Misix Library

Sensors, Stats and Shipping Lanes

May 6, 2016


Your Phone Is Talking About You

Original story via AdAge.

Don’t look now, but you’re being watched. No, not online. Well, yes online, but that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about the rise of proximity sensors in brick and mortar retail environments, and the conversations they’re having with the smartphone in your pocket. Per a Proxbook report, and via AdAge, the number of mobile proximity sensors in retail locations surpassed 6.2 million in the first quarter of 2016, up from 5 million at the end of 2015. Proximity sensors – most commonly of the beacon and NFC varieties – connect with mobile devices within a certain proximity, usually no more than a few feet, to transmit information. Traditionally, the technology has been utilized to deliver coupons and promotional offers tailored to nearby products, but as the Proxbook report indicates, marketers are now using these devices to gather more robust behavioral data. So the next time you find yourself waging an internal battle of willpower in front of the ice cream case at the grocery store, there’s a chance you won’t be alone.

Learn more about proximity sensor technology:

Check out the Proxbook report.
What’s the difference between beacon and NFC technology?




Was I Supposed to Measure That?

Original story via Clickz.

It’s only apropos that we follow a story on the proliferation of a new marketing channel with one that covers marketers’ self-identified inability to effectively measure cross-channel marketing performance. Yes, we’re snarky like that. Clickz dug into a new study from Origami Logic that examined the struggles marketers are facing as they work to collect and process the tremendous amount of data being created as a result of multi-channel marketing strategies. If the results are any indication, marketers definitely have a problem. A whopping 61% of respondents feel their measurement methods are ineffective, while almost 40% struggle to find actionable insights within their data. Perhaps most significantly, more than half identify their biggest challenge as having too many systems collecting and measuring data. It’s like our grandpa used to say (or would have, if he’d been a 21st century data scientist): It’s not about having the most data. It’s about having the right data.

Learn more about multi-channel marketing:

Check out the Origami Logic study.
What is multi-channel marketing?




You Can’t Handle the Truth!

Original story via Harvard Business Review.

You may not expect a self-described data-driven marketing agency to so thoroughly agree with Mark Twain’s rather blunt take on statistics, but no one understands how data can be manipulated to tell a biased story as thoroughly as trained statisticians. Which is why this little gem from Harvard Business Review caught our eye. The HBR team took a look at research into how advanced numeracy helps individuals parse through the potentially misleading data and stats frequently utilized in political advertising. Not surprisingly, political affiliation played a significant role. For less polarizing topics, individuals with higher levels of numeracy tended to form opinions based off empirical data. Once the issues under review became more divisive, however, even those individuals with high levels of numeracy tended to agree with information provided by their political party of choice or chose to overlook certain data points altogether if they didn’t align with their point of view. Turns out numbers can also be red or blue, at least when viewed through human eyes.

Learn more about political advertising:

Political ads and video content.




Data Visualization of the Week

The next time you’re debating a friend or coworker who insists America would be better off going it alone, we suggest you point them to this visualization of the world’s shipping lanes and the all-encompassing nature of the global economy.




Created by Kiln and the UCL Energy Institute, ShipMap.org charts the course of the world’s commercial shipping fleet in 2012. Users can filter the data by ship type, cargo type, route and more for a visual look at the point of origin and final destination for a variety of consumer goods. Aside from raw data, Ship Map illustrates many of the economic and geopolitical themes we hear about in the news every day. The never ending hustle and bustle around China’s coastal ports. The aquatic traffic jam at the Panama Canal. The almost deserted pirate-infested waters off the coast of Somalia. They’re all present, and made real in a manner as beautiful as it is comprehensive.

As with so many of the data visualizations we geek out over, we stumbled across this project via FlowingData.com. If you have a free minute (or 20), head over to ShipMap.org and try it out for yourself.