Data Visualisation: Good for Business

It was great to be part of the recent ThoughtWorks data visualisation event in Perth. There’s a summary on the ThoughtWorks Insights channel.

Visualisation is a topic I love talking about – especially demonstrating why it’s good for business – and presenting with Ray Grasso was a lot of fun.

Here’s the full video of the presentation.

If you want to pick and choose:

  • I start with the historical perspective and current state
  • 5.40, Ray starts the IMO story
  • 28.55, I start the call centre story
  • 41.53, Ray starts the NOPSEMA story
  • 54.39, We take questions

I’ve been talking to people about the event, and they always say something like:

“I’m such a visual person. I love it when people explain things to me visually.”

No-one ever says:

“Don’t show me a picture.”

Words are important, of course, as are other means of communicating. We all have multiple ways of processing information. However, visual processing is almost always a key component. Consider my friend the lawyer, who remembered cases because her lecturer pinned them on a map and illustrated them with holiday snap shots. I’m sure you have a similar example.

So we “see” that data visualisation is good for humans.¬†And what’s good for humans is good for business. Key business outcomes include engaging communications, operational clarity, and unexpected insights.

Enough words. Browse the slides below or watch the presentation above.

Thanks to Diana Adorno for the feature pic.

Leave Product Development to the Dummies

This is the talk I gave at Agile Australia 2013 about the role of simulation in product development. Check out a PDF of the slides with brief notes.

Description

"Dummies" talk at Agile Australia

Stop testing on humans! Auto manufacturers have greatly reduced the harm once caused by inadvertently crash-testing production cars with real people. Now, simulation ensures every new car endures thousands of virtual crashes before even a dummy sets foot inside. Can we do the same for software product delivery?

Simulation can deliver faster feedback than real-world trials, for less cost. Simulation supports agility, improves quality and shortens development cycles. Designers and manufacturers of physical products found this out a long time ago. By contrast, in Agile software development, we aim to ship small increments of real software to real people and use their feedback to guide product development. But what if that’s not possible? (And can we still benefit from simulation even when it is?)

The goal of trials remains the same: get a good product to market as quickly as possible (or pivot or kill a bad product as quickly as possible). However, if you have to wait for access to human subjects or real software, or if it’s too costly to scale to the breadth and depth of real-world trials required to optimise design and minimise risk, consider simulation.

Learn why simulation was chosen for the design of call centre services (and compare this with crash testing cars), how a simulator was developed, and what benefits the approach brought. You’ll leave equipped to decide whether simulation is appropriate for your next innovation project, and with some resources to get you started.

Discover:

  • How and when to use simulation to improve agility
  • The anatomy of a simulator
  • A lean, risk-based approach to developing and validating a simulator
  • Techniques for effectively visualising and communicating simulations
  • Implementing simulated designs in the real world