Secrets of Data Flow Visualization

by admin on July 15, 2011

Secrets of Data Flow Visualization

A picture is worth a thousand words. You don’t believe it? What do you understand when you are told such explanation: “a visible mass of droplets or frozen crystals floating in the atmosphere above the surface of the Earth or another planetary body”? And when you are shown the picture of a cloud? Which is easier to understand? The meaning of both explanations is the same but form is completely different.
It’s easier for us to perceive images than mere words and figures. Successful data visualization allows faster understanding, better visibility and an opportunity to discover hidden connections in complex data sets.
One of the most efficient ways to visualize data is flowcharting. It combines words giving them the form of an image which helps to visualize data without losing the words’ sense. Flowcharts can make concepts easy to understand and find solutions. In describing the complex relationships with a variety of choices and results, they ‘re wonderful to keep the important points even throughout different languages. In addition, flowcharts give you the essence of the process flow at a glance.

There are other reasons for using flowcharts.

Training Materials
Flowcharts are essential when you need to describe the total range of processes needed to implement the task. Text documentation is usually hard to understand as bare words fail to bring the whole idea. When dealing with trainees and newbies such flowcharts are much more effective as they visually stimulating and easy to understand.
Workflow Management and Improvement
To make sure that you meet your customers’ needs, you must assume control over your processes of businesses. The first stage of workflow management is to define the actual position of your processes by creation initial flowchart . That enables you to analyze your processes for the loss and inefficiency. After you identified sectors for the improvement of process, you then can create new flowcharts to document the coming changes.
Troubleshooting Guides
Most of us have run into a troubleshooting flowchart at least once in a lifetime. Such flowcharts usually have the form of Decision Trees which gradually narrow the range of possible solutions based on a set of criteria. The more effectively you are able to fit the existing range of problems and their possible solutions into simple Yes/No model the more successfully flowchart helps to solve the difficulties.

Nowadays we have dozens of different on-line and downloadable tools for building attractive flowcharts.
Origramy Flash Graph Component – flash-based component designed for building, editing and displaying various graphs and diagrams. It is platform independent and doesn’t need installation. What is really great about this tool is that is interactive when every flowchart block can be assigned a separate URL. Dynamic data update is useful for easy content editing without changing the layout. Besides the component supports several languages, can be seen in any browser, reduces load on the server and works with any scripting language. Has SWF and SVG XML export formats.
EDraw – application that helps the user to create a number of flowcharts, block diagrams and data flow diagrams. EDraw Flowchart Software has abundant flowchart templates, symbols and samples for quickly creating new flow diagrams. The package has a set of tools that make drawing of flowcharts very simple. The tool has wide range of export file formats. The disadvantages are that it works only with Windows.
Gliffy – is a Flash-based diagramming and flowcharting tool for your web browser. It is often compared to online MS Visio. It has sharing and collaboration features, revision control and the ability to export to SVG or JPEG.

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