Seeing is believing – advertising agencies have known for a long time how powerful this principle truly is. With it, they have shaped the world, our habits, and our culture.
Indeed, the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” has been proven to be quite the understatement. In fact, it is generally the case that people prefer to have a visual element in any piece of information they receive rather than making the best of a text-only display.
A study from Forbes Insight finds that close to 60% of senior executives prefer watching a video to reading text. (http://images.forbes.com/forbesinsights/StudyPDFs/Video_in_the_CSuite.pdf).
Most Facebook users know very well that if they post more than a line or two without attaching a picture, their post will probably not be read. Furthermore, we even see now a trend toward more video posting (http://www.itworld.com/article/2844410/facebook-will-be-mostly-video-in-5-years-zuckerberg-says.html)
What is it that makes us so attracted to the visual content of the information we access? Well, it may be that we are actually “wired” for it. A research paper from University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine estimates that the human retina can transmit visual input at about 10Mbits/sec, like an old Ethernet connection (http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/jul06/retinput.htm). It would then make sense that scanning a picture would be much faster than scanning a text that describes what that same picture contains and is about.
Hence, any kind of data, be it about a child running after a ball or power usage within a Data Center, if presented in a visual format such as a colorful photo or a graph, can convey meaning much more effectively. To further drive the point, a survey from the Aberdeen Group reports that managers in organizations that use visual data discovery tools are 28% more likely to find timely information than those who rely solely on managed reporting and dashboards (https://www.tableau.com/sites/default/files/media/8604-ra-business-intelligence-analytics.pdf).
This, as that same report affirms, is fundamental because a real competitive advantage can be attained if the sought-after information is 1) readily available, 2) correct and trustworthy.
Having established the usefulness of a visual representation of the data being analysed or reviewed, what could it make it even more valuable?
How about an interactive and dynamic “picture” of the situation? That would give us the ability to identify and act on emerging trends faster, thus enabling us to take advantage of opportunities or simply avoid disasters.
The domain of these interactive representations is referred to as 4D reporting. Undeniably, they bring additional dimensions and depth to the data. Tools capable of providing these features become extremely effective for the decision making process.
When managing a large infrastructure in a Data Center it helps if one is assisted by a DCIM solution such as Datacenter Clarity LC. Examples of 4D reporting can be viewed here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7fYfYi2n08 (yes, of course it’s a video. We mentioned the importance of visual content, didn’t we??).
The capabilities demonstrated in the video can be very helpful in some situations that we often encounter in our customers’ environments. Let us say that a sizeable investment has been made by purchasing several large servers that will be used to run a few virtual servers. Today’s servers are powerful and it makes sense to optimize their usage for maximum efficiency.
As it turns out, those brand new servers are not actually operating at their peak, while the older machines are being overloaded. A 4D report can make these issues visible. Seeing is believing:
As mentioned above, visuals are used as powerful influencers in just about every industry. Though some like to use them as embellishers, we believe that with the 4D reporting from Datacenter Clarity LC, strong data collection and a mature 3D platform can provide us with a “single pane of truth”.