I was half asleep as the TDWI keynote warmed up early last Thursday morning. Bob Paladino is not a bad speaker, but at first the good scrambled eggs and coffee were better. Then he got into the Southwest Airlines story, and I looked up.
The five guys at my table also looked up. They picked up the handouts for the first time and followed along.
A friend went into business last week selling mailing lists he’s made up. Yes, that’s right, he’s selling the product of entire afternoons at the keyboard entering one false name and email address after another.
Around the corner from the TDWI World Conference I spotted a billboard-size sign: “We have 22 years left on our lease. We are here to serve you.”
What’s it mean? I understood other signs nearby, such as the $14.95 and the “chopsticks combo special.” I also understood “we are here to serve you.” But for 22 years more?
Turns out it’s a message for Harrah’s from a neighbor, the Stage Door. The bartender at the Stage Door says Harrah’s is trying to push them out.
I admire the visualization. The single most important number is clear, and its size signals the importance. It’s so effective it has probably already brought the “oh, shit” response within Harrah’s that red flags do in conventional visualizations.
I went to the post office box and found a rhinoceros. He should have been a bull, bulls being more at home in marketing, but let's not be picky. He's a rhino, in profile, with spots. He's hawking analytics software.
Be sure you don’t miss Alex Vollmer’s excellent review of election day infographics. He wanted to see the margins of victory, percentage of precincts reporting, number of delegates at stake, and other goals. He looked at the New York Times online, CNN, National Public Radio and other media.