Out of the Blue – January 2015

Out of the blue

Interesting snippets from the world of data

A sign of the times
The nifty little interactive chart below shows key topics featured in US presidents’ state of the union address.  War is unfortunately a constant theme, and health has become a much more common topic.

Global warming is here
If there’s any further proof you need that global warming exists, this is it: average temperatures on the rise over the last 100 years.

The race to a $1m
How quickly do companies make $1m?  Walmart gets there in 1 minute.

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate
US measles massively resurgent after the anti-vaccine campaign in 2014.  Data makes it pretty clear.

New meaning to data dump
Someone with too much time on their hands, this guy logged and visualised his faecal activity for a year.  Lets just hope he doesn’t get into big data…

In other news, we have also moved to Old Street (address below) – please feel free to pop by for a cup of tea or game of table football.

Happy new year everyone!

Mike Cross

State of the Union



Out of the Blue – December 2014

Out of the blue

Interesting snippets from the world of data

40 Brand Logos with Hidden Messages
This infographic reveals and explains the hidden secrets of some of the best known logos. For example, did you know Amazon stocks everything from A to Z?

London’s second languages mapped by tube stop
Researchers at UCL have created a map which shows the concentration of different languages (non-English) around London. Check out the most common second language at tube stops across the capital.

Social Networks – How popular are they with each gender?
This graphic visualises the gender balance on some of the world’s most popular social networks. Did you know there are 31 million more female users of social networks, and that Tumblr is 72% female?

How to be an Expert – How long does it take?
What does it mean to be an expert in a chosen field? How long does it take and how many hours of hard work does it require? This infographic shows a graphical representation of the achievement proficiency in different fields. Find what field is fitting for you!

Merry Christmas from all at the Brightblue team!

Marina Kryukova


Introducing the Brightblue App

Introducing the Brightblue App!

Estimate an ROI for your brand quickly and easily


We’re very pleased to launch our first publicly available Brightblue app which you can download on Apple and Android.

This nifty tool helps you predict what payback you may be expecting on your brand, and by media channel. Just plug in your industry, size of brand and spend levels by media channel, and the tool does the hard work for you. Out pops your overall expected ROI, along with ROI by channel. You can even email a pdf of the results to your team. Hooray!

Please click on the buttons below:

BrightBlueLogo1TagLine appstore googleplay
Please note: these ROI estimates are based on benchmarks and should only be used as a rough guide. All brands are different and factors such as creative, phasing and category will all influence ROI. To measure your true ROI, please contact us to find out more.

We hope you have fun with our App!

The Brightblue team

Out of the Blue – November 2014

Out of the blue

Interesting snippets from the world of data

The world mapped by the internet
The Oxford Internet Institute maps the world by number of internet users (see below), which makes for quite a distorted picture of the world.

Show me the money!
The Billion Dollar-o-Gram 2013 is an interactive tree-map representing the billions of Dollars in the Economy. Did you know the US accounts for 46% of the world’s global military investment? Which is 8.3 times the spend of China.

Extend your life while flying
Reduce the chances of dying in a plane crash, and what are the chances of this happening in reality? This info-graphic has all the answers for you.

Behind the box office
Did you know that trailers are 3 times more likely to convince people to see a movie than any other source? Read all about the interesting facts and figures about the movies.

Other bits
…and in other news we have launched our first publicly available app, and Spence won an IPA award for measuring social media – well done Spence!

Prokopis Ellinas


Out of the Blue – October 2014

Out of the blue

Interesting snippets from the world of data

How data could save your marriage
This fun bit of data analysis helps visualise how text messages change during relationships – notice how many times the word “love” is used in text messages after marriage!

The falling impact of supermarket loyalty card schemes
As supermarkets continue to fight over market share, retailers are becoming increasingly reliant on loyalty card schemes. However, Discounters have been doing all they can to fight back.

Buy one get one Tea
Meanwhile, other supermarkets are using increasingly creative and unusual ways to lure customers back. And in these times when London has just risen to being the most expensive city to work in the world, every little helps!

How data is being used to walk the scenic route
Whether you want the scenic, beautiful, quiet or happy route, this tool allows you to customise your journeys by more than shortest distance or time. See the different routes you could take walking between Euston Square and Tate Modern.

Andy Jones


Out of the Blue – September 2014

Out of the blue

Interesting snippets from the world of data

Time is money – why not save both?
This great tool shows you areas in London with a shorter commute and/or are cheaper to rent than your current location – all with brilliant data visualisation (see image below).

The power of branding
Guinness is less Irish than many people think, being based on a London ale, headquartered in London and at one point during the Troubles it was almost re-launched as an English beer.

Time shifting TV
The trend towards recording TV for later viewing is slowing down, with only 1% more time-shifting in 2013 versus 2012. The data suggests viewers are recording dramas & soaps to (binge) watch at their convenience and not avoiding adverts.

