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The Amazing Potential of Visualizing Your Data

You’ve accomplished the collection, qualification, standardization and enrichment of your hardware and software data! In order to understand and identify its potential as well as risks, you now need to visualize your data.

Endless tables and static charts are no longer sufficient for this amount of data. The best type of data visualization is a so-called dashboard, which graphically summarizes data from different sources and provides it to the user for interactive and flexible analyses. A dashboard should follow some principles to help users quickly reach their goal.

To the Point: Keep it Simple

This principle also applies when it comes to visualizing relations of software information. Complex graphics (e.g. 3D graphs), inconsistent design, and unclear labeling are very distracting. A simple as well as logical data visualization helps the software manager quickly identify optimization potentials and risk areas in his IT environment.

No Need for Challenges: Intuitive Usability

The usability of the dashboard should also be intuitive, so that the user can easily retrieve the desired information. In the example below, an overview graphic shows how much a certain vendor’s software is used compared to the entire software stock. Intuitive usability allows the user to view the software details of the selected vendor by clicking on a part of the diagram.

Avoiding Information Overkill: Details on Demand

Overall diagrams in dashboards provide a rough overview, for example at presentations for management, because they don’t often have time to get into details and are mainly focused on KPIs.

However, since it’s necessary for software managers to look at the details of specific overview graphs, it should be possible to view the data base of every overview graph more closely.

Tailor-Made Presentation: Let the Visualized Data Fit Your Individual Needs

The requirements for the presentation of the software information depend on the different user groups. The management needs information differently than the license manager, purchasing officer, IT or security manager. Therefore, the data in the dashboards should be able to be filtered and edited to meet the different user requirements.

Remember Me: Saving Regular Reports

Regular monitoring of changes in the software portfolio is necessary for sustainable portfolio management. A license manager is interested in a regular overview of the number of installed software per vendor, while a security manager is more interested in the overview of the currently-installed patch levels per software.

To generate these reports, each user will always follow the same steps to generate each of their respective reports. The ability to not only compile data yourself and create your own reports, but to also save them so you get direct access to this view the next time makes recurring workflows much easier.

In addition to these requirements for design and usability, the software manager of course also needs the relevant data in the dashboard in order to analyze the optimization potentials in his software portfolio.

Besides the name of the software product and vendor, the following information should also be available:

  • Category (e.g., office, graphics, security) and functionalities (e.g. PDF Writer, PDF Reader, PDF Editor, PDF Converter)
  • Software version, edition and patch level
  • License type (e.g., license required, freeware, free for non-commercial use)
  • Usage data of a software product (e.g., use in the past 90 days)

Ready to Face the Challenges?

A dashboard provides an easy identification of potential and risks in your software stock and supports you in taking steps to reduce costs and improve IT security. Click here to learn about our COMPAREX Dashboard in a 30 day trial or fill out the form below to talk to one of our experts.

 

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