Dear Data, you need some lipstick

Tue, 30/05/2017 - 10:04

Don’t tell my husband… but I’m in love with data. Which is odd, considering I’m not a fan of actual numbers. Maths? No thank you. Data insights? Yes please.

The problem is, data is a beautiful thing hiding under a rather unappealing facade. You see, obtaining data is one thing. Actually using it? That’s a whole new challenge. Using the data you collect seems to be a no brainer but it’s amazing how many big brands and businesses collect data and slowly get so overwhelmed by the “muchness” of the data that they lose sight of how to organise and use it.

Why do we hoard data but seem reluctant to do anything with it? How much business-changing data is collecting dust in your business right now? Do you even know what to do with it, what you could do with it?

To CEO’s and even to marketers, data can seem like a complicated mammoth in the room. It’s big, it’s hairy and it’s impressive. But you’re not entirely sure how to safely approach it or what it could do for you.

The problem usually isn’t with the data itself. It’s rather that data is a spectacularly unsexy, ugly thing to look at. Numbers, graphs, chunks of percentages scattered all over the place. Data needs some help in the looks department. Data needs creative design to come alive. Creative sitting in the same space as those ugly numbers and % symbols? Seems counterintuitive, but stay with me.

Design-driven data is about smart visualisation. Think about Apple. At the heart of some of Apple’s most technical, advanced product offerings is beautiful, streamlined design and the same can work for data.

We spend sums of money on UX when we develop websites and when retailers lay out their shop floor plan. We all understand that websites or stores need to be intuitive and easy to navigate. We need to treat data the same way. We are not all NASA rocket scientists, we need data to speak in our language.

Data geeks may be the ones pulling the data together, but they are not the ones who need to actually use it in making business or strategic decisions. Data wins when it becomes available to all in some form – when everyone from the CEO, to the marketing executive to the PR Consultant can understand it and, more importantly, interpret it in line with their particular business discipline. Unless data insights are understood by us mere mortals, it’s essentially useless data.

Rogerwilco, luckily, has Data Geeks, Developer Geniuses and Creative Artists. We collect data like magpies collect shiny things and our Creatives take that data and turn it into visually appealing data reports. All of a sudden, clients can understand what the analytics data is telling them, we can easily see the trends over time, we can look at keyword volumes and competitor sets in simple, compelling designed data.

“Data Visualisation” may be another Marketing Buzzword to throw into the mix but visually interpreted data? Now that’s a beautiful thing I can definitely get behind.

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