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Perspective on data visualization

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A perspective talk I gave at IIM Ahmedabad in Dec 2011 on how to tell good stories using data and charts. It brings the element of developing a killer slide from a strategy consulting background.

A perspective talk I gave at IIM Ahmedabad in Dec 2011 on how to tell good stories using data and charts. It brings the element of developing a killer slide from a strategy consulting background.

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  • When you work in a consulting projects and team, you will hear often hear a term being used a “Killer” chart or something similar. It is just a slang but it captures a lot of what you would consider good design principles in visualizing quantitative dataSo what are these principlesIt starts from building on something that the client / user already knows. You need to have a reference from which the user can relate tooIt shows the data. Don’t aggregate to a level that nobody knows what it is, where it is coming from It is not cute or clever. If it takes five minutes for somebody to understand what is on the axis, what is the circle about – you have already lost them. I never use 3D or Animation in my chart – for me they are pure junk.It makes you think about the insight. The key insight that you want the user to go back with when the go home – it should stay with themIt allows some level of engagement. It should be able to answer some level of follow up questions or search for details or drill downs.
  • So how do you develop a ‘Killer‘ chart. I wanted to share some insight in the processes we go through in to making charts and graphics as part of daily work as a consultant. So the first thing is you need to solve the problem – You need to start from define the problem, develop the hypotheses, collect the facts and conduct the analytics to come to an answer. We will not cover this part – this is an whole approach to doing that in strategy consulting but the essence is you have an answer and now we come to part of communicating this in a visual mannerThe second step is to lay out the logic of how you are going to do that. I often say clarity of thought precedes clarity of actions. This step is basically that you need to structure your thoughts to get the clarity – in terms of What is the key message you want to give?Who is the audience you are giving this message (theirposition, level, role, communication preference, attitudes)?What outcome are you trying to achieve from the message and how will your visual help you in achieving that?The third step is to develop the format. You apply what we call the pyramid principles – you start from the answer and think of the probing questions you are likely to get and as you answer that more probing questions you are likely to receive. So it explodes into the pyramid and if you develop your story board around that you get whole structure of your communication. Then you mock-up the visuals to support that communication story.If you have done everything so far, the fourth step will naturally flow – coz then it is just matter of using the tool you have (in our case mostly power point with thinkcell) to develop the slides and charts. The final thing is to review the same and edit/iterate if required
  • I recently worked on a case for a mobile ad company – lets call them SmartAds. They basically serve ads within apps or on the web on smartphones around the world. Here is a small caselet just looking at the question they were trying to address earlier this year.The launch of iPad last year basically kick started a new device segment call Tablets. They did not exist before last year and suddenly the company is thinking what it needs to do about this segment. Capability and technology wise they have the ability to go after this device format, but one of the questions they had was really how big is the tablet device market going to be? Is it meaningful for them to go thereSo we do the analysis and the answer is really that Tablet Device Format provide a synergistic growth option for SmartAds. Why do we say that – And we have three reasons – Tablets will be the fastest growing device format in the next five yearsTablet installed base will be nearly 1/3 as big as the smartphone marketThree platforms will overlap and dominate both the tablets and smartphonesLets look how you would present this information visually
  • So what are the message we are tryping to convey through the graphExplain the graph – Annual shipment, 2010 actual then estimates, Three device fomratGraph Shows the data - If you look at colours – we are using red as a signal color to attract attention to the tablet…If you look at 2010 and 2015 data –Overall market will nearly 3x (2.9)Smartphones will increase faster at 4x (3.7)Tablets will increase 20x
  • Now we move to installed base – explain the installed base (notes)Look out for Consistency of visual colours and icons – same as last time Nearly half the market is smarphonesPCs are really going to become a less dominant computing device and shrinkThe key message is that as a ratio of tablets to smartphones – you will have them as 1/4th
  • Area chart – MariMekkoContextTwo variables – market share by device and share of OS within each deviceMuch harder to read -
  • Transcript

    • 1. December 2011 Ahmedabad, IndiaPerspective on Data VisualizationA viewpoint from the fieldAmit KapoorIIM Ahmedabad
    • 2. Key elements of a ‘Killer’ chart Allows the Builds on User to Users’ Engage Perspective ‘Killer’ Makes the Elements Shows the Insight Jump Data Out Focuses on Substance, not GraphicAmit KapoorDecember 2011 1
    • 3. How to develop a ‘Killer’ chart Solve the Lay the Develop the Visualize the Problem Logic Format Data• Define problem  Structure thoughts  Apply pyramid  Develop the• Develop hypotheses  Develop message principle chart(s) Collect facts  Map audience  Develop storyboard  Review the  Mock-up visual output Conduct analysis  Understand outcomeAmit KapoorDecember 2011 2
    • 4. Tablet Case Study - SmartAds Tablets device format • Tablets have emerged as provide a synergistic a new device format with growth option for the success of the iPad SmartAds • As a smartphone ad company (SmartAds), I should be able to serve Why do you ads on tablet devices say that? • How big will the tablet market be by 2015? Tablets will be the Tablets installed base Three platforms will fastest growing will be more than overlap and dominate device format in 1/4th of smart phones both tablet and 2010-15 base by 2015 smartphonesAmit KapoorDecember 2011 3
    • 5. Tablets will be the fastest growing device format Annual Shipment by Device Format (In million units, actuals till 2010, estimates 2011-15) 1908 Annualized Growth 1559 Rate 2010 -15 1301 24% Smartphones 1105 1121 898 897 739 659 630 83% Tablets 468 326 477 217 386 430 297 148 308 63 103 139 172 16 122 82 477 7% PCs 366 388 414 444 264 291 305 346 226 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 PCs Tablets Smartphones TotalSource: IDC, Gartner, Morgan Stanley, Amit’s AnalysisAmit KapoorDecember 2011 4
    • 6. Tablets installed base will be 1/4th of smartphones Installed Base by Device Format (In million units, actuals till 2010, estimates 2011-15) 909 1,139 1,307 1,482 1,795 2,260 2,815 3,387 4,053 4,877 14% Break-up 22% 23% 25% 2015 31% 37% 42% 45% Smartphones 47% 49% 2,383 1% 3% 6% 8% 10% 86% 13% 643 Tablets 78% 77% 75% 69% 60% 52% 47% 42% 38% 1,851 PCs 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 PCs Tablets Smartphones Totals on TopNotes: Lifecycle for Tablets – 4 yrs, PCs – 5 yrs and Smartphone – 3yrsSource: IDC, Gartner, Morgan Stanley, Amit’s AnalysisAmit KapoorDecember 2011 5
    • 7. Three platforms will dominate Tablets and SmartPhones Device Installed Base in 2015 by OS and Device Format (In million units, estimates for 2015) Others 2 18 Others 147 47 Blackberry 282 Windows Legacy 805 206 Android 1,143 OS X 40 OS XI 61 334 Windows 8 1,027 iOS 423 WindowsPhone 388 54 Smartphones (2383 M units) Tablets (643 M units) PCs (1851 M units)Notes: OSXI from 2013, Windows 8 from 2013, Lifecycle for Tablets – 4 yrs, PCs – 5 yrs and Smartphone – 3yrsSource: IDC, Gartner, Morgan Stanley, Amit’s AnalysisAmit KapoorDecember 2011 6
    • 8. Wrap Up • Keep it simple, stupid! • Remember the concept and context • Practice and playAmit KapoorDecember 2011 7

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