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The Visual Organization: Data Visualization, Big Data, and the Quest for Better Decisions (Wiley and SAS Business)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Praise for The Visual Organization

“The sheer amount of data coming at us these days is overwhelming companies both small and large. It’s no wonder that so many miss out on the opportunities right in front of them. The Visual Organization manifests how a wide range of companies is leveraging new and powerful visual tools. Read it and turn your company into a more efficient, data-driven, decision-making machine.”
Frank Gruber, CEO & Co-Founder, Tech Cocktail; Author of Startup Mixology

“There is data everywhere, but how many of us actually use it to drive our work? People learn in different ways, and for many a visual approach is most powerful. Unfortunately, most organizations have overlooked the opportunity in the visual presentation of data. With The Visual Organization, no longer is there an excuse for doing so. Simon offers a nuanced and refreshing view on contemporary data visualization through compelling storytelling, and yes, great visuals.”
Terri L. Griffith, Chair, Management Department, Santa Clara University; Author of The Plugged-In Manager

“There’s good news in this dazzling book. Yes, Big Data is overwhelming, but progressive organizations have found a way to identify the signal in its noise. Through a mix of analysis and synthesis, Simon demonstrates how it’s possible to see not only the forest, but the trees.”
Brad Feld, Co-founder and Managing Director, Foundry Group; Co-author of Startup Life

“As we’ve come to expect from him, Phil doesn’t just write about a topic. Instead, he explores it deeply, connecting it to the business, technology, and societal world around us. Somehow he has the uncanny knack to offer sage advice for both IT and business professionals–this time about visual data expression–and bedeck it in a fantastic narrative.”
Douglas Laney, Research Vice President, Information Innovation, Gartner

“It’s now critical to display data in ways that leverage our human visual capabilities and empower us to discover predictive insights from data To that end, The Visual Organization is essential reading.”
Eric Siegel, Founder, Predictive Analytics World; Author of Predictive Analytics

“It’s clear that Big Data is transforming business. Less clear until now, however, is how companies can fully leverage its power to generate breakthrough insights Phil Simon’s deft exploration of data visualization will change the way you see the world.”
Dorie Clark, Author of ReinventingYou; Adjunct Professor, Duke University Fuqua School of Business

Synopsis:

The VISUAL ORGANIZATION

Data Visualization, Big Data, and the Quest for Better Decisions

Thoreau once said, “It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see.

In today’s business world, it’s not exactly easy to see what’s going on. Most people are overwhelmed by data.

Amidst all of the hype and confusion surrounding Big Data, a new type of enterprise is emerging: The Visual Organization. An increasing number of organizations have realized that today’s volume, variety, and velocity of data require new applications. More than technology, though, they have adopted a different mind-set—one based upon data discovery and exploration, not conventional enterprise “reporting.” These companies understand that interactive heat maps and tree maps lend themselves to data discovery more than Microsoft Excel, static graphs, pie charts, and dashboards.

For example, most people have heard of Netflix. Still, relatively few realize that behind the scenes, Netflix does some remarkable things to make the magic happen. Netflix uses fascinating dataviz tools to discover trends, diagnose technical issues, and unearth extraordinarily valuable insights about its customers.

Employees at Autodesk use a remarkable and interactive tool that visualizes current and historical employee movement. From this, they can identify potential management issues and see what a corporate reorg really looks like.

And then there’s eBay. Powerful data-discovery tools allow the company’s employees to effectively “see” what ebay.com would look like....as a brick-and-mortar store.

It’s time to get visual.

The Visual Organization is the sixth book by award-winning author, keynote speaker, and recognized technology expert Phil Simon. Simon demonstrates how a new breed of progressive enterprises has turned traditional data visualization on its head In their place, they are embracing new, interactive, and more robust tools. And these tools help separate the signals from the noise that is Big Data. As a result, they are asking better questions and making better business decisions.

