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Are You Intimidated about the Scary Sea of Data? I was Too.

How idea illustration helps convey the vast pool of data in the News Media Industry.

The News Media industry is saturated with an obscene amount of data on a second-by-second basis. Whether it’s a highly syndicated press release published on over 800 different publications to a Twitter post that has received over a million in social engagements, the news cycle is constant and unstoppable. There is no way one person can physically digest the volume of news accessible to them daily. Just think about it, it’s available on every TV screen, every newspaper, and every news publication online. Beyond traditional media, you have the wave of social media. That in itself is its own impossible cycle of constant engagement, news, information, and too many opinions. News never stops, and neither does our relationship with it. All that data can be exhausting and impossible to convey in its entirety. That’s where Idea Illustration comes in.

Idea illustration is vital in the full data comprehension and knowledge compression of the News and Social Media landscape. I am a Media/Data analyst at a software company that has its own digital media monitoring software. Every day I look at an infinite number of cells on Excel containing important details on a client’s news coverage. This can be daunting. If you don’t believe me, here is an example.

Scary right? That’s how I felt when I first started working at Meltwater 2 years ago. I didn’t know how I was going compress all this data to tell a story. How could I make this sea of data something digestible to the common eye? I learned that Idea Illustration was a valuable asset in effectively depicting the full picture to the client. It helps tame the complexity and magnitude of news and social media data. Using different variations of simple charts, painted a clearer picture of how media is behaving at any given moment. All of a sudden I could create stories, present insights, and strategize solutions for the client. If you don’t believe me, take a look for yourself.

See? I’m sure all your eyes exhaled a sigh of relief. These charts have compiled all the data or ‘knowledge’ that was previously a large illegible Excel sheet. But suddenly, I can tell you a story. Here I can share how California’s Drought coverage peaked on November 18th due to a press release that was syndicated 358 times. Also, how the state of California had the highest news coverage on the California drought compared to the rest of the United States making it a more locally covered news topic. These notable insights are not only more easily communicated through Idea Illustration but help the overall process of uncovering the scope of data.

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