How to Use Comparisons to Understand Data

Posted by Ray Poynter, 15 October 2018. Most individual numbers do not mean very much. In many cases, in order to see the real meaning in most data, you need comparisons. For example, if I tell you that the Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx won 11 Grand Tours, you will no doubt guess that he was a good rider. But, when I tell you that 11 is the most any rider has ever won, and that only one other rider has won 10, and only one other rider has even won 8, then you start to get a sense of how special Eddy Merckx’s was. So, this post focuses on how to use comparisons to understand the story in the data, and how to use comparisons to communicate the story in the data. How Popular/Unpopular is Donald Trump Nate Silver’s FiveFiftyEight.com provides a wealth of data on US sports and politics and provides a really good example of how to use comparisons in their regularly updated series ‘How popular/unpopular is Donald Trump?’ The chart below shows the picture on 12 October 2018, 631 days after Donald Trump took office in January 2017. Note, in the US the election for a new […]

Do you understand what sort of Data Visualisation you need?

Posted by Ray Poynter 27 April 2018 Over the past ten years, there has been a rapid and widespread growth in the use of data visualisation. However, this growth has resulted in wide diversity in the quality and usefulness of the visualisations being used. Visualisation helps if it meets the needs of the creator and audience, and for that to happen the needs must be clearly understood. This post looks at six different needs and maps them to different visualisation approaches. The key uses for visualisation are: To help find the story in the data, as part of the analysis process. To present a recommendation or interpretation. To explain/illustrate a concept or idea. To help other people explore information. Data as art. As an instruction or teaching aid. In the sections below, I will take each of these needs in turn and outline the implications for the sorts of visualisation you might want to use. Finding the Story When you are analysing data, looking for: patterns, meanings, and eventually the story, the key needs are: Speed You want to be able to move through lots of iterations to find the views that help you interpret the data. Flexibility In order […]

104 Facts You Don’t Know About Mobile Marketing

Guest blog by Megan Arevalo, WebsiteBuilder.org As well as the post below, Megan has contributed a really useful infographic about Mobile Marketing, click on the image to see all 104 facts. 5 Expert Tips on Maximizing your Mobile Marketing Strategy Before anything else, it is important to point out the fact that right now, mobile marketing represents one of the newest forms of marketing available, yet regardless of this, it has also grown to be one of the most popular methods being used all around the world. Some of the main benefits associated with mobile marketing include the fact that marketers can send location, but also time-sensitive pieces of information to users, via numerous channels including SMS, push-notifications, MMS, Bluetooth, QR codes, in-app advertising and more. Therefore, marketers can promote products and services, while also encouraging people to purchase, establishing a form of brand loyalty and increasing brand awareness. In a recent brief, published by the folks behind Website Builder, they have shed some light on the history of mobile marketing, its future and what some of the wisest tips for maximizing your mobile marketing strategy are. Without further ado, here are five expert tips that will surely boost your […]

Why Use Bullets in a Presentation? The difference between good bullets and bad bullets.

Every so often there is an upsurge in criticism about the use of bullets in presentations, often linked to criticism of PowerPoint. I agree that any presentation that is not engaging, understandable, and memorable is likely to be a failure. But I do not think that means bullets do not have their place. Lets’ consider a famous and influential bullet list, at least for people who live in a culture or group for whom the Bible as a reference. The Ten Commandments are an example of a bullet list. Do you think these points would have lasted millennia if they were buried in the text, or depicted as an infographic? Another place where many of us see a bulleted list, indeed a list with sub-lists, is when we read a menu. The major list might be Starter, Main, and Dessert – with each of these three broken into several options. For example, the options for the Main Course bullet list might be Steak OR Cod OR Macaroni Cheese. Why do we use bullet lists? Although bullet lists are frequently criticized, they remain in very common usage. That is because, when used correctly, they fulfill a specific set of benefits. These benefits include: A.      Belonging […]

What does communicating results mean?

