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Data storytelling and visualisation becoming essential for business

8/09/2015 by


It has been revealed that there is a growing need for companies to ensure they have the right data storytelling and visualisation within their firm. Lee Feinberg, an expert in this area, suggests that having the right experts on board is essential and that, with the evolving market, business intelligence (BI) developers have been superseded by those with modern BI skills.

For many firms there is vast investment in BI tools and keeping companies abreast of the latest market changes. One thing executives forget to invest in, however, is the right people to manage these solutions. Mr Feinberg suggests that BI developers are as outdated as the tools available two decades ago; now, employees with skills to use data visualisation and storytelling are required.

It is here that the first problems can begin, with a limited pool of candidates to choose from. This means that for many businesses the only option is to develop such skills within their own firm; as a result, executives need to identify staff with the potential to learn and utilise the latest BI techniques, train them so they can gain credibility within a firm, and then put the right investment into them to ensure they become leaders. Finding the right people to start with can be a real challenge; for example, there is no checklist and the right individual may well not be a high performer. The right people will have sharp attention to detail, be comfortable with ambiguity, and have creative confidence and the ability to listen well and ask good questions.

Identifying just who has these characteristics can be hard. One way to go about it is to create a small BI competition. Pick a project that is not mission-critical but does offer meaning, and create a customer panel of three executives. It is important that these panellists agree on the end goals of the project and that they are available to talk to competitors during the competition’s duration. Next, open the call to as many competitors as possible to ensure no one is missed, even if they might not initially be considered as suitable. Once the project is complete the panellists can sit down and give a unanimous decision on a winner, and it is this individual who can go on to lead a firm’s BI operations.

Gaining the right BI skills can be a difficult task and it is sometimes easier to develop them within the pool of current employees. By showing a workforce that a firm is ready to invest in their development, morale can also be boosted.

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