»Me, myself and BI«

Bissantz ponders

Friday, April 11th, 2008

Above all else, show the data

Condensed values often conceal the truth. While reading my favorite newspaper over Sunday morning breakfast, I recently witnessed how deceiving a simple average can be. It’s enough to lose your appetite!

Friday, February 1st, 2008

An arrow is no plus sign!

When managers and statistics collide, less is often more. In general, however, there are not enough statistics in data visualizations. The only requirement is that they need to be robust.

Friday, December 7th, 2007

If you only treat your customers as kings, you might fool them!

Getting crowned is not always an honor. And those who are doing the honors don’t always take the ceremony seriously. Of course, it isn’t always quite as extreme as receiving a crown of thorns, but it isn’t necessary helpful either. If you give customers a product that isn’t challenging for them, what good will it bring in the long run? That’s the truth, but only a fool (or in this case, a jester) would admit it.

Friday, November 16th, 2007

Information Design from Gaudi and Cocteau

The nice thing about Information Design is that there are so many role models for us to admire. Although we rarely see them in the office, we can at least view them in beautiful venues such as Barcelona, the capital of the Catalonian region of Spain.

Friday, September 7th, 2007

Sure-fire ways to spoil data, Part I

If you want to make the consumers of charts truly unhappy, just follow these simple rules from the statistician Howard Wainer.

Friday, August 31st, 2007

Exception Reporting: Finger-wagging is dangerous

Exception reporting, a.k.a. alerting, is often propagated as an effective method to stop the half-hazard information overload that plagues modern managers. Experts, however, warn of the downsides – and that since 1978!

Friday, July 6th, 2007

Using data as graphic elements: stem and leaf displays

John W. Tukey’s semi-graphic visualizations transform the actual data into graphic elements. Like most brilliant ideas, however, this one isn’t widely used.

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

Ivy League Rock and Roll – A day with Edward Tufte

Edward Tufte, the world’s most renowned visualization expert, holds legendary information design seminars up to 40 times a year. What an experience!

Friday, January 19th, 2007

Straight from the horse’s mouth?

All that is subsumed under Web 2.0 seems similar to a guerilla movement: it develops mostly unnoticed by established institutions. I analyze some consequences for your marketing and hint to weapons you should be aware of in this arena.

Monday, November 13th, 2006

Are sports fans smarter than managers?

Every sports fan gladly takes up a lot of information from data-dense league standings printed in news papers. The same persons as managers fall for bright and shiny information deserts termed “dashboards” to provide them with essential information about their business. What went wrong here?


Death to business charts!
Why business charts must die

Graphic tables
Lay back and control

Industrial reporting
Production-like efficiency for management reporting

Can we drive companies
like we do cars?

Against dashboards, speedometers and traffic lights in Controlling

Business Intelligence 2.0
modest, serious, sincere

Rediscovering slowness
Sparklines make us John Franklins in management information.

Good reporting is boring
Looking for excitement?
Try a night on the town instead.

Are sports fans smarter
than managers?

Management reports need to become more dense and dashboards more rare

The myth of data mining
Why men don't buy beer and diapers at the same time.

Numerical blindness?
I wouldn't see a doctor, if I were you.