Every photometric analysis I've seen has looked like an excel table with 10,000 rows, 10,000 columns, and the outline of a building in the middle of all the chaos.
Tools are available today which generate beautiful images of lighting gradients across sites. Images which are exponentially more impactful than an excel table. For example, the image above was generated using Diva4Rhino (http://diva4rhino.com/), a plugin for Rhino (https://www.rhino3d.com/).
More than just a pretty picture
These new tools allow analysis to be as resolute as one desires while minimizing processing time. The finer the resolution, the more information that an architect, owner, engineer, or lighting designer can gleam. The above analysis was iterated through consecutive models, starting form a large grid of 6'x6' down to 6"x6" (shown above) for the 5 acre (2 hectare) site.
The final grid is so resolute that you can see the shadow cast by the four-armed cage around the light fixtures radiating out from the center of the light poles.
The same workflow described above generated the image below showing contour lines of foot candle levels across entire site.
High resolution analysis allow designers to:
Optimize fixture locations (of course)
Paint a site with emotion
Better understand and control areas that require special attention
Quickly view the uniformity (or non-uniformity) across areas of a site without your brain going numb
Architects and Owners need to challenge the status quo and demand more of their legacy engineering firms. They have been allowed to operate at the same "design to code" level, providing little value-add, for far too long.