Monthly Archives: May 2010

Innovation Example: High Line

The High Line is a park that opened last year on New York’s West Side. It was built in the 1930s as an elevated railway and now is a park. The idea of a linear, elevated park is clever, you start at one end and walk about 1.5 miles to the other, surrounded by plants, but just above the streets of New York. The park is also very well designed.

You can read more about it here.

Stockmapper and Data Visualization

To close out this week’s posts focused on data visualization, Stockmapper by Herman Zschiegner was nominated for a Webby Award. Stockmapper allows you to look a large number of financial stocks to see what’s moving and visualize market trends. What is interesting here is the interactivity – everything is clickable and clicking yields useful data.

Great Examples of Data Visualization

Following on from my post earlier this week on Trefis, more great examples of data visualization can be found on the Information is Beautiful blog. Including how different cultures interpret different colors (below and in full detail here),  an Afghan scenario map, how much artists earn online and a visualization of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Lots of really clever ideas for extracting meaning from data.

Book Review – Rapt

Rapt by Winifred Gallagher is an interesting and provocative book. It centers on the ideas that focus is so important and that if you set goals, then you are far more likely to achieve success. The argument progresses to explore topics like Buddhism, attention deficit disorder and ultimately the origins of happiness. Obviously, this book goes far beyond project management, and takes a very individual level perspective. But it’s a great reminder on how clarity of goals and clarity of focus can bring happiness and success. Interestingly, the book argues it’s actually less important what you focus on, because the mere act of focus can lead to fulfillment.

Trefis and Data Visualization

It doesn’t matter how good your information or analysis is. If you present it poorly, it won’t get the recognition it deserves. Trefis is an interesting tool for this purpose. It focuses exclusively on stock price analysis, but the interactive nature of the information they show is inspiring. I can’t comment on how robust their analysis is, but they break a company down into its parts and then show the key financial drivers for each area, which you can then change to match your own assumptions. It certainly brings some clarity to the complex problem of financial valuation. They are also bringing a social element to the analysis process too, by enabling you to compare your valuation to others. Currently, they only cover approximately 50 technology focused companies, but it will be interesting to see if and how they grow. Signing up for the service does result in them sending you quite a few annoying emails, but it’s worth it to try out the tool.

The screenshot below shows some of the analysis they offer of Amazon: