Sydney is Australia’s tech hub. Over the past few months business intelligence and analyst experts have descended onto our harbor to host, amongst others, this year’s annual Gartner Business Intelligence, Analytics & Information Management Summit, as well as the upcoming Big Data & Analytics Conference this May – where even the prime minister himself, Tony Abbott, will be kicking things off with a speech.
For those of you who have kept abreast of this season’s events, or even attended the Gartner Business Intelligence, Analytics & Information Management Summit in London last week, you will have noticed two themes dominate this year’s talks: new technologies and data visualization. Though, in reality, the two very much go hand in hand.
Many of the developments in business intelligence technologies are in the form of data visualization, specifically self-service business analytics platforms. To put this simply, companies naturally amass a wealth of information that can be a virtual nightmare (no pun intended) to process. Self-service business analytics use a data warehouse that is connected to a user-friendly platform, which is installed throughout the office. This means that IT departments are no longer on constant callouts to hapless employees, while these same employees are able to easily create comprehensive reports, including detailed graphs and tables, regardless of their technical abilities.
The movement towards this new type of intuitive platform is being spearheaded by innovative technology start-ups like Berlin based datapine, who are working to bridge the gap between technology and business culture. Rather than restricting useful data to the confines of PowerPoint files, companies can now have their relevant information easily available across multiple devices, including tablets and smartphones, allowing them to operate with clients in real-time and outside the conference room.
And it’s not just that many companies no longer want to limit themselves with the inefficient PowerPoint format; it’s that they also can’t afford to. Data visualization in self-service platforms is about facilitating quicker and better decision-making. The emphasis is on having all your company data readily available, shared amongst your team, and in an easy to understand format. Enabling you to act, or react, faster than ever before.
So what does this mean? For the majority of us, it means that the reign of PowerPoint might soon be over – and good riddance. Surely anyone who has had to sit through one, let alone hundreds, of stuffy work meetings will breathe a sigh of relief. The timing errors, low-quality effects, and the infamous blue screen of death have all contributed to PowerPoint’s inevitable downfall, and opened the door for a new age of self-service platforms. Long may it last.