Those following the 2012 Presidential race have likely noticed how prevalent the Infographic has become as a means of communicating to the masses. From subtle policy differences to good old-fashioned mudslinging, the Infographic has proved to be at-once versatile and effective. While one could debate which side of the aisle is best employing this form of communication (already summarized at length here), I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the challenges and opportunities our client’s face when attaining and visualizing data about their businesses to gain insights. Just like in politics where candidates need to cut through tomes of policy to make their points, business executives need to gather and analyze mountains of operational data to draw conclusions and take action.

The most important lesson we’ve learned with our enterprise clients is that there is no magic bullet to get to these conclusions and anyone who touts a turnkey product that can do it off the shelf is likely being insincere. It takes a certain degree of customization, facilitated by two capabilities CMX has been advancing for years: (1) self-service forms that are powerful and flexible, and, (2) data extensibility that allows for the easy querying of data so that it can flow into whatever reporting tools are already in use, in addition to what’s available within our platform.

Today, companies shouldn’t be forced to pick from a self-service auditing model with a limited number of simplistic templates that aren’t up to the challenge of gathering data that can stand up to real-world scenarios, or conversely, its full-service counterpart, which brings costly professional service charges for even minor content changes. Regardless of how the forms are constructed, even the most advanced ones aren’t useful unless there are the minimal friction points involved in getting operational data out of a platform as it accumulates for reporting, whether into excel, or a BI tool. Make sure to take these capacities under consideration when evaluating your next auditing platform– it will make all the difference.