Announcement: Treemap Business Data Visualization available on PartnerSource and CustomerSource
Christmas is near and I am proud to have a colorful present for the Dynamics NAV community.
For the restless reader (“in a few words”)
|landing page on PartnerSource, on CustomerSource or use the links below to download the deliverables right away.
As some of you know, I am driving for extensibility options in Dynamics NAV, which will bring even richer and tailored UI to Dynamics NAV users and at the same time open new business opportunities for our partners.
BUSINESS DATA VISUALIZATIONS
This is the framework that should help to become a player in this business domain. Business Data Visualizations are characterized by five simple pillars.
Picture your business (delivers mental models).
Visualizations provide a mental model for business data and data dependencies. It can be characterized by the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” By seeing a visual representation of data and data dependencies, even nonexpert users can more easily understand business data.
Understand your business; know state and trends (provides insight).
Visualizations are an entry point for understanding the current state of a business and trends. Users can drill down and filter data to provide intuitive, ad hoc analysis.
Know how to act (identifies actionable tasks).
Users can find items of interest and outliers in business data that are based on certain objectives or measures. Those outliers can be converted into high-priority actionable tasks and possible actions.
Act wisely (provides decision support, problem solvers, and optimization).
Problem solvers and optimizers help users decide on a strategy. They can provide suggestions for an action strategy that can lead to an optimal result for one or more objectives.
Understand consequences (visualizes consequences before acting).
Visualizations help users understand the impact of actions before they are committed. Visualizers can account for dependencies, predict the outcome of actions, and provide visualizations to users.
THE TREEMAP BUSINESS DATA VISUALIZATION
This is the first release of a Business Data Visualization that covers a few of the pillars above.
The Treemap visualization focuses on providing insight into business data. Users look at business data from different perspectives. In a Treemap visualization, a perspective is composed of two measurements, which define the appearance of size and color for each data element. The brain can efficiently process large sets of data based on size and color, which makes the Treemap visualization very effective.
The Treemap visualization is complemented with visual filtering on top of a data histogram for each selected measurement. The histogram provides an overview of how many data items appear in the range of values that is defined by the full measurement value range. Users can then use intuitive range filtering to adjust the upper or lower boundary of the range of values from which data objects are visualized.
With visual filtering, users can see data items disappear or appear dynamically and transition smoothly in size and color. The brain can follow and keep track of dynamic changes for a large number of visual elements simultaneously, which makes the visualization even more effective.
Users can use these visual tools to better understand a set of business objects with the range of values of multiple measurements in one picture. Users can then discover unexpected correspondences and also validate that data follows presumed correspondences.
The Treemap visualization also helps identify actionable items and answers to questions, such as which business data items fall out of typical procedures? Which data items are the most important ones to act on? Where does an action have the most impact?
These questions can frequently be answered by looking at outliers in presumed correspondences of measurements for a business situation. These business data items typically do not follow the presumed correspondences and anticipated flow of data.
The Treemap visualization provides direct access to relevant UI pages so that users can act on the business data object behind a Treemap field.
The Partner Community Edition of the Treemap Business Data Visualization for Microsoft Dynamics NAV is an unsupported release. Nevertheless, you may integrate it into Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 SP1 customer projects and add-on solutions.
Senior Program Manager
Microsoft Dynamics NAV