Visible Systems Blog

Edaise Germany

Recent Posts

Ensuring Reliable Data Integration

Posted by Edaise Germany on Oct 5, 2019 2:55:22 PM

Data Integration – The combining of data from different sources into one source.

If you are a systems analyst, data integration may become second nature at one point, however until then, it can take some practice and reassurance that everything has been integrated correctly and thoroughly. Data integration often includes working with an application programming interface (API), which is an interface which allows two applications to interact, or talk, with each other. Having a reliable systems design that integrates disparate and distributed data can help data be read in a new and unique way. Aren't you curious to see what your newly integrated data could reveal? This could help your business gain new insights and advantages, and therefore increase business performance. Before any analytics can be performed on data, it must be integrated properly, which is why ensuring that you have integrated your data properly is significant.

Problems & Difficulties of Data Integration

Some problems could include: uncertainty of data, management, syncing across data sources, finding insights, and skill availability.

  • Finding a systems analyst to employ could be difficult, as there is a need for more people in the field.
  • Even though integration tools may be used, it is not uncommon to face tool incompatibility, so double check that the integration tools you are planning to use actually work with each other.
  • If you do not have a plan with specific steps to integrate data, havoc could be wreaked, as some companies may want to jump from project to project, and if you do not have tracks to look back on, you may not know where you left off or when, so make sure to have an action plan which will assist in you following through and finishing anything you start.
  • Don't take technology for granted! Explain to anyone who is ignorant why and how data integration will save time and money in the long run. 

How Do I Ensure Reliable Data Integration?

  • Use the right, compatible tools
  • Have a plan of action
  • Acknowledge the importance of integration
For more information on data integration issues and how to address them take a look here.

Collaborating across the Extended Enterprise.

Posted by Edaise Germany on Aug 9, 2019 11:00:41 AM

The Extended Enterprise

Pawns showing nodes collaborate


Collaboration as an enabler of Business Intelligence. Updated on 4/20/2021.

Business intelligence is the use of technology to analyze, discover, and identify business data. You can’t afford to have a business intelligence system, that is, well, unintelligent! Join the list of constant growth of companies who benefit from business intelligence. As of 2015, there were an estimated 30 to 50 million websites using Google Analytics around the globe. With the increasing popularity of Google Analytics and artificial intelligence, business intelligence is being overlooked, when in reality a business intelligence strategy is what your enterprise needs to look at in order to produce actionable and meaningful insights. 

Some positive effects of implementing business intelligence at your company:

  • Cost reduction
  • Increase in efficiency and productivity
  • Supports decision making
  • Improves sales
  • Reveals opportunities.

Key performance indicators (KPI's) are the foundation of business intelligence and need to be viewed across the enterprise. It is therefore important for your company to be able to collaborate about this information and how it is used in your business strategy.

Business strategy may seem easy enough to follow for some; however, how well-informed as a whole is company about the business strategy? A team succeeds by working together within the transparency of all information. 

All should also have the ability to give input on the business strategy. Some of you in a single area of a company have better insight as to what that sector needs than, for example, another in a different sector. If a business is failing to implement its business strategy early enough, it is usually due to the lack of collaboration and lack of groups able to work together to execute the business strategy. By working together, not only will most people end up pleased at the end of it by being able to provide input but everyone will understand the details of what is expected of them, and will be reassured – because they had input – that their area of the business is doing what will be best for that part of the company. Top management can then make sure that all employees grasp the strategy, clarifying any details that are needed. 


Collaborate Using Data Visualization

If business intelligence makes the data easier to understand, then data visualization turns that into a story. According to Predictive Analytics Today, "it is estimated that over 1 billion terabytes of data are generated in a year." There are many data types of be visualized, including one, two, and multi-dimensional data, among other types. 

Everything you need to know about data types for data visualization when you must collaborate for success










Some common interactions with this data in the data visualization process include painting, brushing, identifying, and scaling it. So, what are the best practices considering there are so many options of how to visual the data? 

