Business Intelligence SIG: Show Me the Numbers



  • Avoiding Costly Failures in Business Communication


    Presentation Overview

    Businesses make huge annual investments in technology to tame the chaos of corporate information, but these efforts rarely deliver the promised return on investment (ROI). We’ve made significant advances in our ability to collect, cleanse, integrate, warehouse, and access information, but these efforts are wasted when we fail to effectively communicate that information to those responsible for doing something about it.

    No knowledge is more critical to success than the numbers that measure business performance, identify opportunities, and forecast the future. These numbers, however, are almost always communicated in the form of tables and graphs that are poorly designed – painfully so, often to the point of misinformation. Poor data presentation is a problem that is insidious because it is largely unrecognized. And yet businesses pay for these failings over and over again in the form of bad investment decisions and flawed strategic choices.

    This presentation exposes the problems of poor data presentation through a host of absurd yet typical examples, and points the way to a remedy by showing alternative examples of clear and efficient communication, along with an introduction to the best practices that are required to produce these results.


    About the Presenter

    Stephen Few

    Stephen Few has more than 20 years of experience as an innovator, consultant, and educator in information technology (IT). Most of this time he has specialized in the fields of data warehousing (a.k.a. business intelligence and decision support) and information design. As principal of the consultancy Perceptual Edge, Stephen focuses on the design and use of business information for effective analysis and communication.

    Today, Stephen provides consulting and training services, writes frequent articles for magazines such as DM Review and Intelligent Enterprise, speaks at conferences such as those organized by The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) and DCI, teaches in the MBA program at the Haas School of Business at the University of California in Berkeley, and is currently writing a new book entitled Beyond Gauges, Meters, and Traffic Lights: Dashboard Design for Immediate Insight. More information about his current work can be found at


    Event Logistics


    Cubberley Community Center

    4000 Middlefield Road, Room H-1

    Palo Alto, CA


    6:30 - 7:00 p.m. Registration / Networking / Refreshments (please arrive before 7:00 p.m.)

    7:00 - 8:30 p.m. Presentation and Discussion



    $15 at the door for non-SDForum members

    No charge for SDForum members

    Please call 408.494.8378 for student memberships

    No registration required

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