Just as a lot of innovative visualisations are coming from the newly arised social networking theme of the web, we are just beginning to look at visualisations for the enterprise. The visual status of the information an enterprise consists of is not really taken seriously considering the amount of money there is to save if you got your information right. Spending some time and some serious money you can actually see what your enterprise looks like. This is not as obvious nowadays as it might seem when enterprises are becoming more and more virtual.
Since a lot of enterprises are turning more and more virtual (like outsourcing of both physical and knowledge processes like IT or production and sourcing) there is an increased demand for what you can actually see and understand. A factory of traditional means is physical and can be visited and inspected and thereby easily improved from what you see in regards of both machinery and processes. These “factories” are no more a part of the traditional enterprise in the industrialized part of the world, but the urge to actually go into the factory and see what’s going on and improve processes and machinery, is still there.
This is why we need the ability to create and edit business logics and invent ground breaking visualisations. Perhaps even augmented reality in the long run.
Many “social-networking-classics” visualisation techniques with nodes and edges in different colours could and should be used where it has its place, but the difference is that we are not applying these visualisation techniques on the social networking field of information, but on the actual enterprise and the business logic. Some new visualisation techniques will have to be produced as well. A little paraphrasing on WYSIWYG would be WYSIWYCI (What you see is what you can improve).
What we can see and feel, we can understand and improve. This is one of the keys for any enterprise that wants to survive in the future.
By the way, how DO you improve something invisible? 🙂
Co-author Ulf Jensen