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...

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