How Does Visual Data Analysis Help You Develop Better Software Faster?

September 16, 2016

codebeamer_reporting_business_intelligence How Does Visual Data Analysis Help You Develop Better Software Faster? alm The need for optimization is the main driving force behind a considerable portion of the technological advancement we see today. If you take a long and investigative look at certain new pieces of software, most cutting-edge B2B services, and even some new, innovative hardware products on the market, you’ll find that a large fraction of them aren’t really about reinventing the wheel. Instead, they just help us do the same things we are already doing – but better. Driving down costs, optimizing the use of resources, and increasing the velocity of processes are the new wheel.

That’s because there is much to be gained by streamlining and optimizing the efficiency of tried and tested processes, whether in business, software development, or in practically any other area. In addition to reducing waste and saving the associated cost of wasted time and other resources, process optimization could also contribute to the higher quality of processes and their end products. This is a trend that is becoming increasingly prevalent in the context of software development, too.

Data: the key to process optimization

In order to be able to optimize your processes, you first need to understand even the most minute details of how they work. Mapping and analyzing processes are crucial, as these activities give you the necessary information based on which you can devise ways to increase the efficiency of your workflows. This is where data becomes important, as data is the primary means of gaining insights into your processes.

When you use a holistic and fully integrated Application Lifecycle Management platform such as our own codeBeamer ALM, you have a powerful asset in your hands. Not only because of its features and capabilities, but also because it stores all your important production and historical data in its repository.

The problem with most ALM tools is that they don’t enable you to access that data – sure, they let you create traceability reports, and some might even contain built-in features such as burndown charts or some kind of visualization about each team members’ workload. But most tools don’t give you access to granular data, and it’s even rarer to find a platform that provides you with a visual overview to help make sense of all that information, and to discover bottlenecks in the process. codeBeamer’s new Business Intelligence reporting & dashboards feature set does just that, unlocking valuable process management insights by giving you access to accurate information about any aspect of your processes.

Data analytics and reporting – from summary right down to details

This new feature set enables the in-depth search and filtering of data using built-in or custom queries (via cBQL, codeBeamer’s own query language). Query results can then be visualized using flexibly configurable, eye-catching and insightful charts and diagrams. You can simply place these charts on exportable reports to be used as visual data analysis dashboards. Creating shareable dashboards that your management will absolutely love is easy: these reports may be set up simply with a few clicks, and are automatically kept up to date in order to support decision-making.

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codeBeamer’s new reports allow you to monitor business KPIs effortlessly, unlocking insights to oversee, improve and optimize all your software development processes. Uncovering and fixing bottlenecks in your processes is greatly simplified by having all the facts at your fingertips. Transparency and accountability are natural results of accurately monitoring processes and KPIs, and compliance with regulations may also be facilitated.

A few examples of how codeBeamer’s new reporting functionality can be used to drive valuable data discoveries:

For better accountability and enhanced monitoring of your team’s performance, you can draw charts of open and closed items, and keep track of burnt story points in the current release, all categorized by team members. Using these reports, you will be able to overview how each member of your team is performing. You can set up a similar report for processes (for instance, open or closed/resolved items sorted by type) to see whether there are bottlenecks in your workflow.

 

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In addition to accountability and performance monitoring, dashboards can also help financial decision-making. For instance, you can simply visualize how the real costs of each project relate to cost estimates defined during project planning. This gives management a great overview on the profitability, as well as control over the costs, of all projects.

Overall, codeBeamer’s powerful new reporting functionality enables you to make never before seen data discoveries with a few clicks. Set up dashboards to answer critical business questions and KPIs in a matter of seconds, and streamline your processes based on accurate historical information.

To learn more about using data visualization in software development, join our webinar on 21 Sep:

ALM Business Intelligence with Visual Data Analytics

Wednesday 21 Sep 2016, 4:00 PM (CET) / 10:00 AM (ET) / 7:00 AM (PT)

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Kristof Horvath

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Kristof holds a BA in Commerce and Marketing and is especially passionate about inbound and content marketing. On the Intland blog, he is covering topics related to application lifecycle management and agile methods.

Kristof Horvath has written 103 posts for Intland Software.

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