Rife with real-world examples and practical advice, The Visual Organization is a full-color tour de force. Simon deftly explains how organizations can do more than just survive the data deluge; they can thrive in it. It is required reading for executives, professionals, and students interested in unleashing the power of data.

Start to see your business differently.

Synopsis:

The era of Big Data as arrived, and most organizations are woefully unprepared. Slowly, many are discovering that stalwarts like Excel spreadsheets, KPIs, standard reports, and even traditional business intelligence tools aren't sufficient. These old standbys can't begin to handle today's increasing streams, volumes, and types of data.

Amidst all of the chaos, though, a new type of organization is emerging.

In The Visual Organization, award-winning author and technology expert Phil Simon looks at how an increasingly number of organizations are embracing new dataviz tools and, more important, a new mind-set based upon data discovery and exploration. Simon adroitly shows how Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other tech heavyweights use powerful data visualization tools to garner fascinating insights into their businesses. But make no mistake: these companies are hardly alone. Organizations of all types, industries, sizes are representing their data in new and amazing ways. As a result, they are asking better questions and making better business decisions.

Rife with real-world examples and case studies, The Visual Organization is a full-color tour-de-force.

About the Author

Phil Simon is a frequent keynote speaker and recognized technology expert. He is the awardwinning author of six management books He consults with organizations on matters related to strategy, data, and technology His contributions have been featured on The Harvard Business Review, CNN, NBC, CNBC, Inc. Magazine, BusinessWeek, The Huffington Post, Fast Company, The New York Times, ReadWriteWeb, and many other sites.