Some best practices include:

Knowing Your Goal
Ask yourself: "What is my goal?", "Who is my intended audience?", and "What is my desired effect on my audience?"
Using Correct Data – Quantitative vs. Ordinal vs. Categorical
Quantitative – Used to define how much there is in a particular thing
Ordinal – Data that has a logical sequence and is logically accorded together
Categorical – Data which belong together
Keeping Visualization and Dashboard Simple
A simple, easy to read dashboard results in maximum impact, and this will help your audience better access and understand the information, and help answer questions faster.
Keeping Users Engaged
Regular emails and metric-driven notifications offer continual engagement and calls to action.
Empowering Your Audience
Identify your highest priority viewer and tailor your data visualization towards them, as this will empower them. Then, consider which KPIs answer important business strategy questions, as this will ensure your visualization contains meaningful and actionable data. 
Designing Interactively
First, gather all your requirements for data visualization, then design a prototype and give out the feedback in an interactive form. Next, you can revise based on this experience.

Collaborate Using the Cloud

Through the use of cloud storage, optionality–the potential for options–opens up, and this has a positive effect on business strategy by making data easier for everyone to access and does not disrupt the analysts or business systems when new data is uploaded.

The cloud has also made paying for only what you use when you use it possible, resulting in more money saved. Especially important as more and more enterprises move to the cloud, is to separate your storage and compute, says Starburst. Contrary to what some may think, this will save money but will not sacrifice performance, compared to the old model of storing and computing in one. 

Competitive Advantage to Clarify Goals

Today, no business can work in isolation without floundering. An organization’s success is dependent on a complex network of partnerships that combine resources to clarify the services and products that should be presented to the market. This is known as the extended enterprise, a concept that has far reaching repercussions if it is managed smartly.

With collaboration on a large scale, organizations have access to massive amounts of data that, if utilized correctly, can be used to meet critical business goals. Even if some organizations choose to work independently via agreements, they are still part of the architecture that influences the exchange of information, money, and services.

This collective intelligence and the data that generates from are a gold mine if they are managed smartly. Since most of that data lies outside an enterprise, businesses need a single platform that can help them leverage that intel and turn it into a competitive edge.

The Visible Systems Advantage

At Visible Systems, our aim is to help organizations make better business decisions by helping them leverage data that is working behind their enterprise architecture. With our help:

  • Stakeholders can use the collective data powering their enterprise architecture to gain insight about business objectives across different verticals.
  • Data managers can get to the data that matters and share metadata, models, and glossaries across an extended architecture.
  • Organizations can benefit from a simple framework in one integrated platform for efficient and quick decision-making.

Next Step:

Read more about how a "unified" view of the Enterprise plays a key role in collaboration and see the article published by the Harvard Business Review on "The Business Case for Curiosity".

Understanding Change across the Extended Enterprise.

Posted by Edaise Germany on Aug 9, 2019 10:59:41 AM

The Universal Model Framework

colorful map showing the multi-faceted solutions of business strategy and data sources

Updated on 4/20/2021

The Business Analyst Perspective:

In an ever expanding business world, business analysts are your company's first multi-faceted solution to growing with the constant change of the business environment. Business analysts link a company's technology and objectives, assisting in the process of turning data into revenue at a more efficient pace than a company without a business analyst. Business analytics solutions can be expensive, so it is helpful if your company has a reliable business intelligence software as well.

One of the core skills of a business analyst is actually management. With the ability to manage, along with the other skills necessary of a business analyst, there is only success to follow.

Some other necessary skills of a business analyst include: communication, technical skills, analytics, problem solving, decision making, and negotiation and persuasion skills.

A business analyst has many goals, the main ones being: meeting deadlines, cost controlling, and ensuring the proper implementation of a solution to a problem.