Over the last 20 years the understanding of what communicating market research results means has changed. It used to be something that described what the researcher delivered. Today, the focus is on what is understood and what actions result from it. The old view of communicating results Communicating market research results used to mean producing something that: Was clearly written Had all the relevant information Had clear recommendations Communicating was viewed as an output. Indeed market researchers often used the term ‘deliverables’ to describe this output. When the communication was delivered, the job was done. However, that has changed. Communication is about what is heard, not what is said! Consider the cartoon below. The researcher in the cartoon might feel she had communicated the findings quite clearly. However, the reaction to the report was not the outcome the researcher hoped for – which means the communication failed. Evaluating communication Communication must be evaluated in terms of the message that has been received by the recipient, and ideally by the actions the recipient then takes. In the lottery example above, the minimum goal for the researcher is for the client to understand that the research says playing the lottery is foolish. […]

If you want to learn how to present well, use PowerPoint

Well, to be more precise, if you want to present well, learn to be a good presenter using PowerPoint and then start experimenting with other options. If you are a good presenter, you can present with PowerPoint, Prezi, without a screen, with a flip chart, or with interactive graphics. If you are not a good presenter, you will not be any better if you use the latest 3D, sound-a-round, animated, virtual presence. The key to any presentation is the presenter. The reason that so many people give bad presentations with PowerPoint is that the presenter has not mastered the skills of presenting and has not created the right message/story. PowerPoint does not make you put too many words on the screen, it does not make you read every word, and it does not make you use bullet points. In a standard PowerPoint configuration there are 9 default layouts. Of those 9, only 4 have bullet points as a standard option. When bullet points are a standard option, so are 6 other elements, such as a table or chart. So, out of 33 options in the standard set of layouts, just 4 of them include bullets – so why are so […]

Stand tall and if necessary ‘fake it till you make it’

For several years, when teaching presenting, I have been asking people to stand when they present and to adopt ‘high power’ body positions and avoid low power positions, for example not crossing your arms and legs, and not standing sideways on to the audience. I arrived at this advice based on my own observations, tips from other trainers, and by applying learning from other fields – but there was limited, specific evidence for what I was saying. However, I no longer need to rely on my homespun theories. Kristin Luck (a great presenter in her own right) has highlighted Amy Cuddy to me. Watch the video below, Amy Cuddy at TED, and you will understand the extent to which how you stand impacts a) how the audience receive your message, and b) the way you feel. The ‘fake it till you make’ it part has two elements. Firstly, standing in a power position changes the chemicals in your brain to make you more confident, even though you are ‘pretending’ to be confident. Over time, you will change and you won’t be faking it. So faking it till you make it means getting a benefit in the short term and changing […]

Opportunities and Threats for Market Research

To help celebrate the Festival of NewMR we are posting a series of blogs from market research thinkers and leaders from around the globe. These posts will be from some of the most senior figures in the industry to some of the newest entrants into the research world. A number of people have already agreed to post their thoughts, and the first will be posted later today. But, if you would like to share your thoughts, please feel free to submit a post. To submit a post, email a picture, bio, and 300 – 600 words on the theme of “Opportunities and Threats faced by Market Research” to admin@newmr.org. Posts in this series The following posts have been received and posted: MR – growing…growing…going…? – Nasir Khan MR Threats and Opportunities from a People Perspective – Liz Norman Opportunities and threats facing the market research industry – David Smith It’s the Behavior, Stupid: What is the single biggest threat to market research? – Neil Gains Opportunities and Threats in Market Research – Hannah Mumby Threats and opportunities for Market Research: Market research, communicated… – Lucy Davison Opportunities and Threats in a Brave New Market Research World – Edward Appleton Opportunities […]

Where does the inspiration for new market research come from?

As part of the preparation for the Festival of NewMR (2-6 December), we are running a study looking at the different sources of inspiration that contribute to market research thinking and innovation. The study is being supported, programmed, and fielded by Festival Gold Sponsor Survey Analytics. Being co-creational by nature, and given that there is no good current research to ‘borrow from’, the draft questions are set out below in this post – or you can downloaded it from here. We’d love to hear your suggestions. We are aiming to program the study Saturday 9th November, so suggestions before then would be greatly appreciated. Draft Survey What are the sources of market research inspiration? This short survey has been sponsored and programmed by Survey Analytics, a Gold Sponsor of The Festival of NewMR 2013. The study looks into the places where market research draws its ideas and inspiration. The results will be presented at the Main Stage of the Festival and published via the NewMR website. This study is purely about your opinions, there are no right and wrong answers, which is why there are no ‘don’t know’s. Nobody ‘knows’, we want opinions. We are going to start the study […]

The next billion internet users

The infographic below was suggested to NewMR by Shannon Hamilton who helped create it and we thought it was well worth sharing. If you click on the image you will be take to the source of the image, who are InternetServiceProviders.org. The Next Billion Internet Users: What Will They Look Like?