Webcast Fridays are 20-30 minute presentations every other Friday that show off some of the more interesting work we do hoping you will find it informative and inspiring.

This week’s Webcast Friday episode on Financial Analysis saw a spike in viewers and I think I know why. Finance has been a popular subject for dashboards in recent years. A growing number of analysts in that community want to learn best practices for dashboard building. I saw this firsthand when I spoke at a local CPA gathering. Many of them had heard of Tableau but weren't using it and wanted to know more. It was my pleasure to bring that message to even more people on the webcast.

If you missed Friday’s presentation, I’ve got the notes for you here and you can watch a recording of the episode above.

Visual Analytics

The webcast is split in three main parts: defining visual analytics, comparing values and checking your data quality.

Visual analytics, simply put, means sharing data in meaningful and insightful ways. Our goal as analysts is to use our knowledge and skill to show the "best" view for users. Visual analytics hinges on the ability to create informative yet concise visualizations.

“Visual analytics is the representation and presentation of data that exploits our visual perception abilities in order to amplify cognition.”

- Andy Kirk, author of “Data Visualization: A Successful Design Process”

Visual analytics is not about making your data look clearer, although that is an added bonus. It’s about asking questions based on the data. Visualizing that data leads to faster answers and better understanding than you get with tabular reports.

Comparing Values

I showed several examples of dashboards for financial analytics:

  • KPI Executive Overview with ability to drill into any part of the business
  • Financial Executive Summary

You can find that last one and many more at our portal demo site here or in our viz gallery.

Data Quality

When I was checking financial projection accuracy, month after month, as an Asset Management Specialist, I needed a tool to simplify the process and help me dig deeper and faster. Tableau enabled that and my enthusiasm for its capabilities only grew from there. In this webinar, you’ll see one of the dashboards I used to check data quality and how that process works.

Questions?

If you have further questions on what goes into building a financial analysis dashboard, please get in touch with me at robert.rouse@interworks.com. Also, I’ll be heading up a session, "Data Billionaires: Maximizing Returns from Data Investments," at the Tableau Conference in Las Vegas this year. Stop by and ask me any other questions you have or if you just want to chat about data!

Thanks for watching!