Grant Thornton Indonesia's Update

Visualization: Big Data and the Titanic

In early 2016, a Microsoft research team uploaded a sensitive video on YouTube dissecting detailed data on every person that boarded the RMS Titanic. They used a software prototype, dubbed SandDance, to shed even more light on the historical tragedy. Piles of dusty passenger logs collected from the shipwreck had been collecting dust in some dark corner; now we have a chance to uncover the full story hidden in these pages. The software through interpretation and complex computation, creates an interactive, bright, and colorful visualization of all the data covering the entire passenger body of the Titanic, from occupation and age to economic class and geographic origin. Despite the narrative of bitter tragedy embedded in the story of the RMS Titanic, these sensitive yet essential videos is one breakthrough in the big data visualization hurdle that numerous industry experts have been unable to overcome. It is the hope of many that this new breed of data visualization sofware can lead to the prevention of future disasters.

Captaining the biggest passenger ship in the world as tragedy strikes is a grand scenario, but there are times where employees can feel an endless stream of data to process in the office is an equally burdensome responsibility, especially when working with taxes or accounting for huge corporations. Older generations of data processing software are not enough to navigate the unfamiliar waters of data in the Internet age, where each and every variable needs to be recorded and stored for various purposes.

Too much tax and accounting consultants spend time they don’t have on ancient software in hopes of an accurate, presentable dataset. When dealing with data involving the Internet, attention spans grow thinner and data streams grow wider, which places employees in desperate need of a simple software that is not only able to crunch the numbers, but also able to provide an interactive visualization for people to grasp quickly and intuitively. It might sound complex to navigate these new, treacherous waters of data visualization, but simply mastering basic software programs like Microsoft Excel can be enough; add an essential reminder to master the logic of sorting and labelling each data set and therein lies the potential to create dynamic data visualization through various formats.

Since 2016, a whole new batch of data visualization have come from various developers, each with their own distinctive features that empowers the most technologically inept with the ability to create 5 minute videos based on Mitsubishi’s financial reports from 2000-2019. Microsoft Power BI, Google Analytic, Tableau Desktop, SAP Analytic Cloud, and Salesforce Einstein Analytic are top-tier when it comes to data visualization in 2019, and selection of data visualization programs grows each year. With developers battling to create a more intuitive and attractive product, these software programs are a simple solution for any tax and accounting consultants that struggle to provide interactive data visualization for their clients.

Forget the mile-long spreadsheet and frozen laptop screens when trying to open annual financial reports; now anyone can easily interact with data and sort it as we like in video or presentation format which not only saves time, but also fuels creative, dynamic presentations that will do a much better job of catching clients’ eyes.