For many, autumn (or ‘fall’ as our friends across the pond call it) means the anticipation of key annual events: Halloween, Thanksgiving and of course the festivities of Christmas. For Keen as Mustard and our friends over at E-Tabs, however, autumn brings with it another key event: Viz-Fest, which for the past few years has provided an online festival of insight communication and data viz to the insight community around the world. Autumn 2018 was no exception, with the webinar series returning to screens last month with a line-up filled with industry experts who provided practical advice on data viz, dashboards, storytelling, stakeholder insight communications and more.
Day 1 began with the theme of data-viz, including a presentation from Lightspeed’s Jon Puleston and Becki Southern on the power and pitfalls of using visuals in research. Lightspeed’s research found that the visualization of data can be optimized by using images that drive curiosity and trigger questions in the viewer’s mind, rather than those that simply state the facts. By using these types of visuals, researchers can increase recall by triggering cognitive engagement. Recall can also be increased by using images that include a human face, the colour red and that employ a unique or odd element to the design. Their presentation also gave an important reminder that aesthetics require cultural context because taste varies due to many factors, including influences from a person’s culture and surroundings.
New for 2018 was a day themed around internal stakeholder communications. This included ‘The Great Internal Communications experiment’ presented by our very own Lucy Davison along with Lauren Raby of Coca-Cola. Keen as Mustard completed research with the Coca-Cola Knowledge and Insights team, in which they discovered that newsletters are the most effective method for engaging stakeholders with insights, especially when the email subject lines are short and number-focused. Their presentation reminded audiences that driving insights into the hearts and minds of stakeholders doesn’t have to be difficult and companies simply can’t afford not to give it a try.
If you weren’t able to view the presentations live, or would simply like to recap on some of the practical advice you received, all the presentations from 2018 are now available in the Viz-Fest archive, alongside the presentations from the previous three years. This is a great resource, containing practical presentations from over 50 industry experts that will allow you to overcome your insights communications challenges and refine your skills. Accessing the presentations is quick and simple so why not delve into the depths of Viz-Fest history to become storytelling savvy and a data viz whiz?
We had a great time working with E-Tabs and our curators Tom Ewing and Danielle Todd to organise 2018’s Viz-Fest and we’re really excited to get started on plans for 2019. Although officially submissions for speaking at Viz-Fest 2019 aren’t yet open, if you have ideas or would like to be involved, please do get in touch to submit your ideas.
Sign up to view the Viz-Fest presentations online here.