Many loyal users claim that organizing data on Excel is simple, thus making it the most frequently used reporting tool, but with the velocity of data today, Excel just doesn’t cut it anymore. What happens when you have to deal with big data in real-time?
They say if opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.
BAM! Here’s the door. Conjured up by the wizards of Nugland.
When you walk through the door, you will arrive upon the holy shores of Nugland, where the wizards have slogged through day and night to put together our latest invention — Nugit ON STEROIDS! Even though research suggests it could bestow unlimited speed, accuracy and efficiency to even the weakest of hearts, it is still in the developmental phase and we are looking for willing tributes to partake in our usability test.
Do you work in digital media, and do you send out performance reports to customers? Then you are the chosen one, and we are looking for you!
Here at Nugit we are continuously learning how to increase effectiveness and efficiency in the lives of digital media professionals. To better understand how you report performance metrics we want to invite you for our upcoming usability test.
There will be three parts to the test:
1) an interview about your current workflow for reporting
2)being observed while you create a Nugit account and
3)being observed while you create reports in Nugit
The test will take place in our office on 55b Amoy Street in Singapore. It will take about 1 hour of your time and we will reward you with a $100 voucher for Amazon, Courts, or any other web shop of you liking.
You can choose a 60 minute time-slot on any of the following dates:
Wednesday 16 December between 1pm and 5pm
Thursday 17 December between 9am and 1pm
Saturday 19 December between 1pm and 5pm
Monday 21 December between noon and 7pm
You currently work in digital media
You manage 2 or more campaigns on AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, Baidu, Sizmek, theTradeDesk, and/or Doubleclick
You send out reports on performance metrics
You have never used Nugit before
Looking forward to seeing you on the shores of Nugland.
Data. Less Huff and Puff. More Brevity.Last week I attended ClickZ Live Singapore, a digital conference that badges itself as helping marketers and agencies embrace the digital revolution from implementation to impact. I think they did a pretty good job of living up to that title with a great range of speakers covering all aspects of digital marketing. I got the shift before lunch, and decided to talk about what I’ve learnt over the past year in building Nugit—making data simple and less confusing. Here are my slides and the story I told… I’ve been in digital media for eight years now. About a year back, I calculated that I probably spent 50% of my time battling spreadsheets and wrangling data. That’s four years of my working life! That’s when I decided to quit my media job and quit spreadsheets. There’s got to be a better way. I came up with Nugit. We’re a bunch of data scientists, analysts, developers, front-end designers and data artists. You can see all of us on our LinkedIn Page. Nugit is essentially an analytics company so we work with lots of data. The funny thing is, none of us use Excel or Google Spreadsheets. It’s awesome. There are plenty of better ways to present data. Just compare my first and second slide. The first shows two Chinese characters. Doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know Chinese, right? That’s my point. We digital folk often communicate in our own language. But to get our message across, we need to communicate in a universal language, one that everyone understands. It’s not spreadsheets. Brevity, not complexity I truly believe that digital people make digital extra complicated. Sometimes we deliberately confuse. Even with eight years on the job, I can listen to some people talk about DSPs, DMPs and RTB and have absolutely no idea what they’re going on about. We’re shooting ourselves in the foot, digital people. Digital channels are now more transparent, measurable, optimisable, targeted and closer to the purchase process. People are spending more time consuming digital media on their phones, tablets and laptops than any other medium. Yet if you look at media spend, we’re getting cents in the dollar. We’re under-performing and I reckon confusion and complexity have a lot to do with it. It’s like big data. Big buzzword? More like big confusion, if you ask me. 99% of us don’t work with big data. Anything you can manage in Excel hardly qualifies. What we’re doing is adding verbiage to something that hasn’t changed—another example of creating complexity and confusion. It’s time for less huff and puff and more brevity. On this point, I should add that a consultant came up to me after my presentation and said: “If we make our reports and analysis so simple, clients won’t value it.” Wow, I’m sorry, sir, but if you think your product is spreadsheets, you ought to rethink your value proposition. I subscribe to the Margaret Thatcher way. As Britain’s Prime Minister, she insisted that every brief arriving at her desk was no more than a single sheet of paper. Even for the Falklands War. Simplicity is possible. Make data simple to understand Visual language is the way to go. It’s simple and universally understood. Here are a couple of tips and tricks for those of you just starting out with data visualisation:
- Size – Instantly recognisable and relative
- Context – Comparisons and clear headlines help people understand if something is good or bad
- Ideograms and Symbols – You shouldn’t need to be an expert at something to understand it
- Familiarity – If you must present detail, do it in a way your audience is used to. Like the Premier League table in my presentation.
- Give context to everything you present – Compare to your category, your sister brands, last year’s results. Any comparison helps.
- Keep it simple
- Make sure it’s relevant
- Surprise your audience
- Clutter – If you’re not sure, reduce. Then reduce and reduce some more.
