Freedom to think?

Change that viewpoint

Last summer I participated in a Bavarian wedding.

As a photographer I was really excited to see three traditional alphorn players. The early results looked good on the camera monitor (left photo). At that point I was tempted to pack up and celebrate with my friends. But I resisted and began to experiment with different viewpoints. The final shot ended up as my personal favorite (photograph on the right). Same scene, different perspective. Changing viewpoints paid off.


Business Analytics and Viewpoints

Changing our viewpoint is especially critical for Business Analytics. Different chart types, for example, highlight different aspects of data. Look at the example below. The line chart nicely shows the general trend. The bar chart on the other hand invites you to look at the variances. Which graph is better? I can’t say! Both do different things well. And both charts provide a different perspective.

Chart Comparison

Freedom to think

Even this simple example shows that changing our viewpoint can be beneficial. I know, this is so obvious. Unfortunately, too many business people are not able to change the views of their information. Their curiosity and creativity is stifled by poorly written, inflexible reports and tools. To make things worse, business is often reliant on IT to implement changes. And IT is overloaded with work and often worries about proper controls. Other times, complex spreadsheets pose huge hurdles.

But it’s not only about that. People have different preferences and ways of thinking. Everybody should have the freedom to think in their own specific ways. My good colleague Dave Clement recently blogged about that and raised the question: What do you want your data to look like?

Chart Types

Analytics go personal

Modern Business Analytics tools provide us with the ability to view data in a way that we want to view it. The solutions and tools allow us to quickly change and customize our viewpoint.  But it is up to us to leverage that opportunity appropriately. Too many people limit themselves to single views.

Are you changing your viewpoint often enough? Are you getting the best out of your data? If not, make sure to register for the upcoming IBM product launch event. Changing your viewpoint will become even easier and more fun. Analytics are about to go personal.

For more information:

·        Register for the IBM Innovations in Business Analytics Virtual Launch Event on March 7, 2012 to learn more about personal analytic






2 responses to “Freedom to think?”

  1. I spend a fair bit of my day look at stats or developing methods on how to present them. And it’s often that you have to produce a few ways of presenting data before you know it’s the right way. It’s all about the perspective of how you look at the data, the linear, log choice for example can make major differences.

    1. cpapenfuss

      Fully agree, Paul! There is no right or wrong. And every dataset is different. Keeping an open mind is therefore super important, imho.