SAG_Go_Visual_Insights&Attention_880x440_PR_Dec18_v2The recent Gartner Magic Quadrant report for Integrated IT Portfolio Analysis (IIPA) states: “Success in digital business hinges on combining new, disruptive technologies with a rebalancing of existing infrastructure.”

It also says: “Current customers and prospects of IIPA software continue to ask for more graphical, visual representations of findings and insights in IIPA software, rather than spreadsheets or spreadsheet-like views with tables, rows and columns.”

Software AG’s Alfabet product for IIPA provides many visualization tools for its users to understand and communicate throughout the organization how the IT portfolio is changing – and needs to change – to support digital business initiative. One of these visual representations is the “treemap.” Wikipedia describes the treemap as: “In information visualization and computing, treemapping is a method for displaying hierarchical data using nested figures, usually rectangles.”

“Usually.”

“Usually!” Well, I recently discovered something really cool about treemaps. Until then I had only seen treemaps that looked like a work of art from Piet Mondrian. Something like this:

treemapBut in the May 2018 issue of National Geographic, I discovered that a treemap can be way more interesting than a bunch of nested rectangles. They can be a Picasso! One of the 20th century’s most influential and prolific artists – over 25,000 works of art - captured in a treemap of all things!

 treemap1In the image, the larger shapes (not rectangles!) represent, through color, size and shape, the 12 major themes of Picasso’s pieces: abstract, figure, still life, room, body, object, location, theater, circus, mythology, literature and animal.

Nested inside each theme represented by size and shape are the various artistic subcategories that Picasso chose as subject and how many times the subject occurred in a piece: seated woman (515 times), guitar (517 times), bather (299 times), war (86 times), bull (296 times) and so on. With all the colors, shapes and visual texturing, this infographic is a piece of art in its own right.

Now, National Geographic could have shown the same data in an Excel table or described it in a Word text. But – and this is what I love about the magazine – it tries to captivate the reader with creative, fun-to-read and informative visualizations.

So when you are communicating to top management and business peers about how your IIPA program is making IT lean and mean for digital business by rationalizing the bloated application and technology portfolios, or how it is finding better ways to scale the digital business, think NG! Think Picasso! OK – confession time – our Alfabet product cannot render a treemap the likes of a Picasso cubist painting. But it does provide many, many different types of visualizations to get you away from those Excel sheets and onto the canvas of creativity.

And here is where I come back to that first statement from Gartner and, in particular, the word “disruptive.” Picasso was disruptive – always pushing the envelope into new genres. Do the same for your digital business – use disruption to thrive in the digital age. And let Alfabet – a leader in the IIPA market – help you.

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