5 Tips to Choose the Best Big Data Viz Tool

How to pick a winning horse for your next-gen dashboards

Are you struggling to figure out what data visualization tool to choose for your next-generation data visualization project? Many business professionals will cling to Excel or legacy BI platforms, but happens when you need to access and visualize the results of millions, or billions of records?

Here are a couple of tips that you can use to pick a winning horse for your next Big Data visualization project.

1. Have burning business questions and sample data on hand

Starting simple may be the best path to roll out a new data visualization initiative and ensure a quick win. Approaching your “POC” with a clear but complex business question, requiring lots of data is the best way to ensure you are not going to outgrow your data visualization solution too quickly.

2. Explore product forums or “ideas pages”

Other customers have done their diligence and likely opened cases or griped about problems with the software. Many vendors now allow users to submit ideas or enhancement requests. Exploring these pages will ensure the critical features you need are available.

3. Ask the Experts

Most software vendors should have partners and experts who can implement their software. For your data visualization initiative, you may not want or need a 3rd party to come in and help you. But the experts who are on the ground are your best gut check to ensure you are set up for success.

4. Bite the bullet and test the solution

Some data visualization tools are more technical than others, but the barrier for creating visualizations today should be lower than ever. Steps 1-3 should help you shortlist your solution, but nothing beats running your own POC.

5. Don’t believe everything you read online

Poking around on vendor and analyst websites can be daunting. If you visit 20 websites, you get the following message re-purposed 20 different ways…

“[INSERT PRODUCT HERE] allows business users without any technology skills to query, analyze, and visualize data.”

Instead, engage the data viz vendors and make them work for you. Competition is fierce with hundreds of options, so with your business question and data in-hand, there is no quicker way to quickly find the best solution.

We want to hear your tricks and experiences!

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Meet Ryan Goodman

Ryan Goodman is CMaps Analytics CEO, author, and expert in Business Intelligence. Ryan applies over 13 years designing enterprise analytics apps to his leadership role shaping CMaps Analytics' Location Intelligence platform strategy. Today, Ryan is focused on pushing wider adoption of analytics with an emphasis on geospatial analysis and Location based services.

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