A qualified business analyst should have a degree in a related field, such as information technology, since business analyst programs are not widely available. They should also have passed the CBAP exam to be industrially recognized.

Business analysis is your company's key to making better business decisions, faster. After all, time is money. If top companies are utilizing business analysis and finding success in the usage, shouldn't your company be using it too?


Microsoft implemented a collaborative approach among their analytics team of 1,200 by shifting their employees into fewer buildings. This resulted in a 46% decrease in travel time for meetings, therefore giving the team more time to work on the important stuff: analyzing.


Uber created its Customer Obsession Ticket in 2018, which is a business analytics tool that uses machine learning to improve speed and accuracy when responding to support tickets. This has resulted in a 7% reduction in the time it takes to respond to support tickets, and thus better customer satisfaction.

What can your company increase speed on, resulting in better customer satisfaction and therefore better revenue for your company?

The Data Analyst Perspective:

Any business is also bound to come across data and statistics. Knowing how to utilize those numbers will make or break a company. As artificial intelligence grows in capability and popularity, it might seem like a great option, however AI often combines statistics, analytics, and machine learning into one subject. In reality, these are all very different and need to be analyzed separately. This is why using a machine won’t benefit your company as much as utilizing real people. So, your company's second multi-faceted solution to growing with constant change of the business environment is to hire a data analyst, perhaps even before anyone else.

Ask your data analyst to achieve the height of what they can in their specific area of expertise, whether it be statistics, analytics, or machine learning, and then focus on the other two areas. After all, being an expert in one and mediocre in the other two will be more beneficial than being merely mediocre in all three. 

According to research done by Trilogy Education, the five most important qualities for a data analyst to have are: data analysis, SQL, data management, business intelligence, and data warehousing.

Data analytics is a complicated job, so let's face it, much of the time an initial attempt can be improved upon. Some main road blocks for data analysts include culture, structure, and approaches to problem solving. Analysts often fail at explaining the details to the decision maker of the company. After all, not everyone is well versed in data analytics. In a survey done by Kaggle, four out of the seven biggest road blocks of getting the full value out of a data analyst comes down to the last mile issues, and yes, this is very frustrating to both parties.

How can your company better utilize data analytics without the road blocks? The answer to that is to gather a small team of data analysts, with a chief analytics officer. Perhaps hire other employees to help with the transition of versing the decision makers on the information from the analysts. The work of the analysts is hard enough, so asking them to go through the steps of presenting it in a way that a non-analyst can understand is almost too much to ask. Companies need to think of data analytics as a multi-step process, hiring different people who can fulfill these different steps, and therefore bridge the gap between the analyzed data and the understanding of the data. The use of cloud storage may be beneficial as well, since it opens up optionality and makes all data easier to transfer into the data bank and access, without disrupting analysts and business applications in the process.


In between the Business and Data Analyst, the Systems Analyst needs to understand how to leverage and integrate these perspectives!

While data is the foundation of a business, harnessing it is challenging since some data is formless. Visible Systems took up that challenge by using The Universal Model Framework as a means of detecting  patterns in data. Using The Universal Model Framework you are able to get a head start on your data modeling efforts and you don’t need to re-invent the wheel each time your business introduces a new system. This can help you save a lot of time and effort that can then be re-utilized in other productive endeavors.

Modeling data when needing to aggregate data across multiple data sources:

Even though most data modeling efforts are data modeling constructs that have been created numerous times before, doing so can be a challenge. Additionally, though many applications are supported from single data source, decision support processes may require additional data sources especially for solving problems that require hybrid, multi-faceted solutions. By showing interdependencies, The Universal Model Framework enables us to easily aggregate data across multiple data sources.

The Universal Model Framework enables:

  • Grouping activities according to subject areas and business function before designing architectural road maps, keeping your business strategy in mind. This allows us to determine the business objects and functions necessary to achieve the intended goals.
  • Examining changing requirements and what they can do for existing business processes, design, and development.
  • Collaborating with key decision makers and providing consistent support for applications, data requirements, and requests.
  • Accumulating essential information into sound business terms that stakeholders, employees, and management can understand and utilize.


