Tag: big data

What’s hiding in your data? weheartdigital launch the show stats website for the audience agency

show stats


The Problem
We live in the data age. There is an unimaginable amount of internet activity generating a similarly unimaginable amount of data. Most companies would consider having lots of data a good thing – after all, the more data one captures, the better a company can understand customer wants and needs from which sound business decisions can be made.

Right? Well, not quite.

Data of itself is largely meaningless. Having lots of it doesn’t magically bring it to life but it does provide one with the opportunity to discover a story that is worth telling.

The Audience Agency helps UK based cultural organisations and policymakers to plan and deliver audience and engagement strategies largely based on the insight they draw from the national data-set which they co-ordinate. They work hard to understand the data they have at hand by working with their own in-house data scientist.

So you’ve got the data and you have a story (or stories) to tell…but how to tell it?

That’s why the Audience Agency came to us. To help deliver the data and the important stories it shares to interested parties in a format that is digestible, engaging, detailed and secure.
The Solution
More than half the battle with creating online solutions that work is simply understanding what customers need. Whilst this may seem an obvious statement it is nonetheless very true and is why weheartdigital take time to really understand the customer, the project and what it will take to succeed.

Luckily our experience with working with the Audience Agency is always a happy one. Not only because they are all such lovely people (they really are) but because they largely understand what they want from their projects. They don’t do fluffy and neither do we, so our kick-off requirements meeting was a happy balance of laughter and probing questions, from which, we could draw up a list of user stories to outline the key features of their web application.

When trying to tell a story it’s important not to meander. Key statistics were identified that would make a real difference to customer insight and these were visualised using an array of simple but effective charts. They key was to show just the right amount of data up-front with the option of seeing more if required.

To quote from the Audience Agency:

“Touring companies can now see and understand who their audiences are across a nationwide tour, whilst venues can gain actionable insight into their audiences by show or individual performance.”


How we measured success
After our initial kick-off requirements meeting weheartdigital identified a number of key criteria that the solution would need to meet:

– Engaging: Does it want to be played with? Does it show data in meaningful ways?
Does it show the right amount of data? Is the UI intuitive and easy to work with? All of these and more besides were considered as part of the engaging criteria.
– Detailed: How much is just the right amount of data to show up-front? Like most things in life, too much of anything is a bad thing. Charts and graphs were great for showing key statistics in an easy, digestible, meaningful way but for more detailed, nitty-gritty information the solution also needed to provide data downloads.
– Secure: Everyone wants to know their data is secure. No change here. All data is secured by login as well as a data approval process.

So, have we been successful?

Well, let’s be completely honest. Show Stats went live on the 17th March 2016 so the application is very young, however, early signs are the application is working well and many art based companies have already joined up (approaching 200 different companies at the last count).

The Audience Agency says, “132 Venues and 57 Touring Companies signed up and growing. Many positive comments around the targeted insight and eases of use “it will make life so much simpler!”


Next Steps
So now the problem has been outlined, the solution built and web application launched. What now?

weheartdigital is about building relationships, not just shipping off-the-shelf solutions. In fact, as alluded to, understanding your customer is more than half the battle to delivering great software, and so no surprise that having a great relationship is paramount.
The Audience Agency is a creative company with many ideas in the pipeline. We look forward to working again with them and helping them tell more stories that hide within their data.

Cimeon Ellerton from The Audience Agency concludes, “Next steps are to apply this thinking to other identified client needs – we’re particularly excited about some predictive analytics in the pipeline. We will of course continue to be responsive to the needs of Show Stats users and look for ways to improve the functionality in the future. But mostly, for now, just enjoy sharing these new insights with our colleagues growing audiences and touring fantastic shows – including a venue near you!”
Quote from the Client
“It’s been a truly collaborative process; with Show Stats we’ve defined a clear need identified through feedback from our clients, developed, tested and further improved a solution that makes the users happy. We’re all about making life easier for our clients and so little touches like building in responsive design means that it even looks and works great on a smartphone!” – Cimeon Ellerton, Head of Programmes, The Audience Agency

Responsive Everything

Happy Friday everyone.

After some meeting of some great people this week, there is a couple of things that come to mind, Responsive Design and Big Data.

Responsive Things
A few years ago, if you said that you would make a site responsive you would get two answers. 1) Our users respond very well to it or 2) Ha, yeah, right, you just want more money.

Whereas now, people get it…they think.

Generally its a rather wonderful WordPress theme that just hides the Top Level menu and shifts stuff about a bit or a full on design based on a grid system that shifts stuff about a bit. 3 column, down to 2 column, down to 1 column…


So here is where I am at. Responsive User Journeys, or Responsive Use Cases to me is MUCH more realistic, and much wiser.

An obvious example (cos its Friday and I am drinking Cider). Facebook on t’internet what do you do? Read the feed, watch videos, like, comment, play games, use FB Apps….

What do you do on your mobile? Read the feed, watch videos, UPLOAD IMAGES FROM YOUR PHONE…

Amazon on the desktop – Slowly browse, look at recommendations, deep link from google, buy stuff you didn’t know you wanted, add/edit credit cards, look at My Account. On mobile, LOOK FOR A SPECIFIC ITEM, Buy that item

Different use cases for different devices. Apps have nailed it as they build them with the app in mind. We can do this with web, so lets just do it…

Later, as we are in the Internet of Things part of our lives, do you think we will be designing all things to work on all Things? Nah, everything will become more focused, more sleek, smaller, simpler, etc…

Big Data not Big Databases
So many times we get offered projects that are hip and cool because they are going to use Big Data. Or so they say. And what is this Big Data project I ask. Oh, its a website that 1,000,000 visitors will hit everyday. Or a website that has some clever mechanism for doing something really complex that hasn’t been done before.

Its isn’t that is it. Big data is not lots of data or lots of users. It could be, but depends. Its a scenario where the data or algorithms, or processing is SOOOOO huge it has to be distributed, stored in a special way on lots of machines, processed in massive parallel data centres, etc. A million ain’t big…

eBay, Google, Amazon, Weather, Telescopes, blah blah blah are big data.

Anyway, always turns into a slight rant doesn’t it.