Visualization Software

Visualization software is one of the bigger growth areas within the business intelligence industry. While many of the big BI vendors have added visualization tools to their big enterprise systems, many smaller companies have popped up to specialize on this type of work specifically.

Here's an interesting visualization:

Extranet activity visualisation

As a result, many large enterprises are using these tools as an add-on to their large enterprise reporting implementations. It's used as an enhancement. One of the strengths and features from dedicated software is the rapid time to deployment, usually without a datawarehouse or even a dedicated server or IT contact. Most offer a personal or desktop version. Here's a look at some of the bigger vendors focused on visualization:

Tableau - Probably one of the leaders in the space. They've come up to speed rapidly, and you may have seen some of their infographics in places like the NYTimes and other publications. In fact, they have specific versions for bloggers and websites. They are often considered the most web 2.0 like of the BI vendors. They also offer standard reports as well, but visualization is their bread and butter. They offer a standard desktop version as well as a more traditional server-client setup.

Qlikview - In many ways Qlikview is kind of a hybrid between traditional BI and the new wave. You can create your own models using the desktop version, or create a deeper data model. The deep interaction with its dashboards and quick to deploy technology often gets it categorized as a visualization tool.

InetSoft - This is a smaller vendor but they have pushed heavily in visualization as of late. They have even released a free version called, fittingly, VisualizeFree

Domo - They are somewhat of a dark horse in the field. They are a brand new company, just being started in 2011, with a slew of high powered software industry stalwarts. They are promising to revolutionize the industry with their tools, but they don't have much of a demo or trial version ready yet. They are one to watch though.

PanOpticon - This is a more programmer specific tool, but has a impressive suite of graphs and widgets in their SDK offering.

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