You can think of the Universal Model Framework as a large ontology from which taxonomies are derived for a better understanding of your business domain. Each entity, when viewed within the context of a taxonomy represents a cohesive business intel. Henceforth, data can be viewed from a number of different perspectives and when instantiated can be queried and viewed as they are in a specific moment. For instance, an entity that is viewed from a sales perspective will have different business intel when it is viewed from, say, a production perspective.

The Universal Model Framework brings these perspectives together in a comprehensive, meaningful way. In some ways, it is the sum of the parts of your business that have hidden potential which can be tapped into via different perspectives.


Data Discovery

drawing of a monitor with a hand drawing it and multi-faceted solutions


Rethinking Data Discovery

While organizations may go through some growing pains, customer dissatisfaction can derail even the best laid plans. Forecasting business and operational needs on the basis of irregular and unreliable information can have costly repercussions. If the analytical tools you have are not producing results that can help you make personalized decisions, it might be time to rethink data discovery.

With both internal and external influences, the data you seek may seem abstract. Today, enterprises need agile data discovery platforms that can take diverse information into account along with variables that can be used in models. At Visible Systems Corp, we can help you harness the data you need in a rapidly evolving business environment to gain a competitive advantage.

Here are just some ways we can make a difference for your enterprise:

Recognizing Patterns in Existing Data

Looking for searchable solutions in a pile of unstructured data is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Our technicians are trained to spot hidden trends and patterns in that tangled web. Through this process, we will gather, catalogue, annotate, and combine it into an understandable and user-friendly format to streamline critical decisions. This allows us to create results that unlock actionable insights for business growth.

Saving Time and Resources

At Visible Systems Corp, we understand that traditional data analysis tools are only designed to analyze data that is in a specific format. However, most data is formless since it is sourced from different locations. Using data discovery, we can aggregate and format it from various sources to streamline analysis. This results in data that is in the right format, which can ensure timely deliverables.

We realize that data discovery is a continuous process and old data is as valuable as fresh data. That is why as it is accumulated, we clean and store the existing data besides ensuring that it remains available for future use.

Streamlined Data Modeling

Unlike outdated data analysis models, with our data discovery we model your business data using an understandable structure.  This includes harmonizing disparate sources to ensure a uniformity that can make streamlined data analysis possible. This affects businesses directly unlike their predecessors that involved the processing of huge amounts of data for actionable results.

Next Step:

Read more about how a "unified" perspective of the Enterprise plays a key role in understanding change and see the article published by the Harvard Business Review on "The Business Case for Curiosity".



Business Strategy - What are the keys to an effective business strategy?

Posted by Edaise Germany on Mar 24, 2019 8:38:06 PM

Updated on 4/20/2021

Developing a successful business strategy must at the very least include involvement from all users on the team, having a good enterprise architecture and implementing data technology...but only after business rules are well understood.

Business rules take into account the rules about your data. So how are we able to get our arms around these business rules? Well, let's first see about developing models to understand the data that we need.

Data modeling is essential when creating a strategy for your business. Data modeling enables you to better understand the data of your business which translates into knowing what strategy will reach your goals. This is a great Blog that talks more about business strategy and why it must be aligned with your data strategy. 

Be sure to acknowledge your challenges on formulating a business strategy by letting us know here.  Acknowledging the extent of your challenge is the first step towards devising a plan of action. Your challenge may be an easy fix or it may be a more than difficult fix – what some may call "wicked."  Let us know by providing the information below and we'll respond to you with what will hopefully be an easy fix. You have nothing to lose. Additionally, we will send you a copy of our E-Book, "Critical Success Factors for Business Intelligence - The Creation of Information Symmetry".




Subscribe Here!

Recent Posts