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26 January 2016

Get a grip! How to make the intangible tangible

Written by: Jermaine Dallas, Writer at Edelman

Innovation, Technology

Isn’t big data brilliant? It has the power to transform our lives and fuel a whole raft of applications. It can even tell us how good our selfies are. There’s just one problem, data on its own isn’t very photogenic.

Data feeds so many useful tools but in its purist form, it’s just a sea of digits. Or is it?

A group of us recently took a trip to the Big Bang Data exhibition at Somerset House in London. It consisted of thought provoking pieces from artists and designers from around the world that made us see data in a whole new way. It was colourful, visual and, most importantly, real. It gave all the ones and zeros that make up our digital world a touchy-feely presence.

It got me thinking about the challenges we often face in the communications marketing space.  Not all of the brands we work with on a day to day basis lend themselves to glossy product shots. In fact, some of our clients don’t make products at all. Yet all of them have a story to tell in a way that is engaging.

There’s always room for a maverick approach to storytelling. When you allow creatives to sit around the table, it can make for some interesting results. If the end goal is to make people sit up and pay attention, sometimes the most valuable asset isn’t in your usual toolbox.

“Creativity takes courage,” says the famous quote from the artist Henri Matisse. It’s that way of thinking that makes you consider emotive lights and soundscapes to showcase data instead of tired textbooks. And suddenly, the imaginary, the invisible and the intangible become real life visualisations that people want to interact with.

Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, according to the Big Bang Data exhibition. But when you can see with your own eyes what that data can actually do, it creates mass market appeal.

Big Bang Data runs at Somerset House until Sunday 20th March 2016. Click here for information.

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