Matillion BI Key Concepts – Data Visualisation

  • Matthew Scullion
  • February 19, 2013

Data visualisation is what we call the ability within Matillion BI to view data graphically on charts and graphs.

The feedback we see from users is that most of the time, the best way of viewing management information is as facts and figures – numbers, in other words.  But there are scenarios where it makes sense to view data graphically:

  • Spotting trends – such as revenue growth, price movement and payment history
  • Identifying gaps – like when your customers are buying certain products, but not others
  • Communicating visually – in meetings or business documents

Matillion’s Data Visualisation technology allows you to quickly and easily create graphical representations of your data.

Data Visualisation Features

When you create an analysis in Matillion BI, you can choose to represent it as a Table, Cross-Tab or Chart.  If you select Chart, Matillion BI presents you with a number of Data Visualisation features.

The data visualisation features of Matillion BI are powered by HTML 5.  This is techie speak for, “looks great, easy to use, works in your web browser”.  It also means that Matillion Data Visualisation works anywhere including of course on your laptop or PC, but also on tablets and mobile devices.

Let’s work through an example of using Data Visualisation in Matillion BI.

Example: Gap Analysis for Product Sales

In this example we will visualise sales data to help identify gaps in sales to key customers.  This could be as part of an activity to drive an increase in sales by identifying cross-selling opportunities.

First we’ll use the in-memory analysis features of Matillion BI to select the data we’re interested in.

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Here, we’ve isolated the top 10 customers for sales rep Charlotte Burdett, based on the current year’s sales figures. The measure we are using is Net Value (revenue).

We’ve dragged ‘Product Group’ onto the columns, to give us Sales by Product Group, for Charlotte’s top 10 customers this year.

This is powerful data, which only took us a few seconds to access, but it might be easier to view graphically.  To do this, we simply select ‘Chart’ from the drop-down menu and Matillion BI builds us a really nice visualisation.

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What we have here is a bar chart of the total current year sales to the selected customers.  By using the “Data Level” slider (top-right of screen-shot), we can drill down.

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We can now see who is buying what – and we can see some gaps.  These might be selling opportunities.  Best tell Charlotte about those right-away.

We can change the chart’s data using the menu on the right – for instance to look at other customers, or other sales people, or last year’s data.

We can “zoom in” onto detail, simply by highlighting the area we’re interested in.

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If we hover over any area of the chart, a tool-tip box tells you the value of the data you are looking at.

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Once we’re happy with the data visualisation, we might want to share it – so we can save it into Matillion BI or export it as Word, PDF or Excel.

There are a selection of powerful chart types available to choose from allowing you to easily and quickly visualise your data in the most appropriate way.

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Each chart can be built in seconds from accurate, up-to-date data held in the Matillion Data Warehouse.  Data can be visualised and shared to allow you to spot trends, identify opportunities and communicate visually.

You can learn more about the key concepts of Matillion BI, such as: Reporting, Analysis, Report Scheduling/Scheduled Reports, Mobile Access, Microsoft Excel Integration and the Matillion Data Accelerator, in other blog posts in this series.