An In-depth Analysis of “A Fascinating Map of the World’s Most and Least Racially Tolerant Countries”
The Washington Post recently published a rather thought-provoking article examining a study performed by two Swedish economists. Discontented with the amount of information provided in the final research paper, the Washington Post reexamined the data and created a visualization, mapping the least to most racist countries on a color scale from blue to red.
While certainly an improvement over the original text, this map fails to tell the whole story of the study. For instance, where is any information regarding economic freedom? InetSoft has decided, in order to present the most useful view of this data, a dashboard is required. Using freely the freely available Web-tool at www.visualizefree.com, InetSoft created this:
This dashboard is fully interactive, allowing users to see how dimensions such as economic freedom, population density, and GDP per capita affect racial tolerance. It takes static information and turns it into self-service data exploration, telling a more complete story.
This piece is inspired by Dr. Rado Kotorov, guest author at readwrite.com.
Business intelligence is not a pervasive science. If you need proof of this, ask your friends' what BI tool their company uses. Chances are you'll get "What?" or a blank stare in response. This is because, in today's world, BI applications have only penetrated between 10% and 20% of standard business users.
By its very nature, business intelligence is a harrowing science. Effective business intelligence requires complex IT development, programming knowledge, strong analytic reasoning skills, and an emphasis on math. After leaving school, many of us can't even calculate gratuity without the help of our phones, so how are we to be expected to align business metrics to performance goals and calculate future events?
This not-so-simple question is where traditional BI has failed, and why adoption is so low for non-IT professionals. To solve this problem, BI must become more user friendly. Development must focus on simplicity and power, rather than just raw power. A tool that can move mountains is powerful and useless if no one can operate it.
The goal is not to teach business users how to use existing complex tools, but rather to simplify the interface of those tools to be approachable to business users. Pervasive BI in this fashion will lead all businesses to better decision making.
A question that has recently come up is which direction InetSoft is going with regards to using Flash or HTML5 for the client-side functions of its BI solution. HTML5 certainly presents opportunities, but there are several reasons why not to completely switch over to HTML5 and abandon Flash.
First of all, there seems to be some sort of misconception that Flash and HTML5 cannot coexist. This is not true. As you will see, there are pros and cons to each technology, and they each have their place on the Web. Thematically, at least, HTML5 and Flash are almost identical.
Flash has been around for 12 years and has an absolutely mammoth head start over HTML5, which has only been recommended for use since December 2012. For developers, the Flash IDE has a huge user base and community, while HTML5 does not yet have an “industry standard.”
For users, about 99% of desktop Web browsers support Flash, as well as:
- 85% of the most visited Websites
- 75% of all video content
- 98% of enterprises
Flash’s main shortcoming, however, is that browsers cannot natively read it; they require a separate plug-in to be installed. Fortunately, these same browsers support this add-on.
HTML5 is an independent technology and readable without the need for a plug-in. But, being a technology very much in its infancy, not all browsers are coded to support it.
According to a study conducted by Waste-Creative, HTML5 is fully supported by 82% of desktop browsers, but completely unsupported by all versions of Internet Explorer 8 and below, with IE9 and IE10 offering only limited support.
The area where HTML5 excels is mobile: 97% of mobile browsers support HTML5; devices running iOS or Android v4.1 or above do not support Flash. On Android, this is the minority of devices, with millions of users still using Android v4.0 or below. In the case that you are a user without access to Flash, we ensure that dashboards are rendered using HTML5 instead.
However, mobile developers are opting for native apps because of the significant advantages they have over HTML5. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, said that he regretted developing with HTML5.
Due to Flash’s high penetration, developers are more familiar with the platform. Even amateurs can present items that look as though they were developed by professionals. HTML5, on the other hand, is limited by its relative newness; advanced functionality takes more time and more specialized developers. Even the most capably developed HTML5 site will lack some functionality that an experienced Flash developer can offer.
One of the trickiest parts of developing an HTML5 Website is that, even though almost all major browsers can read the language, they interpret it differently. Web browsers render HTML5 in their own way, so it may be necessary to code multiple versions of pages for full, working browser neutrality. Flash has much better cross-browser compatibility.
In this category, Flash is the clear winner. Flash is expensive to develop for, requiring a licensed product from Adobe, but digital rights management (DRM) makes it very difficult to steal content. HTML5 is free and open to developers, which is great, but content can be ripped through the simple “right-click, save as…” function that everyone is familiar with. In order to combat this, special servers are necessary to manage HTML5’s DRM.
Flash and HTML5 each have their quirks. For InetSoft, right now the pros of Flash outweigh the cons when compared to HTML5. We prefer the speed and compatibility we can deliver with Flash, but support both languages to accommodate user preference.
As mentioned before, both technologies have their place. Flash offers advanced functionality that is continuing to grow at a rapid rate. HTML5 is currently playing catchup with decent functionality for all ecosystems
HTML5 might be the tech of the future, but it’s not quite there yet.
This week we announced a new customer we’re particularly proud of, the Australian Bureau of Statistics. To have our BI analytics software be selected by a government agency whose job it is to know analytics is quite gratifying. Here's an excerpt from the news release:
“InetSoft was selected to deliver a product to the organization that was user friendly and provided a generic tool set that could connect to many supported data sources. The objective was to spend time producing the information that people wanted rather than building a reporting system. It needed to be user customizable, easy to use and develop, have an extensive feature set, and support both batch or near real-time data access.”
You can read the full article here.
We're are very happy to to see that Visualize Free has been named one of the top 20 data visualization tools on the Web by CreativeBloq. With the innumerable amount of visualization tools available it's great to see that were selected.
Visualize Free is a free visual analysis tool based on the advanced commercial dashboard and visualization software developed by InetSoft. Visualization is the perfect technique for sifting through multi-dimensional data to spot trends and aberrations or slice and dice data with simple point-and-click methods. Visually explore and present data that standard office charting software cannot handle.