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The fundamentals of management information – S



Häufige Form von → Diagrammen, geeignet vor allem für → zeitliche Entwicklungen. Im Unterschied zu → Linien ist dann die Periodizität auch bei sehr kleinen Säulen gut zu erkennen, deswegen unser präferiertes Format für → Sparklines in einer unterjährigen → Deckungs­beitragsrechnung. Für lange Zeitreihen und bei Werten, die von Periode zu Periode zunehmen und einen Trend ausbilden können, sind Liniendiagramme besser, weil sie → logarithmisch und über mehrere Reihen hinweg vergleichbar skaliert werden können. Da Schrift quer zu den schlanken Säulen verläuft, ist die Beschriftung oft schwierig. DeltaMaster kann Säulen in seine → Grafischen Tabellen integrieren und die Beschriftung senkrecht stellen.



Dezentral von Fachabteilungen verantwortete Data Marts und Applikationen für die Management-Information. Setzt ein intuitives Bedienkonzept voraus. DeltaMaster ist mehr als tauglich für Selfservice-BI, jedoch halten wir es für eine Aufgabe des Managements, Kennzahlen und Ziele vorzugegeben, an denen sich die Organisation messen lässt. Dem kann zu viel „Selbstbedienung“ im Weg stehen, muss sie aber nicht.


An important component of good reports. Values with up to three digits are easy to read. If you are working with large values, you should scale them in thousands or millions and use decimals sparingly. If you want to report information in multiple currencies, you need to note that in your report as well. You should display long time series adjusted for inflation. Otherwise, you may only be showing the general price increase. Data with large differences in values are problematic: Scales in millions produce false nulls for small objects. Using different scales in the same visualization is rarely a good solution. A better alternative is to create a summary of smaller objects.


Catch-all phrase for both the scale and its settings. Determines the → integrity of a visualization. The right scaling depends on the → perspective priority. Bella has already covered all of the important rules (e.g. Don’t chop off heads or feet. Use logarithmic scales for line charts with large differences among the values. Scale column sparklines cell by cell and bar sparklines column by column.). In DeltaMaster, you can set a scale with robust start values and set the settings in detail. A new and exciting option is → typographic scaling.

Self-service BI

Data marts and application for management information that are managed by local departments. Self-service BI requires an intuitive usage concept. DeltaMaster is more than suitable for self-service but we feel defining measures and targets for measuring business performance is a job for managers. Too much self-service can (but doesn’t always have to) get in the way.

Semantic Zoom


Size breaks

A challenge for visualization. Size breaks occur when very large and small objects are presented in the same chart. The smaller the objects in columns or bars are, the less you can see the differences among them by nature. Occasionally, people may want to hide bars or columns. This, however, really distorts the presentation because the most important objects are underemphasized and reader’s focus is directed to the resulting gaps. The better alternative can actually be to let small things look small. When numbers are aligned vertically and, of course, the appro­priate scale has been used, we can read them quickly and understand them. If you need an equally good way to differentiate extremely different values of all sizes, DeltaMaster offers an elegant solution that uses dot bars and dot columns based on a logarithmic scale.

Small Multiples

Tile visualization that iterates the same table or chart for various objects. Small multiples add rhythm to perception. They create a routine view that is easy on the brain. The first small multiples date back to the time of Galilei; Edward Tufte simply dug them up again centuries later. DeltaMaster can iterate the charts created by almost all of its analytic methods and display them as small multiples.

Sound animation

Using a series of sounds to encode data. When we see and hear something simultaneously, we understand it better. Our ear canals are always open, so to speak. We can close our eyes but not our ears. Teachers and advertisers have known that for ages. Yet we feel that potential isn’t used enough in management information and are currently promoting the capabilities that DeltaMaster has offered for some time now. You can use sound animation, for example, in sparklines. Just listen.