Brightblue at the IPA awards
We’re pleased to announce that Mattessons Fridge Raiders’ use of social media has been nominated for an IPA award, following a strong ROI from our analysis. Congratulations to all involved!

Spencer Lucas


Out of the Blue – August 2014

Out of the blue

Interesting snippets from the world of data

Storytelling with data
Storytelling is a trending topic for businesses. Marketers, advertisers and analysts are all in search of a story that will move people to act – but have we found it?  Google image ‘great advertising charts’ and you get a disappointing array of dull bar charts that leave you thinking: “so what?” All data, no insight.

Google’s view
Google’s Daniel Waisberg tells us to “look at data the way a detective examines a crime scene…understand what happened and what evidence needs to be collected. The visualization—chart, map or single number—will come naturally once the mystery is solved. The focus is the story.” It’s true, I bet Colombo would make great charts.

Visualising your career
Storytelling has spread out of business too.  ‘Vizualize me’ allows you to create a ‘story’ out of your CV.  See my example at the bottom – not sure about the usefulness but it looks more appealing than linkedin.

Visualising your life?!
Inspiring new charts are coming from unlikely data sources, like Nicholas Feltonseveryday life – he tracks every activity (what he eats, who he sees, where he is) to create annual reports.

A data driven future is not a future of charts but a future of data stories. So, next time you are creating a weekly report, delivering analysis or even updating your CV, ask yourself “what’s the story here?”

Terry Fribence


Out of the blue – July 2014

Out of the blue

Interesting snippets from the world of data

Did data win the world Cup?
Pretty cool use of data to optimise World Cup football matches for the winning German team.  Data used to analyse previous match habits, and provide almost real time updates.

Advertising has longer term boost
Latest research by NCS shows long-term sales lift from advertising still exists, and if anything is greater than it used to be, despite increased clutter and fragmentation of advertising into myriad channels

Fly with me
Latest research shows that boarding an aeroplane was 50% slower in 1998 than 1970. In fact a random approach is actually faster than the “back-to-front” process that most airlines use

Rich get richer
Average earnings have gone up, the rich have it better than anyone else and the minimum wage seems to have worked. Some interesting charts from a  recent release Office for National Statistics.


Big Data – How much is hype?

Big data is certainly the talk of the data industry – see how popular it has become on google searches over the past year:

What is it?
Basically, it’s the effluent of the digital world.  That’s not supposed to sound as bad as it does: Big data is the by-product of the digital age – it’s the information left over from online consumer behaviour.

Why is it called Big Data?
The term big data arises because there’s so much of it. Literally terabytes of the stuff. Enough to theoretically make analysts like us very happy. But it doesn’t quite do the job as there’s too much of it – and I didn’t think I’d ever say that.There is so much of it, standard super-powerful data software (SAS, etc) is struggling to handle it.  There are now new processor sharing capabilities such as Hadoop, which move closer to being able to manipulate it.  They work by sharing processing across different systems to allow the computing to be done.

What can you do with it?
This is another big stumbling block, as the data needs to be sifted to get to the insight – not an easy task.There have been a few interesting examples, such as with Linkedin – they increased their members networks by suggesting connections with the ‘people you may know’ function.  This was the brainchild of Jonathon Goldman, a data scientist who saw the opportunity to use data to suggest connections – the upshot was a new growth trajectory for Linkedin and millions of new page views.  However, for the most part big data is not leveraged to good use – sitting around taking up lots of expensive storage space.

Flash in the pan?
Does big data live up to its hype? This interesting graph from Gartner (click here) suggests we are reaching the crescendo of the hype.  Now it’s a case of working with the smaller part of the Big Data that’s usable and seeing what is possible to build from there.

For marketing analytics, we see the major benefit to stem from access to more detailed data, both on the channel side and performance side. This will mean that major opportunities will arise in analysing much more detailed impacts and the ability to assess performance across different consumer types. For example, instead of looking a TV’s total ROI, it could be broken down to assess the ROI of copy rotation, day of week, time of day, channel (sales house), and so on.

From a consumer perspective, the opportunity to split data down to a less aggregated level and segment market mix models by customer profiles will lead assessment of marketing ROI by the groups that deliver more value.

Useful, but doesn’t solve everything
So there is significant opportunity here, but possibly not quite as much as initially hyped.   For big data to be useful you need the right data capture, good data analysts/data scientists, senior project sponsors and a bit of patience – not a small order…

Written by Michael Cross

Brightblue is a specialist marketing ROI consultancy. Our experience ranges from consulting to market mix modelling (econometrics) to global media budget setting and optimisation. We take a clear, dynamic and commercial approach to ensure results are used to maximum effect.

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