Pretty isn’t everything, even when it comes to creating risk-monitoring dashboards using data visualization techniques — the process of transforming text-heavy data into pictorial or graphical formats so it’s easier to consume and understand.
But if dashboards don’t reflect accurate or current data, then even the most attractive graphs, charts or scatter plots will fall flat at the next board meeting. Business intelligence is the way of the world. Executives want answers, which your dashboards should be able to provide.
Ask these questions to ascertain whether your organization’s current data visualization techniques truly enable business intelligence, or whether they merely elicit vanity metrics:
- Is your data connected?: From Excel spreadsheets and other on-premises software, to data warehouses and cloud-based applications, you likely have dozens of different data sources. Is all your internal and external data normalized and aggregated into a single source of truth? Further, can your data sets interact or “talk” to each other — automatically highlighting relationships to allow for more comprehensive and contextual analysis, and additional queries for information in real time.
- Do you have easy access to advanced analytical tools?: The bounty of data at your fingertips can be equal parts blessing and curse. Are your visual data points dynamic — meaning, can you drill-down further by any data subset your heart desires on the fly (from claim types, property types and locations to coverage lines, regions and timeframes, etc.)? Can you integrate all the information you have, analyze it against the “bigger picture,” and use the results to make realistic predictions to guide your daily decisions?
- Is your data analytics DIY?: Are you able to filter, segment and analyze data without in-depth technical knowledge? The best data visualization tools will allow you to efficiently and independently query the information you’re seeking. Further, do you receive customized alerts, outlining what’s happening in your business and when, so you can make timely and informed decisions without having to constantly monitor every indicator for change?
If you didn’t answer “yes” to the above questions — and your dashboards seemingly don’t stack up when it comes to providing business intelligence — don’t despair. The right web-based risk management solution supports integrative data visualization and enable insights that have previously been unobtainable.