Cos. Can Expect ROI on Their Visual Analytics Investments in Six Months

Souma Das, Managing Director, Qlik India in conversation with provides insights into the domain of visual analytics and how CIOs can get the best out of their visual analytics investments.

Q. Why would you recommend visual analytics to the CIOs?

We live in a visual world. A picture can tell a better story than text. We have seen the growth of infographics over the last several years. Why people like it is because it is easy to understand. Possibly, our brain is designed to be able to appreciate visuals better and faster.

Analytics is undergoing fundamental change, moving from the backend to front end, i.e. the business users, whom you don’t expect to be analysts or mathematicians. They just need to know how to dissect the data, how to intuitively discover and get the whole story, and take the decision on the basis of that. At the end of the day, they should also be able to create their own content and design their own analytics at the click of a button. This is where visual analytics becomes extremely relevant, as it provides the same power of analytics and also allows the users to build their own content and navigate through the data to be able to get the analytics out by themselves. In a way, visual analytics is making a significant impact in empowering both the CIO and the business users in optimizing and driving their business in a far more productive manner.

Q. Where does it stand in terms of user experience?

The new generation visualization tools make the user experience far more encouraging in terms of how they can quickly discover, collaborate, share the ideas and be able to take quicker decisions. Visual analytics is a technology that enables people to be far more agile and intuitive in being able to drive and discover data in a much faster manner. Time factor is extremely critical as an organization today can’t afford its CIO to take long time to build an analytics tool because by that time the business is gone.

Q. What factors should the CIOs be considering when choosing the visual analytics tool?

The challenge in front of the CIOs is to select the right tool. Just having a visual analytics tool with some great features is not enough. If they are not able to do deep analytics using those great features and if they are unable to see the whole story from their data, then the organization will actually lose merit of the reason for which it has gone for the visual analytics tool.

So, when the CIO is considering a visual analytics tool he/she should see whether it is enterprise ready, does it provide governance, security, scalability, aggregation or association of data from multiple data sources, does it provide the mobility experience that today’s business users require, and finally, does it also provide a cloud-centric environment so that if it has to be put in the cloud will it be able to create the same kind of experience as the on-premise solution.

Q. What best practices do you suggest for the CIOs who are planning to adopt visual analytics?

Its important to not just look for good visualization but to have a single robust platform delivering the different use case needs for both internal and external users. This will make the CIO far more confident in terms of delivering visual analytics to his/her users. Within the same organization one might want to build purpose build applications for one set of users and have another set of users who will be building their own content, and yet another set of users who require to be given standard reports. The same tool should be able to cater to the unique analytics needs of the different users. Secondly, it should be able to associate the various data sources, including the social feeds, without bringing much complexity to the business user. Looking into these factors will ensure that the visual analytics tool the organization is adopting is going to give it benefits not just today but will also enable it to expand and deliver through various ways in the future also.

Q. What kind of ROI can CIOs expect with visual analytics and the time frame within which they can expect returns?

On an average, depending on the industry, size and complexity of the data and analytics, and number of users, organizations can expect getting ROI on their visual analytics investments in six months. If your analytics is not able to deliver in around six months’ time, then it’s a wrong investment.

Q. What trends do you foresee in visual analytics?

CIOs have now started using purpose built campaigns using the visual analytics platform. For instance, supply chain analytics, travel analytics, inventor analytics, etc.  These are standard templates that can be implemented quickly within 30-45 days. Many of the CIOs are seeing these purpose built templatized apps that can be deployed fast as one of the smarter ways of introducing analytics to a specific function for a specific analytics requirement. This is also helping the CIO in quickening the process of analytics roll-out within the organization.

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