Exploiting the innate power of the narrative lies at the heart of a newly updated service offered by business intelligence startup ClearStory Data, which unveiled its offering at the Strata + Hadoop World conference in New York this week.
"As data becomes more complex, and more sources of data are coming together, you have to bind it together in a way where people can follow the sequence of events as they happen," said ClearStory Data CEO and co-founder Sharmila Shahani-Mulligan.
The cloud service -- called Collaborative StoryBoards --presents a series of data visualizations as if they were scenes in a movie storyboard. Each "scene" contains a visualization of data, which can be assembled from multiple sources, and updated in real time. Each scene also contains notes explaining the chart and offers advanced chart functionality such as the ability to play back data from earlier periods in time.
Shahani-Mulligan described Collaborative StoryBoards as a superior alternative to business intelligence dashboards, offering more information and allowing the user to dig more deeply into the data being presented.
"A storyboard is like a connective tissue for live data that may be all over the place," she said. "As you get more and more data, you need that connective tissue, otherwise it is difficult to find out what is happening."