Customer insights are best delivered in a visual fashion, so the business constituencies may easily digest the information in terms they understand.  To enhance your visualizations, and bring them up to warp speed, a time dimension should be added.  Adding a time dimension to your insights allows your audience –

  • To better understand current performance in context with previous performance,
  • better enables the ability to identify effects on performance,
  • gets the audience more engaged allowing them to better digest the information,
  • shows trends not available in static insights / reports without time dimensions and
  • potentially allows the audience to visualize future short term forecasts based on previous cycles and event impacts

Adding a fourth dimension (time) to your insights is becoming easier-and-easier at reduced costs.  As an example, the Google reporting and graph API may be used to easily create graphs with a time dimension similar, and more advanced to this graph at no cost.  R, a popular and powerful open sourced analytics and business intelligence platform, has built in capabilities used to interact with the Google reporting API, which makes it easy to quickly create these time dimension ‘bubble’ charts.

Plenty of other tools and techniques are available as well.  Regardless of your BI tool of choice adding a time dimension increases the insights significantly.