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Visual Discovery Tools


The latest keyword being voiced in the BI industry is 'Visual Discovery'. So what is visual discovery? A good way to approach this at a high level is to compare the difference between visual discovery tools and dashboards.

  • Visual Discovery Tools - provide users with a way to explore data to seek out trends and patterns.
  • Dashboards - provide users with a quick 'at a glance' view of performance

Visual Discovery Tools

Visual discovery tools are either purpose built, with a sole purpose of data exploration or they are an included functionality in a BI Tool with a wider scope to build dashboards.

For example; SAS JMP is exclusively a visual discovery tool, whereas Tableau is a great visual discovery tool with capability to also build a dashboard. However, its dashboard building capabilities are somewhat less than a tool that is purpose built around building dashboards. It's all a balancing act based on individual user needs.

Recent BI tools incorporating visual discovery include:

Launched

  • TIBCO Spotfire - version 4.0 with added collaboration
  • QlikView - QlikTech version 11
  • MicroStrategy - recently released Visual Insight.

In Beta

  • Tableau version 7.0 - with added enterprise capabilities
  • Oracle Exalytics - a new visual discovery tool and appliance still in beta

In Development

  • Cognos - currently has a new visual discovery product in development
  • Microsoft - its Crescent visual discovery tool is due for release in 2013

Visual discovery tools are specialised tools, so it is no surprise that you can expect better functionality from specialised third tier vendors than from the major BI vendors.

Come back soon - we will update this page as more is released on these new tools.

NEXT: Data Mining

 

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