Data visualisation can be an on-ramp to Big Data for publishers.

“Data visualisation is a great way to enter the Big Data space and help bring an organisation forward into using large data sets more effectively in an effort to improve business practices and positive outcomes,” says Darrell Kunken, director of research/market analysis at The Sacramento Bee in the United States.

“The No. 1 reason data visualisation can make a quick positive impact is because one can attack smaller tactical projects that can show an immediate positive impact.” 

Kunken cites an interactive mapping dashboard created by The Sacramento Bee that simplifies market opportunities for potential advertisers using the media company’s suite of print and digital products. The advertising sales rep controls a new “conversation-style presentation” that boils down complex data sets.

What this means, practically, for The Sacramento Bee:

  • A shift from PowerPoint presentations to interactive, Web-based dashboards.

  • Teasing out data from spreadsheet reports.

  • Putting years of car sales data by dealerships into a visualisation dashboard. This has led to discussions about postal code-level market share of a dealer by car make and possibly a new product strategy employing inserts and digital.

  • Feeding sales performance data into visualisation dashboards to give Bee management a new tool to use as a coaching aid.