Is this chart an analyst’s view or a governance report?
CUMULATIVE FRONTIER. Each bubble represents a project. Color indicates the targeted market segment. Shape indicates the “strategic bucket” in which the project resides. Fill style inside the bubble shares the type of project. The data is purposely sorted to assign the portfolio’s cumulative financial gain and the cumulative spend to each project based on the project order created by the sort. The cumulative values are adding up the bang-for-the buck of each project, biggest to smallest. 90% of the portfolio’s financial gain to be delivered by 50% of the spend. The top right-hand quadrant shows only 10% of the portfolio’s financial gain to be delivered by the remaining 50% of the spend.
Although the gains in this chart are financial, other gain types such as customer satisfaction and competitive positioning should also be analyzed.
IMPORTANT: When an analyst assigns properties to the bubble (color, shape, fill pattern), the PortView tool automatically creates pivot tables of these groups and conducts statistical reviews of the groups’ member projects. This information is revealed with a simple click.
This chart displays a real portfolio, although with disguised project names and market titles.
The chart sets up a deeper question:
“why is 50% of our spend going to only 10% of the gain?”
The chart doesn’t provide answers or recommendations. That’s why it’s an analyst’s view. And it’s a powerful view because the colors and shapes beacon the analyst to group the data into pivot tables that can drive the analysis further. That’s why PortView, the analyst’s tool that created the chart, is so helpful.
What the analyst sees is not what a governance team should see. Please don’t make your governance team create pivot tables in their heads.
The Analyst’s View
The first data visualization should help analysts probe a situation. From there, analysts should collect and review more data. The goal is to build a story that explains the situation and uses logic to recommend decisions and actions.
The analyst’s views should lead to more insightful questions and answers. The governance storyboard should communicate explanations and recommendations.
Delivering an analyst’s view into a governance meeting is a surefire way to piss off many people. You’ll find project leaders and team members at the front of the line. And right behind them will be the governance team.
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