O’Reilly Radar has a fantastic post on Michael Ogawa’s “code_swarm”, an elegant visualization of the birth and development of an Open Source software project. In the case below it’s Python, but Michael has also covered Eclipse and Apache. Code_Swarm clearly shows the way interactions build into a critical mass, as new information and code is put into the project and as side-projects orbit, fuse and spin off as the software takes shape.
Visualizing data is, in my opinion, one of the hottest areas of analytics and by extension, market research, intelligence and CI.
Imagine, if you will, a series of customer interactions leading up to a unexpected loss to a competitor. Instead of code changes or documents being the swarm; emails, phone calls, marketing efforts, support interactions and so on could all be thrown into such a visualization model. Tracked back against a point in time or an specific activity, patterns could emerge that could be easily leveraged for competitive intelligence.
Apart from anything else, presenting data (at a very high level) to a senior audience would be a great opportunity to share an experience, to visualize a time series and to ultimately want to move into the “now what do we do phase”. For me, there is an increased level of buy-in that is afforded when you all share that common experience.
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PS: Hoping the video embeds correctly!