10 Tips for Success with Big Data – Part 2

The following is part two of a two part blog post. Click here to read part one.

6. Apps and Dashboards Beat Reports

BI owes much of its existence to the desire decision makers have to see reports. Reports, however, suffer from being boring and static. Whenever possible, try to move your BI output into apps and dashboards. This approach allows decision makers to revisit the data, fiddle with the knobs and dig deeper. While it can seem easier to supply a report and insist upon the rightness of a single viewpoint, most people who rely upon BI to make choices want to feel like they’ve seen all the angles.

7. Share

Whenever possible, you should try to involve other interested parties in the process. This means going outside your comfortable circles and asking for data sources. It means looking around at visualizations produced in-house and even by competitors. A good BI professional should never feel embarrassed to ask around and incorporate new ideas.

8. Identify Shocks

Good models are typically conservative and resistant to shocks. If the introduction of fresh data, especially in small amounts, upsets your analytics, you should know where the shock came from. This requires being aware of the quality controls you’re using and how specific data sources are weighted. Doing so can leave you better prepared to explain the differences between statistical noise and legitimate sources of concern.

9. Move Less

Folks who work with data have a tendency to move data around. They often drop it into cubes that make their immediate jobs simpler. The problem, however, is that good BI needs to be as close to its original data sources as possible. Copying a data set and trimming it down makes that information instantly less useful and harder to mine. Unless there’s a compelling technical reason, refrain from making duplicates of data that’s best left in one spot.

10. Smart Tools

Building a brilliant visualization is a great feeling. It’s important, however, to have intelligent tools in place to make the process easier. Always try to use tools that allow you to quickly search through data. Also make a point of using software that lets you to rapidly recompose your visualizations.


Working with big data can be an arduous and meticulous task, and working with partners and vendors that have the expertise and technical domain knowledge is critical to success.

Optimus’ BI specialists have worked with companies, large and small, to successfully implement their BI initiatives. We know what works, what doesn’t work and how your company can best leverage its data sources.

Call us today to find out how you can get more from your BI.