- Present redundant content – What’s redundant? A pie chart and a table with the same data on the same slide.
- Mislead – Honest results help you address problems. Playing with axis scales and other elements to mislead your audience doesn’t help decision-making.
- Indulge – 3D pie charts might make you feel clever but if they don’t help your audience understand the insight, avoid them.
Even the best technology can fail if you don’t take user behaviour into accountI recently had a conversation with a Nugit user that reminded me of an incident a few years ago. This was when I was leading a project to develop a dashboard for a large retailer. At the time, the client was wasting tons of man-hours every week manually copying/pasting their digital media results into Excel as due diligence on their media spend. Our brief was to help them do away with the spreadsheets, automate all the data wrangling and create reports that would be available to different business units.
We delivered on the brief perfectly, ran training sessions for 30 or so staff and got everyone onboard. The system was working as it should and the client, a senior executive, was happy. No one could see any reason why the dashboard would fail — but it did.
Nobody was logging in. Not the brand managers, not the marketing managers. Instead, they kept calling our teams to request for reports. So this was the question I posed to the Nugit user mentioned earlier: why don’t people use dashboards?
He made an interesting point. It doesn’t matter how well a dashboard is built or what fancy features or impressive capabilities it comes with. The problem is on the other side of the fence. It’s human nature.
In his opinion, when you pull data from a system, the onus is on you to interpret it correctly and communicate it accurately. But when your data source is an analyst—an actual person—there’s security in knowing someone else handed you the report. You get to ask questions, clarify doubts and, if anything goes wrong, you get to blame them.
To a certain extent, we can’t fault them. A lot of data that we’re expected to work with is unfamiliar and complicated. It’s unchartered territory and anyone would feel a lot safer being guided by someone who knows the way.
If human nature dictates that people would rather turn to people, not systems, for help, then we have quite a challenge on our hands here at Nugit. We build awesome stuff that automate tedious, time-sapping tasks. We present the results beautifully and intuitively. We make all kinds of reports readily accessible, anytime anywhere. But are we really addressing what our users need? Can we create a system that plays the role of an expert, holds people’s hands and makes them feel comfortable enough to trust, and act on, the insights presented?
Well, we plan to find out. We’re going to be running several interesting experiments over the next few months, so stay tuned.
We founded Nugit to help regular people make sense of data analytics.
In 2012, Harvard Business Review declared that the “sexiest job of the 21st century” was the data scientist. Since the term was coined in 2008, everyone has had a go at defining it. The Guardian suggested that they are “highly educated experts who operate at the frontier of analytics, where data sets are so large and the data so messy that less-skilled analysts using traditional tools cannot make sense of them.”
Okay, so data scientists are really smart. They know things like linear regression, multivariate and correlations. In the world of data-driven marketing, however, I’d go a step further to say that good data scientists are also data artists of sorts. Just because data makes sense to them doesn’t mean everyone else gets it too. They need to be able to present insights in a simple, straightforward and informative way—and that’s an art.
If it sounds like a tough job, that’s because it is. There aren’t enough good data scientists in the world to handle all our data, and the data scientists we have often don’t have enough time to do a good job.
Some people have responded by developing business intelligence tools that are smarter, faster and more efficient so data scientists can get more done. Helpful, there’s still tons of data wrangling to be done before any data scientist can find meaningful information to pass on to marketers, planners and decision makers. It’s the last 10 feet in the data journey towards insight and opportunity that is mission critical but also the same 10 feet that time-poor data scientists find hardest to complete.
So rather than building more tools for data scientists, we built one for regular people.
Nugit plugs directly into your data sources, no tags required, and runs the same business logic that data scientists run every day automatically. Once we find observations, these are turned into Nugits—little bits of insights and recommendations—that are pushed into your stream (kinda like Facebook) or emailed directly to you. Each Nugit is simple but insightful, presented in a visual, interactive format.
In a nutshell, Nugit seeks to boost your digital marketing effectiveness by delivering data analytics as actionable insights.
- We help you mine your treasure trove of data and extract insights and observations.
- We take on the data wrangling and onerous tasks so your analysts have time for more important stuff.
- We communicate digital results in a meaningful way that everyone (including your boss) understands.
- We provide best-in-class digital analysis that is cheaper and faster than if you did it yourself.
Fact is, we live in a real-time marketing world. To be effective, you need to know what’s happening in the middle of the month in the middle of the month—not at the end of the month. Time lost between actions, results and analyses means opportunities lost.
Because we focus exclusively on that last 10 feet, we like to believe that we can invest a lot more time and effort than most individual companies might do with their automation efforts. We’re on top of the latest platforms and best practices in analytics and we invest big time in communicating the results quickly and efficiently.
So if you’re data scientist is snowed under, why not try Nugit and see how our Nugit’s can help you understand what’s going on in your digital world. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request an invitation.