Many nights I find myself awake, working through more thoughts than I imagined possible. While the majority are work related, inevitably financial issues, home repairs and everything else creeps into the conversation in my head. Little did I know that experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day, which averages to 2,500 – 3,300 thoughts per hour!! Wouldn’t it be great if we could turn off the “thought” machine at night and get a break from all that thinking!
With the number of thoughts we have and the rapid growth of data we must consume, understand, assess, and use to make decisions, I wondered how many decisions one makes in the span of a day. Various Internet sources estimate that an adult makes about 35,000 conscious decisions each day; from choosing what to eat, wear, and purchase, to making strategic business decisions. Focusing on the business aspect of the equation, how can we more effectively sift through all this data and make decisions more effective?
Many organizations use Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics software to access and analyze vast amounts of data, as well as create visualizations, that can be used to gain the key business insights needed to make better business decisions. As BI software ownership continues to shift between IT and business users, the shift back towards a self-service model means business users are once again empowered, giving IT the important role of governance. A “self-service” model means business users can quickly and easily access a wealth of data, create a variety of graphs and visualizations, and instantly (or “auto-magically”) make new business discoveries. Presto–business decisions practically make themselves!
Well…not so fast. There is a lot of noise in the world of Big Data, the Internet of Things, or whatever term you use to describe large volumes of data. How do you successfully filter out the noise to get to the important data and create a visualization that provides insight, versus a visualization that has pretty colors, a flashy design, and looks great in a presentation but provides little to no insight? Stephen Few, a leading expert in data visualization for sense-making and communication, has authored four books including, Signal: Understanding What Matters in a World of Noise and Information Dashboard Design: Displaying Data for At-a-Glance Monitoring. These two books reveal how to distinguish between useful information and noise, and how to present quantitative information graphically. Both are great additions to your 2016 “Must Read” list.
The Rocket Discover engineering team takes Stephen Few’s recommendations and best practices seriously. In 2016, the team will continue to incorporate key elements of his teachings into each product release. By providing you with the technology that amplifies the right signals and visualizations, Rocket Discover will continue to make data discovery second nature and decrease the number of tough business decisions you need to make. Then you can focus on the other 25,000 decisions you need to make each day!
Latest posts by Julianna Cammarano (see all)
- Making social business “connections” with Rocket Discover - February 22, 2016
- Simplifying some of the 35,000 decisions you make every day - January 19, 2016
- Rocket Discover: you bring the data, we’ll provide the insights - December 16, 2015