#visualorg
www.philsimon.com
@philsimon

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables xvii

Preface xix

Acknowledgments xxv

How to Help This Book xxvii

Part I Book Overview and Background 1

Introduction 3

Adventures in Twitter Data Discovery 4

Contemporary Dataviz 101 9

Primary Objective 9

Benefits 11

More Important Than Ever 13

Revenge of the Laggards: The Current State of Dataviz 15

Book Overview 18

Defining the Visual Organization 19

Central Thesis of Book 19

Cui Bono? 20

Methodology: Story Matters Here 21

The Quest for Knowledge and Case Studies 24

Differentiation: A Note on Other Dataviz Texts 25

Plan of Attack 26

Next 27

Notes 27

Chapter 1 The Ascent of the Visual Organization 29

The Rise of Big Data 30

Open Data 30

The Burgeoning Data Ecosystem 33

The New Web: Visual, Semantic, and API-Driven 34

The Arrival of the Visual Web 34

Linked Data and a More Semantic Web 35

The Relative Ease of Accessing Data 36

Greater Efficiency via Clouds and Data Centers 37

Better Data Tools 38

Greater Organizational Transparency 40

The Copycat Economy: Monkey See, Monkey Do 41

Data Journalism and the Nate Silver Effect 41

Digital Man 44

The Arrival of the Visual Citizen 44

Mobility 47

The Visual Employee: A More Tech- and Data-Savvy Workforce 47

Navigating Our Data-Driven World 48

Next 49

Notes 49

Chapter 2 Transforming Data into Insights: The Tools 51

Dataviz: Part of an Intelligent and Holistic Strategy 52

The Tyranny of Terminology: Dataviz, BI, Reporting, Analytics, and KPIs 53

Do Visual Organizations Eschew All Tried-and-True Reporting Tools? 55

Drawing Some Distinctions 56

The Dataviz Fab Five 57

Applications from Large Enterprise Software Vendors 57

LESVs: The Case For 58

LESVs: The Case Against 59

Best-of-Breed Applications 61

Cost 62

Ease of Use and Employee Training 62

Integration and the Big Data World 63

Popular Open-Source Tools 64

D3.js 64

R 65

Others 66

Design Firms 66

Startups, Web Services, and Additional Resources 70

The Final Word: One Size Doesn’t Fit All 72

Next 73

Notes 73

Part II Introducing the Visual Organization 75

Chapter 3 The Quintessential Visual Organization 77

Netflix 1.0: Upsetting the Applecart 77

Netflix 2.0: Self-Cannibalization 78

Dataviz: Part of a Holistic Big Data Strategy 80

Dataviz: Imbued in the Netflix Culture 81

Customer Insights 82

Better Technical and Network Diagnostics 84

Embracing the Community 88

Lessons 89

Next 90

Notes 90

Chapter 4 Dataviz in the DNA 93

The Beginnings 94

UX Is Paramount 95

The Plumbing 97

Embracing Free and Open-Source Tools 98

Extensive Use of APIs 101

Lessons 101

Next 102

Note 102

Chapter 5 Transparency in Texas 103

Background 104

Early Dataviz Efforts 105

Embracing Traditional BI 106

Data Discovery 107

Better Visibility into Student Life 108

Expansion: Spreading Dataviz Throughout the System 110

Results 111

Lessons 113

Next 113

Notes 114

Part III Getting Started: Becoming a Visual Organization 115

Chapter 6 The Four-Level Visual Organization Framework 117

Big Disclaimers 118

A Simple Model 119

Limits and Clarifications 120

Progression 122

Is Progression Always Linear? 123

Can a Small Organization Best Position Itself to Reach Levels 3 and 4? If So, How? 123

Can an Organization Start at Level 3 or 4 and Build from the Top Down? 123

Is Intralevel Progression Possible? 123

Are Intralevel and Interlevel Progression Inevitable? 123

Can Different Parts of the Organization Exist on Different Levels? 124

Should an Organization Struggling with Levels 1 and 2 Attempt to Move to Level 3 or 4? 124

