Great post by Bill Franks over at Harvard Business Review titled “Data for All! How New Tools Democratize Visualization(opens in a new window).

His thesis is that there are a bunch of new data visualization tools out there, and that mostly he sees people use them to do the same kinds of charts that they could do in Excel. His conclusion is that there are two value propositions in these new data visualization tools.

First, these new tools bring data to life.

Second, these tools are more democratic. They make Big Data available to everyone in a self-service environment.

I agree with him on both of these points.

We certainly see our customers experience these benefits.

I think there is a third value proposition that Franks brushes up against, but could call out on it’s own: the value of real-time data.

Yes, the new tools democratize the data. In the process of cutting out the middleman, they also cut the cycle time from curiosity to answer. Now users can readily put their hands on the data and take immediate corrective action.

In our manufacturing world, this access to real-time data is critical because so much is at stake over such short periods of time. And when you can have the data tell you when you need to pay attention—in real time—we see the value of data visualization go through the roof. We see that take place all the time. One great example is in this account of an Aerospace manufacturer and their use of GainSeeker Suite SPC Software. You can read lots of other examples here.

What about you? How are you using GainSeeker Suite to better visualize your business? What value are you getting from that? Write to me at ejmiller [at] hertzler [dot] com. I’d love to hear from you.