization

New dataviz tools can help organizations understand the massive data streams coming at them faster than ever. Never has it been more important to capture, analyze, and present a real-time view into the health of your business. Start with the data. The knowledge should then flow.

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corvil

While the words and opinions in this post are my own, Corvil has compensated me to write it.

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