Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Silverlight based Business Intelligence using Infragistics Motion Framework

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Data discovery is a branch of BI that is applied over strategic data i.e. long-term historic data. Visualization plays a very vital role in BI data representation to facilitate effortless data analysis. Silverlight based BI components and motion frameworks is the new trend gradually propagating in the MS BI world. Dundas Dashboards, Telerik Charting and Grid controls, Silverlight Toolkit from Microsoft etc are fine examples of Silverlight based components that can be used for BI reporting.

Before few years, the way bullet charts came as a new candidate for KPI reporting, motion graphics based data analysis is coming up as a new visualization for data discovery. When you have a set of attributes of an entity, and you want to analyze individual and group entities changing over a scale, typically time scale, motion graphics based analysis can be a very effective tool.

This statement may sound very confusing to interpret and digest, but can be better understood by this example. For ex, when you have a trend analysis report, you have the entire trend on a graph. If you want to study trend step by step, that is possible only in your mind but not on the graph on which trend is displayed. If you want to see trend step by step, you need to keep changing the scale of the graph and keep on increasing the same to study it step by step.

Studying trends using motion graphics solves this problem. Silverlight is a rich ingredient for an appealing user experience and to abstract lot of detail on the report, still making is available conveniently on demand. In my last experience, I remember Trend Compass having a motion graphics visualization. I also vaguely remember Telerik having a similar component in their charting controls. Now Infragistics is a new player coming up with a new rich motion framework, that sounds very appealing from the way it has been portrayed.

Infragistics has been a very popular name in the .NET world for the rich UI capabilities it offers with its frameworks. The new offering that I see from Infragistics in the context of BI is its Motion Framework. You can understand the use of this framework only from a demo, and one of the very intresting demos can be accessed from here. Over a slow internet connection it might take a little time than usual to load, but your patience would pay off by the way the experience of the demo would delight you.

I suggest to check out the following from the demo:

1) Click on the Play button on the top-left of the screen. This is the main highlight of what motion-framework offers, and what you can study from trends that change over time.

2) Hover your mouse on the colored world-map on the top-right in different colored sections, and see the effect on the upper chart. This map acts like a filter !!

3) Click on a few random countries in the bottom-right. It acts as parameters to the bottom chart.

4) Watch out the tooltip of the countries, and see the visual of the tooltip.

5) Watch out the tooltip of any of the country icon in the upper chart, which has numeric as well as graphical details.

There is much more to explore, and I leave the rest of the exploration to the delight of the readers.

1 comment:

VIshal Pawar said...

Superb Content Cant even imagin BI is such powerfulll

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