Data Discovery is a term commonly used to describe the process of collecting and consolidating information from various back-end systems and sources, then manipulating and analyzing it to uncover patterns, trends, relationships, and anomalies. Many experts agree that data discovery, which is similar in many respects to data visualization, but with an interactive component, is crucial to an organization's ability to derive true value from their enterprise information assets.
There are many types of software solutions on the market today to support data discovery, including advanced business intelligence (BI) platforms with innovative data visualization capabilities. Broader definitions of data discovery can also include data mining, OLAP (online analytical processing), and data modeling tools. These solutions empower non-technical business users to perform deep, intuitive analysis of any enterprise information, without the need to rely on IT for assistance. Data discovery also eliminates the need for end users to learn complicated tools in order to interact with data, and enables real-time analysis without the need for cubes or pre-built data models.
For companies who maintain "big data" - massive volumes of raw information generated from and residing in multiple disparate sources - data discovery can enhance the way enterprise data is accessed and exploited for use in strategic planning and tactical decision making.
WebFOCUS Visual Discovery from Information Builders, part of the WebFOCUS portfolio of business analytics offerings, is an in-memory analytics solution that enhances data discovery by providing cutting-edge data visualization functionality. WebFOCUS Visual Discovery replaces cumbersome, complex OLAP tools and data models with intuitive and user-friendly dashboards that present sophisticated information via stunning, visually-compelling graphics and visualizations. With Visual Discovery, business users can do more than just slice and dice data - they can transform multidimensional information into impressive graphical representations such as 3D bar and pie charts, histograms, data constellations, scatter plots, multiscapes, and much more.
WebFOCUS Visual Discovery facilitates intuitive visual-based OLAP and multivariate analysis by providing:
- Features such as selecting, zooming, pivoting, and re-sorting, which alter visualizations on the fly to enable rapid and accurate measurement, comparison, and observation
- Context-preserved drill-downs, so users can review the details behind their discoveries
- Data-driven dynamic conditional formatting (often referred to as traffic lights or stop-lighting), where outliers are rendered visually without the need to create thresholds and conditions
- The ability to save dashboards as Adobe PDF files or compound WebFOCUS reports
- Simple dashboard creation from within Microsoft PowerPoint
- In-memory capabilities that support large volumes of data, leveraging the 64-bit architecture of desktop computers to represent more than 100 million rows of data in interactive visual displays
Find out more about building data discovery into your corporate dashboards in this complimentary white paper: