There is no denying corporate profits are increasing. But, economists and business leaders are expressing growing concerns that weak consumer confidence, ongoing layoffs, flat wages, and other economic factors are weakening consumer buying power and will prevent corporate profits from continuing to climb.

Pressure on business leaders has been intensified, and when combined with the challenges of keeping pace with dynamic market conditions, decision makers can no longer rely on stale Excel spreadsheets to make informed decisions. Business leaders need real-time, actionable insights on customer, financial, operational, and market data that allow them to act quickly—ahead of their competitors—on rapidly changing conditions.

Dynamic Data Empowers Leaders

Visualisation tools bring actionable insights to the surface, providing executives, managers, and knowledge workers with the ability to view different dimensions of business conditions. Viewing financial data as a one-dimensional table is stale; data visualisation tools enable business leaders to see dynamic correlations between data sets, while offering them the ability to manipulate and explore data deeply and directly.

For example, an Excel spreadsheet or a canned report might inform a line of business (LOB) leader for an electronics retailer that sales for HDTV equipment are down five points in the Southeast region of the U.S. during a particular month. However, the report won’t inform the LOB leader why the sales of HDTV equipment are down.

Moreover, by the time the LOB leader has received and viewed the report, the information could be days or weeks old, further blurring the accuracy of the data and whether it truly reflects the current sales climate. By using on-demand data visualisation and predictive analytics, that same leader can not only view up-to-date sales figures for HDTV gear in the South East, but he’s also able to see correlations between specific product types and the reasons sales are lagging.

Armed with more meaningful and relevant insights, the LOB leader is better prepared to take appropriate action that will increase the probability of success, based on analytical models he’s able to develop himself (e.g., a week-long sale promoting discounts of bundled HDTV products to males ages 25 to 54 is expected to produce X pounds in sales while generating acceptable profit margins).

Increase Efficiency By Using Data Visualisation

Research finds that executives and employees in organisations that use visual data discovery are more likely to find the information they need when they need it than peers who lack these capabilities. In fact, managers in organisations using data visualisation tools are 28% more likely than their peers who use managed reporting and dashboards to find timely information, according to a recent study on the use of visualisation tools by Aberdeen Group.

In addition, organisations that use visual data discovery are able to get analytics into the hands of 48% more of their employees. One of the main factors driving this higher rate of adoption is that analytics users are more likely to be self-sufficient in their use of BI tools, according to Aberdeen Group.

On-demand data visualisation tools enable business leaders to access, absorb and comprehend data regarding financial performance faster and more effectively. This allows business leaders to more easily make correlations between business and operational trends, and better gauge the financial health of their organisation in real time in order to act swiftly and execute decisively.