We are flooded in data. Our websites give us traffic data, our customer management systems give us activity data, learning management systems provide us scoring and progress data, email marketing provides views and clicks data… the list goes on, and it’s growing exponentially.
The question is: how to make all that data useful? How can we turn that data into actionable information? Increasingly our customers are turning to real-time dashboards and interactive reporting to quickly and efficiently visualize complex, integrated data to make informed decisions.
From our experience, getting access to the data is the easy(ish) part. Most of the systems you’re working with have tools available to pull the data you need. The trickier part is how to best turn all that data into information in graphic form that you can quickly and easily manipulate. For a long time, this meant doing a ton of custom coding which meant a lot of time and cost to the customer.
For the past two years we’ve been working with a data visualization platform that changed how we do data visualization and reporting projects. It’s called amCharts (https://www.amcharts.com/). To be clear, we are not affiliated with, a dealer for, or have any relationship with amCharts. We just think their product is cool as heck and it has cut our development time significantly while producing really stunning web report tools.
With amCharts, we provide their platform the data and select the type of visualization we want. That might be something simple like a bar or pie chart, to something more interactive like a data map, stock-style report, dashboard gauge or timeline.
Once we have the data plugged in, we can quickly tweak the front-end design like we want it and from there: voilà! Our client now has a simple, interactive and cool new tool to analyze their data.
A while back we had a customer come to us looking to build a dashboard for a proof of concept project. Their budget was very small and the timeline was extremely short. To build something custom would have blown both the budget and the timeline. Using amCharts, we were able to turn the project around in a couple days. They (and we) were thrilled. From then on, we never looked back and have used amCharts extensively.
Next time you’re looking to build an online dashboard or reporting tools, let your development team know about amCharts. If you’d like more information, you can also talk to Lisa Powers, CAE, Director of Business Development at i2integration at firstname.lastname@example.org.