I did a 5 minute talk the other day as part of a Show and Tell. The talk was on the Twitter account I’d just re-launched, why I was doing it, and what I hoped to get out of it. After the talk one of the internal communications team came over and asked if he could put some of my slides up on the digital screens around the building.
That was great – a result – some engagement! And someone was actually listening to my talk. But of course I started thinking about how relatively unexciting the slides were and wishing I could put be putting something really eye-catching up on those screens.
It’s increasingly common for businesses and organisations to have display screens in their reception areas, lifts and other high-footfall parts of the building. This internal network (aka digital signage) needs content. And not bland corporate videos or 1984 style maxims either. These screens need something that grabs the attention, engages and entertains.
Weirdly enough, I was mulling on this when I got an email from Brandwatch announcing the launch of Vizia 2, a data visualisation platform. Vizia 2 features storyboarding tools (example pictured above) and rich graphic animations which aim to take data-crunching out of an organisation’s back rooms and into the showcase of the front foyer. These new visualisations are deliberately eye-catching and entertaining (“unashamedly gorgeous”, as Will McInnes, Brandwatch CMO, puts it).
This progression makes perfect sense. Data is moving from being the domain of business analysts and marketing nerds to something that can reasonably form the basis of a great office entertainment system.
Seven years I ago I blogged about Pepsico’s Gatorade Mission Control. We used to gasp as we were shown photos of this, or of the multi-screened social media command-centres owned byt other global brands like Dell and Cisco.
Today, all that Minority Report stuff is a bit passé – we want Tron!
“Constant change makes data strategically important,” says Mike Brackpool, Brandwatch VP of Product. “Instead of being really good at doing one specific thing, companies need to be good at learning to do a lot of new things”.
How do you drive behaviour change within your organisation? One way is certainly by story-telling and entertaining. And making data as immersive as it possibly can be.
Recent exhibitions like Big Bang Data at Somerset House, or Fear and Love at the Design Museum, artists like Julie Freeman (We Need Us) or Stefanie Posavec and Gioria Lupi (Dear Data) – they are all helping to make data more understandable and engaging.
Virtual reality adds another potential new dimension. I’m sure it won’t be long before office away days become a thing of the past as staff can just lie on sofas transported away via their Oculus Rift headsets. No doubt Vizia’s developers are working on it.