/ Bad BI habits, how to fix “crappy” visualizations, and big data vs. retail: Twitter Round-Up for June 6

The Twittersphere lit up this week with rebukes, reality checks and redesigns vis-à-vis big data and analytics. Here are some of the tweets and articles that stood out the most:

Why Most People’s Charts & Graphs Look Like Crap

The top tweet for the week is @HubSpot—and not just because their headline is catchy (as is always the case), but because they deliver a highly valuable blog post to boot on basic design principles that often get overlooked.

HubSpot says of data visualization, “It’s about presenting information in a way that is easy to understand and intuitive to navigate, making the viewer do as little legwork as possible. Of course, not all designers are data visualization experts, which is why much of the visual content we see is, well, less than stellar. Here are 10 data visualization mistakes you’re probably making and the quick fixes to remedy them.”

Is Big Data Helping Or Hurting The Shopper Experience?

According to McCann’s Truth Central research unit, “Precision targeting has resulted in shoppers feeling that they may be missing out on things they’d like to discover and purchase.”

The study, called “The Truth About Shopping,” surveyed more than 10,000 people in 11 countries (U.S., U.K., China, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, U.A.E., France, South Africa, Spain and India) to explore consumer attitudes and behavior related to shopping covering areas such as online, mobile and in-store purchasing, views about data and privacy, and preferences about the shopping environment and experience.

For a high-level overview of McCann’s research with some quick-and-dirty stats, check out the article above. But you’ll have to wait for McCann’s official launch to dive into the details.

Big Data Isn’t Just a Product of the Internet, It Is the “New Internet”

Provocative title, especially since the Internet is hailed (if not accepted) as the most important invention in history (my opinion—it’s a very close second place to the printing press, but still only second).

Says author Tracey Wallace, “Say so-long to cookies, sayonara to banner ads, hasta luego to overly priced and static print ads. Instead, welcome the age of a customized Internet, no matter where or how you use it. In this $30 billion market of mobile ad spend, the brands that are able to utilize data not merely for the hype, but for the ROI, will see not just an increase in profits, but also a new asset hit their balance sheets.

The Internet disrupted everything about how we led our lives. It showed us our common humanity – sometimes for the better (like when all of San Francisco came together to recreate Gotham for a little boy), sometimes for the mundane (cat videos on cat memes on cat listicles containing both), sometimes for the worse (trolls, enough said). And big data will do the same. We’ve only yet to see exactly how big data will affect every inch of our lives, but we do know, as does Mary Meeker, that the time to collect and activate is now.”

Bad Business Intelligence Habits

It’s a brief article, but sometimes short and sweet gets to the point. Author Tracy Watson says that the three heinous habits are “oversimplification,” “a failure to deliver business value” and “a belief that the cloud is the answer.”

She concludes with “A business intelligence solution should focus on interactive reporting and offer users a mash-up design environment that’s flexible and easy to use. When a BI solution is focused on self-service, it creates a truly agile business intelligence solution.”

Agree, or disagree? Let me know in the comments.