Turning data into images/graphs dynamically
January 27, 2009 2:50 PM   Subscribe

I want to propose to my manager a system/software/configuration to dynamically graph data but I don't know what the technical terms are or what software can do this kind of thing. I need your advice.

I am looking for the generic name (or specific software if you have recommendations) for software that can take data from a database (in this case Lotus Notes) and dynamically create charts. More details: we have a database that tracks people, the work they are doing, in/out time, due time, who it's for, where the work is currently located, etc. I want to be able to graphically represent the whole or parts of the data in various ways, gannt charts, maps etc. Ideally there would be certain standard charts that one could click on to get a certain type of overview of the data, but I would also like something where a user can create their own chart from the data. These charts would need to appear with the most up-to-date data.

I don't know what this software is called so I am not successful in googling it. I am looking for search terms. Also, if there is anything specific out there that you know of that can work with a Lotus Notes database that would be good too.

I'm not in IT but I work with technology; I would not be designing the system, just giving a mock-up and proposal. The users of it would be managers/supervisors, also not IT people.
posted by kenzi23 to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The term is just "charting" software which is a sub-type of "data visualization" software.

This covers both your dictated charts as well as user-created models. I don't know notes, but "data visualization for Lotus Notes" and "automatic graphs from Lotus notes" turn up troves of Google results.
posted by rokusan at 2:59 PM on January 27, 2009

This sounds like a dashboard. Dashboards and "enterprise reporting" are the kinds of keywords you're looking for.
posted by GuyZero at 3:13 PM on January 27, 2009

I agree with the above comments, but I've also struggled to find anything reasonably simple, user friendly, but flexible enough for our needs. Microsoft Visio does sound like it is pitched right at you though, so you may look at that or a clone.
posted by meinvt at 8:03 PM on January 27, 2009

Like GuyZero stated, you're looking for reporting software as a subset of business intelligence tools.

A search yielded this link: IntelliPRINT Dashboard Reporting for Lotus Notes. It looks like it was designed to work specifically with and inside Lotus Notes. You should give them a ring and have one of their sales reps walk you through a full demo with you and your manager.

My own office uses Crystal Reports for complex reports and dashboards. You can design reports via the GUI but I wouldn't exactly say it's user-friendly. If you're familiar with creating/designing custom reports in Microsoft Access, it's roughly the next step up from that. We hook our reports into MS SQL and Access databases but it looks like there's support for pretty much every type of database and groupware application (including Lotus Notes).
posted by junesix at 11:36 PM on January 27, 2009

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