One of my recent blog posts "What's the cure for infoglut?" talked about how to manage your information flows allowing you to still make good business decisions even in the presence of too much information.
Whilst doing some blog research I came across this TED video from David McCandles on using data visualisation techniques to overcome dataglut to allow you to make business decisions even in the presence of too much data.
This video is very powerful in the way it displays and allows the data to tell a story and is a must watch video. It does start off a little slow, but it is worth sticking with it for the full 21 mins as it highlights some astonishing (and quite worrying) facts.
WARNING! - Do not read on until you have watched the above video
Before I continue to talk about these data visualisation techniques, I have to get something off my chest with regards to the video. My experience as a Financial Analyst, and as a Business Analyst, has taught me that facts can be manipulated to support the message you want to get across (yes, I know some of you will be flabbergasted at this last statement!).
When David alludes to the reduction of carbon emissions because of the grounding of aircraft due to the volcanic ash cloud over Europe, he is only focusing on one statistical data set. There are a number of indirect contributing data sets that will cause a knock on effect of not be able to fly, and these also need to be taken into consideration (e.g. some passengers will now choose to drive to their destination, thereby producing carbon emissions via their vehicle etc...).
However the data visualisation techniques he uses do provide some relativity and context to data and this got me thinking.
What if you could do the same with information flows?
Information is just bits of data right? If there was a way that all my information flows I have access to across all different social platforms could be pulled together and represented in a visual form it could save me a lot of time.
As I mentioned in my previous infoglut post, I don't want to lose any of my information flows I just need to manage them better, and maybe data visualization techniques is the answer.
So is this actually possible? Honestly? I don't know but I am going to continue doing research into this subject matter which will undoubtedly result in a third blog post on infoglut as I found out more.
In the meantime, if you have any thoughts or ideas on how information flows can be represented in a visual way, or how you are reducing infoglut in general, please let me know via the comments.