Three things you should remember from this session:
- Find people who’s core competency it is to interpret the data.
- Data is an amazing way to tell stories that would otherwise go unnoticed.
- Data can no longer be hoarded. It should be shared with everyone to interpret and understand
For my first official session at Cannes this year, I attended ZenithOptimedia’s “Live Information is Beautiful” session in Debussy. It was hosted by Steve King from ZenithOptimedia, and had panelists: Simon Rogers from The Guardian and Stephen Messer from Collective(i).
Steve introduced the session and shared a bit about the various big data tools ZO offers and how they’re using third party applications like Google Trends to plan against when consumers experience back pain the most to share with their clients. He also shared how ZO has been tracking paid, owned and earned trends over the last seven years. Take a look at the breakout below.
It’s facinating to see how in the last seven years the split between all three have switched so drastically and so evenly. I wonder if they could take their historical data to figure out where we will be spending (or not spending) our money in another two to three years.
What I found incredibly interesting was Simon Rogers’ take on how The Guardian has gathered and analyzed the data and it’s changing journalism with examples from the 2011 riots in London. With Twitter data they were able to pull, gather in analyse data in less than an hour. They could track how people traveled from their homes to the riot locations and where the riots took place in comparison to high rates of crime.
But with all of this information and data, the anaylsis and interpretation of those numbers is crucial. Simon stressed how important it was to make friends with people who can properly interpret the data – enter Stephen Messer, an interpreter of said data.
Stephen shared how visualization of data can be misunderstood or misused to prove a point – whether it’s true or not. What resonated with me most was the idea that: It’s easy to tell a story when you already have a story in mind. A lot of time we use the data to suppoer our own perspective which is a huge mistake and misleading. And it keeps you from discovering a real and possibly breakthrough truth.