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Archive for the ‘data visualization’ tag

Our Product Designer goes to Visualized 2015

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Here at Union Metrics we like to give our employees the chance to enrich themselves and their careers by attending a conference of their choice each year. Here’s Product Designer Steph Cruz’s experience at Visualized 2015, in her own words. 

Steph conference

The stage at Visualized.

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend Visualized, an annual conference that takes place in the heart of New York City. The goal of the conference is to bring together designers, artists, scientists, and general thinkers from all corners of the world to discuss data visualization and their thoughts on the future of information communication.

Speakers ranged from Adrien Segal, who creates beautiful, thought-provoking sculptures conveying information about nature and human impact on the environment to Jen Christiansen from Scientific American who made it her mission to trace the origins of Joy Division’s iconic Unknown Pleasures album art (interesting side-note: turns out it was a visualization of pulsar behavior!). Ben Wellington also spoke; he draws on New York’s public data for his blog I Quant NY and through it has had a hand in changes to street infrastructure, subway ticketing, and more. And one of my personal favorite presenters, Jonathan Schwabish, whose talk included a take on the children’s book If You Give A Moose A Muffin tailored to his audience called If You Give A Nerd A Number. 

A hot topic was big data and open data (given the push in recent years for open data legislation); as well as the tools and resources available for accessing and analyzing it. While it seems the data platforms still have a long way to go, it was exciting to see the ways many are already using what has been made available to spark discussion—  and moreover, action. Additionally, an overarching theme at the conference was the idea of “storytelling”. While this was a theme in past years and there were a few allusions to it having become an industry buzzword, it was clear to me that instead of rejecting the term altogether there was a call for a shift in the paradigm: storytelling with purpose.

There are undeniable benefits to parsing datasets, identifying important information and translating it into something that is easily digestible. However, if those who are responsible for presenting the data don’t find it meaningful, how is anyone else supposed to? Whether we create visualizations for work or hobby, we should find a purpose that drives us to keep pushing the envelope and discovering new ways to inform, engage, enlighten and entertain others.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed my time at Visualized this year and not just because of the cinnamon rolls and cake (although anyone who knows me and my sweet tooth would definitely be skeptical). After the last speaker left the stage and I finally had a moment to sift through the two days’ worth of insight floating around in my head, a key takeaway floated to the surface: If knowledge is power, then data is a sure means of tapping into that power. This led to me considering the role that our team at Union Metrics plays in this idea of data as a means for empowerment. Social media analytics is a beast in itself, one that often has the ability to make or break individuals and businesses.

At the end of the day, I’m beyond proud of the fact that we’ve created products that not only encourage our customers by giving them the ability to understand their data, but empower them to succeed by allowing them to work with that data, and not against an opaque mass of it.

Curious about our other employees’ conference experiences? See what our Social Media Manager learned at the Social Shake-Up 2014, our Senior Front-End Engineer at OpenVis, our Customer Success Manager at Pulse 2015, or our Marketing Manager at Dreamforce 2015

Written by Sarah

October 29th, 2015 at 10:29 am

The Week in Social Analytics #105

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It’s Friday, so that means it’s time for This Week in Social Analytics and our favorite posts of the past week in the world of measurement, analytics, and social media. See a great piece we missed? Link to it in the comments, or tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook.

Three Ways to Tell Stories With Data [from Edelman Digital; written by Brittany Dow]

The answer to every data visualization isn’t an infographic.

“The key is focusing on what you’re trying to accomplish and then determining the best medium (hat tip to Marshall McLuhan).

Connecting with your audience, whether speaking to them on an emotional or intellectual level, will always trump marketing messages.”

Three Steps Towards Developing an Authentic Brand Voice in Social Media [from Social Media Today; written by Andrew Hutchison]

“The key is understanding your target audience, knowing what information they’re seeking – as opposed to the information you want to tell them – and communicating that in line with a consistent brand mission to guide the way, underlining your brand purpose with every interaction.”

Last week Mary Meeker’s 2014 Internet Trends report [KPCB] came out, and this week saw more great summaries of it, highlighting different areas of the constantly changing digital landscape. Check out: The 10 Internet Trend Charts You Need To See From Mary Meeker from B2B Marketing Insider, and  Thoughts on Mary Meeker’s 2014 Internet Trends Report from Edelman Digital.

A few more good research reports also came out:

There were also a lot of great pieces around Instagram out this week:

Written by Sarah

June 6th, 2014 at 9:26 am