Ever increasing advances in Information Technology, computer science and engineering continues to result in better, more advanced computer hardware and software at proportionally decreasing costs. Many businesses today simply cannot operate without the use of technology, whether communicating with customers, collecting and analyzing data, businesses today run on technology. Increasingly, most businesses have the adequate technology that enables them to run their operations more efficiently and as a result collect and store large amounts of data. However, the businesses that are able to effectively turn that data into useful information and act on that information are the businesses that tend to remain competitive.

BFO Business Intelligence Visualization (BIV) is an advanced data visualization layer which easily connects to datasets and effectively turns the data into information. Visio diagrams respond to dynamic data thus making it a powerful yet time saving and cost effective tool for visualizing complex data. By bringing Business Intelligence into the IT space, BFO Business Intelligence Visualization gives the IT professional, the tools and resources to efficiently and effectively manage the day-to-day IT operations. With BFO BIV, IT professionals can visualize, analyze and communicate complex IT infrastructure, systems and process easily enabling collaboration and better decision making.

Business Intelligence is a broad term that refers to the processes, technologies, and delivery mechanisms that enable reporting and analysis of a company’s performance. Business intelligence applications collect data from a variety of operational systems, including customer relationship management (CRM) systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, network management information systems, financial, and a myriad of other data sources, and make this data available for different kinds of reporting and analysis, depending on business needs. It is important to note BI is normally associated with traditional business operations such as sales, marketing, manufacturing, however BI is applicable in IT, where data can be analyzed to improve process design, efficiency and decision making.

To be successful, a business intelligence initiative needs to get the right information to the right people, in the right format, at the right time. This gives business decision makers the information and the insight they need to make strategic, tactical, and operational decisions that will improve the company’s performance, processes and systems.

Data Visualization
Finding the right format for delivering information to users is a critical success factor in any business intelligence initiative. By far, the most common way of delivering data is in a table, or a Tabular Report. Most of us should be familiar with viewing data in a tabular report. This is a very effective way to disseminate information in an easy to read format.

Data Visualization is the concept of presenting information as a picture, instead of as a tabular report. Pie charts, bar graphs, and line graphs are the most common examples of data visualization and should, again, be familiar to most of us.

Charts and graphs are a simple—yet highly effective—medium for conveying information quickly and in a way that is easy to understand. Nearly anyone could glance at a pie chart or bar graph and be able to glean meaningful information from it. As a data visualization tool, graphs help to more effectively tell a story about the data that is being analyzed.

We might say that a graph is an example of Structured Data Visualization, meaning the underlying data is presented in a structured format, similar to the rows and columns in a tabular report.

There are many tools that help deliver data to end users as structured visualizations. Among of that, BFO product that is capable of referring structured visualization same as Excel and Excel Services, SQL Server Reporting Services, and PerformancePoint Server. Most tools that produce tabular reports also have at least some basic out-of-the-box charting capability.

In practice, most business intelligence is delivered either as a simple tabular report or as a structured visualization. These are both tried-and-true communication tools, but our goal is to tell the story behind the data in a way that is meaningful and easy to understand in terms of our business operations. The data visualization functionality in BFO Business Intelligence Visualization is an exciting new breakthrough in business intelligence that allows us to do just that. By putting the data in a visual picture that provides context to our data, we are really providing Contextual Data Visualization.