Using data visualisation tools in DataOps (and why they’re important)

by Riversafe

Our DataOps processes are built to support our users to manage their data effectively and encourage better cyber security practices. Data visualisation is an integral key to helping users manage their data in a way that unlocks valuable insights.

In this article we discuss how data visualisation tools are inherent elements to effective data operations and offer a wide range of benefits to business, including improved and proactive cyber defences.

Why is data visualisation important for businesses?

Everyone knows a picture speaks a thousand words. And that’s why data visualisation works – it’s the easiest way to present more information, in a manner that is easy to understand for every team member.

But data visualisation tools do more than just turn data into a nice image.

Data visualisation tools are designed to transform raw data into actionable intelligence that directly links to your business use case. They can help you identify patterns, detect anomalies, understand individual data points, and make predictions about future behaviours.

This is one of the key ways of getting value from your data and enables you to apply your data resources in a way that can make positive difference to the performance of your business. It’s also an extremely important part of data operations, which highlights integrating data into the core aspects of your operations to encourage data-driven business strategy and decisions.

What are some use cases of data visualisation?

The answer is “everything”. Most platforms that use data in some form will have a data visualisation element to it. All the RiverSafe tools that we offer include robust data visualisation as a primary aspect – otherwise you can’t gain the insights that you need.

Whether your data is structured or unstructured, visualisation is absolutely necessary to get a holistic view of it all. This enables you to see the big picture of activity in your business and gain insights about how this impacts performance.

Visualisation tools can harness all the data you’ve collected about every activity and put it together in a way that makes critical connections. For example, IT Operations Analysis (ITOA) and User and Entity Behaviour Analysis (UEBA) use predictive analytics presented through data visualisation to analyse historic and live activity in order to predict future events, such as cyber attacks.

Some example use cases include:

  • Tracking and optimising operations
  • Identifying critical network threats
  • Tracking customer behaviour and trends
  • Campaign or project performance analysis
  • Anomaly detection
  • Predicting maintenance, faults or breakdowns
  • Forecasting sales cycles

Some example industries include:

  • Finance
  • Sales and marketing
  • IT and software
  • Logistics
  • Healthcare
  • Oil & Gas

Benefits of using data visualisation tools

  • Faster decision-making
  • More informed business strategies and decisions
  • Easily understandable data insights
  • Competitive advantage
  • Efficient data management
  • Easier data sharing
  • Correlated departmental activities
  • More proactive operational management
  • Get a unified view of data

Cyber Security and data visualisation

Cyber security is extremely important for every business – especially those using vast amounts of data.

Data visibility is extremely important for improving cyber security. This can be achieved effectively with a data operations strategy that and the use of a cyber security tool that integrates data visualisation.

It can help you identify links in activity so you can detect weaknesses and predict future attacks sooner. This allows you to strengthen your cyber defences based on your specific landscape and threats, mitigating potential vulnerabilities before they arise.

What are some examples of data visualisation tools?

Data visualisation tools are more than just Excel charts. They are often comprehensive data analytics and visualisation tools, tailored to specific use cases.

Here are some of the partner cyber security tools we provide that utilise data visualisation:

Splunk

Splunk integrated its own visuals into a variety of its products, including Splunk Light and Splunkbase, making it easier for users to interact with and analyse the data they want. You can use this to customise what data you want to see and transform large amounts of data into actionable insights.

Exabeam

Exabeam Data Lake empowers users to quickly identify outliers through a range of comprehensive visualisations. Using Big Data technology is captures and analyses all the data you need, providing in-depth insights through easy to understand visualisations and customisable dashboards. 

Features of a good data visualisation tool:

  • Scalable
  • Automation
  • Clear dashboard
  • Reporting
  • Data collection
  • Timely outputs
  • Readable and accessible

What is advanced data visualisation?

Once data is visualised, advanced data visualisation helps you dive deeper into the data and get better insights. Drilling down to pinpoint certain data points at a specific time or place gives you the additional detail you often need. For example, this kind of detail is essential for identifying the root cause of a detected anomaly.

This kind of analytics work can be specifically tailored to your data requirements at different times – giving you more control over what you see to uncover relevant intelligence for your required use case.

RiverSafe’s advanced visualisation process:

  1. Validation of log sources
  2. Definition of use cases list
  3. Build visualisations for defined use cases
  4. Validation of the output
  5. Improve the output

How do you integrate data visualisation into a DataOps strategy?

Data visualisation and DataOps go hand in hand. Having the right data visualisation tools enables businesses to understand their data and their processes better, and how they affect one another. This in turn leads to more efficient and considered management.

It helps the performance of your systems across the business. With proper insight into your data, using data visualisation tools, teams can plan in advance, integrate with the activities of other departments, and create better data management or workflows.

How can RiverSafe help you with your DataOps strategy?

Data changes from company to company which is why we provide consultancy on a one-on-one basis. RiverSafe experts take the time to understand your business, its processes, and how you specifically need to utilise your data. This way, we can recognise which technology solution is going to help you achieve your objectives and align with the way you work.

We’ll tailor your DataOps strategy according to the larger picture of your organisational operations and data needs, plus support you to implement this effectively in every team. By closely managing and guiding you through the adoption of your new tools, we ensure improved user and system performance.

By Riversafe

Cyber Security Intelligence Experts

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