Data Visualization Made Better

By Balaji Ramanujam, CIO, ASI Government

Balaji Ramanujam, CIO, ASI Government

Challenges in Technology

While I see data sets everywhere I don’t see them connected or aligned with each business’ value chain to provide timely insight for decision making (what many allude to as “strategy”). In my industry, the need is to get clean data sets on federal spend, corroborate that with other predictive data and provide visual insights for decision making. Data Visualization is still in its infancy. It needs to be able to extract insights from raw data sets using deeper heuristically models. For example-the weather predictions are complicated and draw from a lot of data sources while factoring for the “Butterfly Effect” or aberrant changes. We still rely heavily on those weather predictions, and visual weather charts. Sadly, there isn’t one to my knowledge that’s as reliable for the business side.

360 Degree View

Sometimes we may not get all of the data and may have to resort to intelligent guesses. For example- what the insurance has done with customer data hasn’t been extended to the rest of the industry, in terms of intelligently guessing behavioral aspects about a customer. Getting this right would require filling the gaps with heuristics and historical patterns. Powerful data sources like AWS and Google could power a new revolution and fill gaps. They are well on their way, but there’s still some ground to cover as security and privacy issues are addressed.

Role of CIOs

Technology is graduating from being an enabler of business strategy to a trusted advisor. This means every strategic move is informed by data—data that includes historical, predictive and competitive intelligence. Technology can also bridge the gap between different silos and empower each unit with information and insight to be better. The sum of the parts with information sharing is many times great than the whole “security as a service” or insurance, a CSO’s role may be justified. In many cases, the responsibility of ensuring information is available and useful still lies with the CIO. The CSO being an independent function or a sub-function.

“How to Begin an Industry?

Get involved in the business. Prove that technology can help increase the enterprise value and competitive edge. Now, work backwards from that firm belief to get workflows, ideas and technical capabilities aligned.