Thursday, August 13, 2009

NYT’s Metrics Sets a Standard

We’ve joked for years that any innovation or information we evolve at DCVB gives us just a 20 minute head start. It is probably 20 seconds now and an even more crucial advantage.

But one place where I’m glad folks are catching on is information or research driven decision making. Especially in Durham, more and more organizations are using benchmarks, performance indicators and other tools to guide decisions. And while Durham is still in some pretty rare company, more and more destination marketing organizations are taking this approach.

But often the usefulness of information is reliant on how it can be displayed or morphed. Especially, if when and how it is displayed can simultaneously mine a variety of databases and morph the results.

The people who are geniuses at this in my opinion do the METRICS column in The New York Times. It is almost worth the price of the paper alone but especially so you can access it on the website.

A great example is this interactive chart on how people spend their day. In the paper it was just two views. But in the interactive version you can in click see it by age, ethnicity, employed or unemployed, etc. You can also click on a strata and see just that one element across all of the criteria.

Very cool! But also extremely useful.

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