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The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

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In the humble opinion of the author, there is nothing nobler than being nerdy. It is against a backdrop of increasing speed, heightened efficiencies and broader collaboration that I offer a new reason for firms to get nerdy.

This is the first of three such articles that will hopefully provide you with a template of things to discuss and to consider when it comes to your data visualisation strategy.

There are a number of ducks that require alignment for empirical evidence to be made available and we will give duck number one the name of 'Content'.

  • First of all, you really do need to be collecting the right information. You can do incredibly clever things with reporting tools and databases so that you can give the appearance of collecting the right things. At some stage those clever things will fail. The best you can hope for is that you realise something has gone awry before a bad decision is taken. Agree what you want and agree how to collect it. It is safer.
  • Next, I would suggest that you talk about what it is you want to show. This is where the strategically arranged coming together of business and nerds can be very useful. Of course you may need interpreters but the progress to empirical nirvana will be impossible without someone who can explain the need, someone who knows where it is stored and someone to help you get it. If that someone is multi-skilled, so much the better.
  • Finally, you need to decide how to display the information that you have carefully identified for curation in this endeavour. A plethora of visualisation aids abounds for your data and you will learn how best to show it. There are guides out there on the web and you will learn very quickly what works best for your information.

As a young Northern lad I had very little time for Shakespeare. He didn’t open the batting for Yorkshire, he couldn’t get me into the cinema for free and he certainly couldn’t get me Denise Postlethwaite’s phone number. So why name this first Blog with a quote from Shakespeare? If you are one of those suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune in meetings, stop it now. Don’t be bullied by taunts of "prove it". Offer facts. Bring some content.

  • Collect the right information
  • Combine report consumer requirements, system knowledge and reporting skills
  • Choose a reporting style to suit the information and the recipient.

Look out for the second in this series of Blogs where I will talk more about the second duck to get in a row, 'Context'.

About the Author:

In an IT career that has spanned well over twenty-five years, Karl has spent time in consultancy, operations, product management and solutions design. Particular areas of his expertise include integration, mobility, and exploiting information. Our clients do amazing things with our technology, and what Karl enjoys most about his role, is helping clients to unlock the potential of our software, so that they can achieve amazing things too.

Some of his colleagues have pointed out that he is a geek by nature due to his keen interest in all things technical. He takes this as a huge compliment. Outside of work, Karl likes to walk, albeit slowly; a pace he blames on frequent pauses to take photographs.

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