Do you see what I see: a real-world data visualization


What do you see when you look at the picture to the right?

Like you, I see a busy dad with his daughter trying to maneuver a shopping cart full of groceries!

But the real question:  is there more?

What do you really see?

In a business setting, depending on the “hat” that you wear in the business – you might see something different in the picture.  As a matter of fact, you are likely to see something that exemplifies your perspective based on who you are and what you do for your company.

For example, if you are a marketing personlooking at the picture, you may see brands, labels and product placement. Are all of the brands visible? Are they positioned properly in the store? You may see a pricing promotion that is running for a particular product. You may even look at this picture and ask yourself:  “What changes do I need to make to increase brand awareness of a product I am trying to promote?”

As an operations manager, you are responsible for the supply of inventory on the shelves.  You might look to see which shelves are empty and which products need to be restocked. You might realize inventory is low and you need to order more.  You may realize, with summer right around the corner, you need to move the coolers from the top shelf to a floor display end-cap.

As a risk officer, one thing that you are responsible for is the safety and well being of all of the patrons that enter your store. When you look at the picture, you may see a shopping cart that is full, with a child balancing precariously on her tiptoes facing the wrong way in the child’s seat. Her dad seems to be encouraging this behavior and may even been pushing her faster to egg it on. You may think, “How can we better prevent our customers from doing that – someone could get hurt.”

When you look at the picture – what do you see?  And, do you see what I see?

Data visualization allows people to quickly understand data and gives them the ability to explore it on an ad hoc basis to discovery new things.  Data visualization also helps with collaboration and alignment.   Visuals can facilitate a conversation to help others see what you see and then ultimately, come to a consensus based on those varying views.

What have you gleaned from visualizations in your own organization?

See for yourself what SAS Visual Analytics is all about.


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Jennifer Marchi

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