Regression: Reversion to Lower Levels 124

Complements, Not Substitutes 125

Accumulated Advantage 125

The Limits of Lower Levels 125

Relativity and Sublevels 125

Should Every Organization Aspire to Level 4? 126

Next 126

Chapter 7 WWVOD? 127

Visualizing the Impact of a Reorg 128

Visualizing Employee Movement 129

Starting Down the Dataviz Path 129

Results and Lessons 133

Future 135

A Marketing Example 136

Next 137

Notes 137

Chapter 8 Building the Visual Organization 139

Data Tips and Best Practices 139

Data: The Primordial Soup 139

Walk Before You Run . . . At Least for Now 140

A Dataviz Is Often Just the Starting Point 140

Visualize Both Small and Big Data 141

Don’t Forget the Metadata 141

Look Outside of the Enterprise 143

The Beginnings: All Data Is Not Required 143

Visualize Good and Bad Data 144

Enable Drill-Down 144

Design Tips and Best Practices 148

Begin with the End in Mind (Sort of) 148

Subtract When Possible 150

UX: Participation and Experimentation Are Paramount 150

Encourage Interactivity 151

Use Motion and Animation Carefully 151

Use Relative—Not Absolute—Figures 151

Technology Tips and Best Practices 152

Where Possible, Consider Using APIs 152

Embrace New Tools 152

Know the Limitations of Dataviz Tools 153

Be Open 153

Management Tips and Best Practices 154

Encourage Self-Service, Exploration, and Data Democracy 154

Exhibit a Healthy Skepticism 154

Trust the Process, Not the Result 155

Avoid the Perils of Silos and Specialization 156

If Possible, Visualize 156

Seek Hybrids When Hiring 157

Think Direction First, Precision Later 157

Next 158

Notes 158

Chapter 9 The Inhibitors: Mistakes, Myths, and Challenges 159

Mistakes 160

Falling into the Traditional ROI Trap 160

Always—and Blindly—Trusting a Dataviz 161

Ignoring the Audience 162

Developing in a Cathedral 162

Set It and Forget It 162

Bad Dataviz 163

TMI 163

Using Tiny Graphics 163

Myths 165

Data-visualizations Guarantee Certainty and Success 165

Data Visualization Is Easy 165

Data Visualizations Are Projects 166

There Is One “Right” Visualization 166

Excel Is Sufficient 167

Challenges 167

The Quarterly Visualization Mentality 167

Data Defiance 168

Unlearning History: Overcoming the Disappointments of Prior Tools 168

Next 169

Notes 169

Part IV Conclusion and the Future of Dataviz 171

Coda: We’re Just Getting Started 173

Four Critical Data-Centric Trends 175

Wearable Technology and the Quantified Self 175

Machine Learning and the Internet of Things 176

Multidimensional Data 177

The Forthcoming Battle Over Data Portability and Ownership 179

Final Thoughts: Nothing Stops This Train 181

Notes 182

Afterword: My Life in Data 183

Appendix: Supplemental Dataviz Resources 187

Selected Bibliography 191

About the Author 193

Index 195

Product Details

ISBN:
9781118794388
Author:
Simon, Phil
Publisher:
John Wiley & Sons
Subject:
Statistics
Subject:
Business Statistics & Math
Subject:
Mathematics - Statistics
Copyright:
Series:
Wiley and SAS Business Series
Publication Date:
20140303
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
261.6 x 185.39 x 20.299 mm 25.76 oz

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Related Subjects

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Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Probability and Statistics » Statistics

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Product details 240 pages John Wiley & Sons - English 9781118794388 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The VISUAL ORGANIZATION

Data Visualization, Big Data, and the Quest for Better Decisions

Thoreau once said, “It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see.

In today’s business world, it’s not exactly easy to see what’s going on. Most people are overwhelmed by data.

Amidst all of the hype and confusion surrounding Big Data, a new type of enterprise is emerging: The Visual Organization. An increasing number of organizations have realized that today’s volume, variety, and velocity of data require new applications. More than technology, though, they have adopted a different mind-set—one based upon data discovery and exploration, not conventional enterprise “reporting.” These companies understand that interactive heat maps and tree maps lend themselves to data discovery more than Microsoft Excel, static graphs, pie charts, and dashboards.

For example, most people have heard of Netflix. Still, relatively few realize that behind the scenes, Netflix does some remarkable things to make the magic happen. Netflix uses fascinating dataviz tools to discover trends, diagnose technical issues, and unearth extraordinarily valuable insights about its customers.

Employees at Autodesk use a remarkable and interactive tool that visualizes current and historical employee movement. From this, they can identify potential management issues and see what a corporate reorg really looks like.

And then there’s eBay. Powerful data-discovery tools allow the company’s employees to effectively “see” what ebay.com would look like....as a brick-and-mortar store.

It’s time to get visual.

The Visual Organization is the sixth book by award-winning author, keynote speaker, and recognized technology expert Phil Simon. Simon demonstrates how a new breed of progressive enterprises has turned traditional data visualization on its head In their place, they are embracing new, interactive, and more robust tools. And these tools help separate the signals from the noise that is Big Data. As a result, they are asking better questions and making better business decisions.

Rife with real-world examples and practical advice, The Visual Organization is a full-color tour de force. Simon deftly explains how organizations can do more than just survive the data deluge; they can thrive in it. It is required reading for executives, professionals, and students interested in unleashing the power of data.

Start to see your business differently.

"Synopsis" by , The era of Big Data as arrived, and most organizations are woefully unprepared. Slowly, many are discovering that stalwarts like Excel spreadsheets, KPIs, standard reports, and even traditional business intelligence tools aren't sufficient. These old standbys can't begin to handle today's increasing streams, volumes, and types of data.

Amidst all of the chaos, though, a new type of organization is emerging.

In The Visual Organization, award-winning author and technology expert Phil Simon looks at how an increasingly number of organizations are embracing new dataviz tools and, more important, a new mind-set based upon data discovery and exploration. Simon adroitly shows how Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other tech heavyweights use powerful data visualization tools to garner fascinating insights into their businesses. But make no mistake: these companies are hardly alone. Organizations of all types, industries, sizes are representing their data in new and amazing ways. As a result, they are asking better questions and making better business decisions.

Rife with real-world examples and case studies, The Visual Organization is a full-color tour-de-force.
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