How to Easily Visualize Data

Michael Vizard

The biggest problem we have with data is not collecting it and storing it; it's analyzing it. This is why business intelligence applications are at the top of every IT priority list. But the problem with most business intelligence applications is that they don't make it easy to see the data. In order to visualize the data, it first has to be massaged into a compatible format, then the only thing that an end user can visualize is the way the data was set up by the IT department. If users wants to change the way the data is set up to see something else, they have to start the whole process all over again.

Needless to say, this can take up quite a lot of time. For most IT organizations, it requires the aid of developers to set up the spatial mapping into a geographical information system (GIS) that has to integrated with the business intelligence application.

But what if you could accomplish all that using a simple SpatialKey service on the Web that costs $125 per user per month? Either by entering data manually or setting up feeds that automatically pump data into their service, Universal Mind has created an on-demand SpatialKey service for graphically viewing the spatial relationship of any given data set.

The PRIO Centre for the Study of Civil War, for example, is using the SpatialKey service to identify areas of armed conflict around the globe as part of the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. The idea is to make this information available to aid organizations so they can figure out how to best deploy their resources with as little risk as possible. Obviously, the same concept could be applied to analyzing a supply chain, the deployment of sales resources or the management of emergency-response services.

Rich Internet applications such as SpatialKey, which makes use of technology from Adobe, are a top priority for many IT organizations. But as the on-demand software continues to evolve, the question that many organizations will have to ask themselves is: As long as they can maintain control over their data, why build the application when the service is pretty inexpensive?

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Oct 25, 2009 11:35 AM Eric Eric  says:

Fascinating yet relevant technology, especially considering the adoption of cloud computing models.


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