This Week: Big Data Magic

Humans have had an affinity for data for some time. We like a good bar graph because it tells a story.

Although, in my limited research, I’ve been unable to find evidence that pie charts were being used in humankind’s earliest days, former US Senator, Henry D. Hubbard, said this of data in 1939: There is a magic in graphs. The profile of a curve reveals in a flash a whole situation — the life history of an epidemic, a panic, or an era of prosperity. The curve informs the mind, awakens the imagination, convinces.[1]

Throughout this week, we’ll see how data continues to work that magic.

It helps us plan

In Monday’s blog, How to Plan for the Shopper of TomorrowImad Nusheiwat, Managing Director of UPS Global Solutions, explains how data is creating a near real-time blueprint for retailers looking to thrive in a rapidly changing marketplace.

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graphs furnish the unrivalled means whose power we are just beginning to realize

It helps us predict

Later in the week, Udayan Bose, Founder and CEO of NetElixir, will show us how data analytics can open a window to shopper intent. His retail intelligence team analyzes millions of online shoppers to make predictions about future purchasing – like this year’s holiday season.

It helps us help those in need

We’ll also hear from Marzia Rango, Research Officer at the International Organization for Migration’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre in Berlin – she points to the direct impact data has on people’s lives. Particularly important during times of crisis, as we are currently seeing in Europe, Rango says accurate and timely statistics are needed to provide the proper urgent humanitarian response.

Henry D. Hubbard understood how far the story of data reaches when he said, whenever there are data to record, inferences to draw, or facts to tell, graphs furnish the unrivalled means whose power we are just beginning to realize and to apply.

Come explore data’s powerful story with us this week on Longitudes.


Managing Editor, UPS Longitudes

James Rowe

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James Rowe is Creative Director of Longitudes and co-host of Longitudes Radio.

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