Visualizations in Enterprise Architecture

This is a guest blog from Karsten Voges – for more see his personal blog.

The central drivers for Enterprise Architecture Management are the goals and concern of your stakeholders. Valuable tools for answering stakeholder questions are visualizations and reports.

circular pack
Nesting Cluster

A picture is truly worth 1000 words. Visualizations allow you to see different information combined in one view. They are often much quicker to understand than text and easier to remember. Ordering, of elements, coloring, size, forms etc help with a fast analysis and understanding. The brain just loves them!

Application Connections
Application Connections

For the domain of Enterprise Architecture, each visualization presents a specific view of the overall architecture. And it is based on stakeholder perspectives. These views reveal where inter-dependencies exist and highlight the impact of changes.

Common EA visualizations

The most common EAM visualizations – which are often configured according to stakeholder-specific requirements – are:

  1. Relationship Visualisations, e.g.
    1. Clusters
    2. Maps
    3. Landscapes
    4. Graphs
  2. Time-based Visualizations, e.g.
    1. Line-Charts, Plots
    2. Roadmaps (sometimes called Gantt Charts, Timeline, Life-Cycle or Masterplan)
  3. Number Charts
    1. Pie-Charts
    2. Bar-Charts
    3. Portfolio Charts
  4. Semi or unstructured drawings (Trees, Bridges, …)

What is your favourite or most used visualization type?

[polldaddy poll=7337165]

Any visualisation type you are missing?

Feel free to send in your favorite visualizations that resonated well with your stakeholders.

2 thoughts on “Visualizations in Enterprise Architecture

  1. M

    I can see that both visualization look nice, but I would like to make two points here:

    1. for a real life application portfolio with hundreds of applications and interfaces it won’t look good anymore

    2. what do these pics tell me more than 1000 words? What can I derive from here?

  2. Pingback: EA Key Success Factors - SMART360°Biz | SMART360°Biz

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