Getting People Interested In Numbers

Recently I was tasked with making the statistical reports of the digital team interesting to the rest of the organisation and, in turn, getting others interested in the potential that digital has to offer.

I knew that the last thing anyone needs in their inbox was another report (I’ve worked in enough places where I recieved multiple reports each day (that I find myself just skim-reading) to know that most people will never read these documents). I wanted to create a report people would actually look forward to receiving and could quickly and easily absorb.

1. Reporting In Pictures.

Choosing to avoid lengthy reports featuring technical jargon, tables filled with (seemingly meaningless) numbers and endless amounts of pie charts, the new report was to focus on quick and easy to understand visualisations of the information.

2. Succinct Explainations.

I’m not going to pretend a statistical report doesn’t have any numbers – clear it does – but these have been kept to an absolute minimum. The idea being that the reader can, at a glance, see if x is performing better than it was last month / year.

On a (slightly) deeper level ‘What This Means’ sections of text have also been included on each page. These are a paragraph long at most and describe what the changes in CTRs and New v Returning Visitors (for instance) mean in real terms.

3. The Result?

Judge for yourself by the results below… all quotes from senior management:

“really interesting stuff and clearly showing trends…”

“The ‘What this Means’ sections are spot on…”

“Really interesting stats”

4. Some Other Inspiration:

Hacked Off News Of The World

Today we say farewell to the News of the World… I can’t say I’m disappointed but that’s neither here nor there really.

The NoTW have doubled the print run for this last ever issue – meaning around 5 million copies are out on the street today… all of which contains absolutely no commercial advertising (not that they could give it away at the moment) which has instead been replaced by free advertising for charitable organisations.

The not-for-profit that I work for decided not to advertise in the NoTW… and we weren’t the only ones. As The Mirror pointed out “The paper has even been struggling to give space away for free as charities such as the RNLI, The Brooke, Care ­International, Thames Reach, ActionAid, WaterAid, VSO, Oxfam and Barnardo’s decided against taking up the offer.”

So I suppose the real question is who did?

Well, the answer is, quite a few organisations. Fundraising.co.uk lists them all on their site. This list includes Wellbeing of Women, The Children’s Trust, St John Ambulance and the Terrence Higgins Trust. Disappointingly, however, no-one decided to go with any tounge-in-cheek ads – someone blogged (I can’t remember who – sorry) the idea of an ad along the lines of “We may not have liked the paper… but we loved the readers… we look forward to your support in the future.” Our EA’s team came up with a similar idea – before it was decided we wouldn’t be applying for an ad space – and I was, personally, all for it.

Does anyone have any thoughts on whether they would have taken up the NoTW on their offer or whether your opinions of the charities who chose to advertise have been affected by this choice?

Google+ – A Party With No People

So, thanks to a friend of mine (@Creatingle) I finally received an AAA pass onto Google+ yesterday.

Having already been released for a number of days I felt like I was turning up a little late to the party (a cripplingly horrible concept for an early adopter such as myself). However it seems like Google forgot to invite anyone.

I get Google’s beta-test-until-everyone-feels-like-they’re-missing-out-on-something-amazing thing… but with a social network it seems a little… well… idiotic! When we’re used to having 750 million people (theoretically) at our Facebook finger-tips, a social network where I can only communicate with a fraction of my friends is more than a little unsatisfying. A bit like the offer an all you can eat buffet without any food.

That being said – do I think this is another Google failure? Probably not!

Google has the never-to-be-underestimated advantage of a huge market share, brand presence and its fair-share of incredibly loyal customers. That (google)plus the fact that Google+ is actually pretty good (I’m not going to critique it myself but nichewp have one that might be worth a read) and they might actually have found a winner.

I don’t think it’s likely to be taking Facebook’s crown any time soon but could see it creating its own niche for itself in the way Twitter and LinkedIn have. If one things for certain its definitely better than MySpace… but then again, was that ever an option?