Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Playing With Words

A couple of examples of word clouds created with Wordle. First two verses of Eloisa to Abelard and then a direct feed from this blog. As you see, the biggest (most significant) word in the first is heart and in the second data - a word from the core of poetry and a word from the core of marketing perhaps...





Sunday, 20 July 2008

From Numbers to Meaning

I have always believed that while tools can provide an infinite amount of data analysis only humans can derive real and actionable insight from that data. That fact should not be used as an excuse for flat, uninspired reporting. There are myriad data visualisation tools available which are able (with a little consideration) to breathe life into even the driest data sets. That being said, even the basic reporting tools provide plenty of opportunity to be more illustrative with the numbers and therefore to get closer to the meaning of them if, and only if, we focus on extracting only the most consequential data. (In campaign reporting, consequential always means those data you can do something about).

Below is an example from FlowingData of giving life to numbers in illustrating the growth of Walmart from 1962 to today. Watch the animation here...

Sunday, 13 July 2008

iPhone Price Check

An interesting iPhone application from Kigi software. Enter a product UPC code and the application will search for user reviews (filtered to show only those reviews deemed useful) and comparative prices/availability. The next (and logical) step is to have the iPhone camera work as a barcode scanner.


The implications for retail operators are obvious and significant. Imagine browsing books at Borders and entering them instantly onto your Amazon.com wishlist...

Sunday, 6 July 2008

The cost of irrelevance

Apparently, we can each expect to receive 1.5 pieces of personal mail per week whereas, the average person will receive 10.8 pieces of direct mail. As many states debate the "Do Not Mail" approach to curtailing the amount of unsolicited mail we receive, several companies are already proposing solutions. The offerings range from free services such as catalogchoice.org or proquo.com, to fee based intermediaries such as 41pounds.org which contacts direct marketing and other agencies to get you off direct mail lists…

The long and the short of this is that the tools are now in place to avoid direct mail altogether (as opposed to just taking it directly from the mailbox to the rubbish bin – which occurs for 44% of the mail sent).

Direct mail is a valuable and valued channel when used appropriately as part of an overall mix, but the blanket mailing which delivers over 62 billion pieces every year will never make sense...