Data Visualisation & Reporting

Make Data Beautiful, Make Data Useful

At Optima Connect, our data analytics team has completed hundreds of data visualisation and reporting projects. We're experts in creating powerful data dashboards, with particularly strong experience supporting marketing teams.

So if you're ready to turn your data into concise reports and dashboards that 'wow' your stakeholders, get in touch today.

What is Data Visualisation & Reporting?

Simply put, it's the process of translating raw data into meaningful information, via reports or dashboards.

The demand for insightful reports and dashboards has never been greater. Organisations are all on a data journey, striving to become more data-led, and the volume and range of the data they have access to is growing rapidly year-on-year.

This creates a challenge for analysts and data scientists. Requests for new reports come thick and fast. Plus there's a constant need for information to be presented in a way that allows insights to be gleaned - and action to be taken - quickly.

The challenge is exacerbated for in-house analytics teams, as the underlying raw data is often widely dispersed, poor quality, or both.

The best dashboards are a blend of art and science, where information is both accurate and beautiful, and the key metrics leap off the page. Achieving this takes time and patience, even for the best analysts, and even with access to the latest reporting tools.

Our process for data visualisation projects has three steps:

1. Gather, cleanse and transform data

The most crucial part of any data visualisation project is data preparation. Also known as 'data wrangling', it's the process of finding, gathering and often transforming the raw data.

Where the data is highly complex, big, or coming from multiple sources, we recruit the support of Optima's data engineering team to speed up this step. Data engineers are experts in manipulating and moving data, and their toolkit is perfectly suited to extracting big data from source and transforming it into the best possible format for reporting. They also achieve this far quicker than any analyst or data scientist could.

In addition to making all the required data available, data engineers are trained to focus relentlessly on data quality. This ensures the reports are as accurate as possible.

2. Visualise data

This is where the fun starts. With the data prepared, our data scientists begin creating data visualisations that highlight the important pieces of information. This is both an analytical and a creative process, and we always take a user-centred view. This means understanding our audience and considering what they need to know to take confident action.

During this step, we take account of things like:

  • Interactivity of information, including ability to click-through and slice-and-dice results
  • Text vs graphical representations
  • Use of colour & labels
  • Signposting and cross-referencing
  • Density of information

We also place great importance on allowing the data to tell its own story. This means working with the report's end-users to understand how they will consume the information, and arranging visualisations accordingly. Typically, this means building reports is an iterative process - starting with an minimum viable product (MVP), then incrementally developing the outputs in line with our end-users' feedback.

3. Automate data updates

To deliver maximum business impact, it’s important that our stakeholders are viewing up-to-date reports. This means our data visualisations must refresh and update at an optimal frequency.

Refreshing reports manually creates unwanted overheads in data teams, or unwanted costs if using a third party.

We address this problem by automating the data refreshes wherever it is economical to do so, again drawing on the specialist skills of our data engineering team. Data engineers are experts in data automation, and will ensure that the pipelines feeding data to the reports are accurate and require minimal maintenance.

Key Benefits of Data Visualisation & Reporting

Drive performance & growth

Keep your teams focused on the metrics that matter, with powerful reports that everyone can use.

Rapid decision-making

Keep your vital KPIs close at hand to steer critical business decisions.

Focus on high value analytics

Automate your key reports and free your analytics teams from the overheads of of manual reporting.

Visualise your impact

Help your business understand the difference your team is making through simple, powerful visuals.

Are you ready to tell your story with data?

Whether you're struggling with spreadsheets, or looking to get more value from an enterprise analytics package, get in touch to start the conversation.

What to expect when you get in touch

We'll email you back within a few hours to arrange a call at a convenient time. We'll invite one of our senior data scientists onto the call, and we'll ask you some high-level questions about your objectives with data, how you're currently reporting, what you need the reports to show, and what you think better looks like.

Why Optima?

We typically build our reporting and dashboard solutions using a mix of resources from our data science and data engineering teams. Blending resource in this way ensures that data scientists are not spending too long on data preparation tasks when a data engineer can do this better and faster.

We're experienced in a wide range of BI and analytics tools, but we're not tied to any technology. We're independent and are equally happy using our client’s preferred reporting tools or to suggest the best tool based on your objectives and budget.

Finally, experience tells us that success with reporting often relies on usability - how much do stakeholders like using the reports. For this reason, we put heavy emphasis on good communication throughout our projects. Rather than a 'big reveal', we opt to work iteratively with our clients from the outset, providing value early and often, and soliciting extensive user feedback to make sure the final outputs are as close to perfect as possible.