Friday, June 17, 2011
The Power of Data Visualization
The other day I came across these map mashups by Flickr contributer Eric Fisher and was reminded of the enormous value of data visualization. Eric used geo-tagged Flickr images and a homegrown classification method to determine which pictures were taken by local photographers (blue on the map) versus those taken by tourists (red). Yellow denotes undetermined.
In 15 seconds or less, “Where would you advertise if you wanted to reach tourists?”
I could show this map to my 6 yr old daughter and she would immediately point out the red concentrations. No quant jock or data junkie required.
Granted, this was a laborious process for Eric to plot the thousands of data points but tools and analytics packages are being developed to automate this task.
If you want to really get fancy, imagine tracking tourists by time of day. How about combining it with retailer data to see where tourists are spending? How about tracking the uplift in spending from specific marketing campaigns?
Tremendous volumes of real-time, location and social data are being generated from mobile devices and applications. Data visualization brings order and insight to the data, and the opportunity for highly effective ad and offer targeting.