NEWS15 May 2014

Why UPS trucks don't turn left

News UK

UK — The Big Data Innovation Summit took place in London yesterday and continues today.

Sessions covered the various uses brands have found for big data, and created a number of talking points. Highlights from the morning sessions were:

  • UPS trucks avoid left hand turns (in the US) at all costs

This isn’t new news (the company announced the strategy about ten years ago), but is a strong example of the power of big data. John O’Donovan, CTO at of the Financial Times explained how analysing journey data allowed UPS to uncover the insight that it would shave millions of miles off routes if trucks avoided turning across traffic.

  • Talking on your mobile phone can help to optimise railway station design

Chris Gobby, head of mData at EE, explained how the company had helped Waterloo station to optimise its entry and exit system by mapping the path of commuters through the station each day, via mobile data.

  • Pie charts are the Aquaman of data visualisation

That is, according to Carlo Zapponi, a data visualisation specialist at Microsoft. He explained that pie charts – like Aquaman – are very good at one specific thing: comparing two or three components of a data set by volume. For everything else, you’re better of calling Superman (i.e. using a bar chart).

@RESEARCH LIVE

2 Comments

6 years ago

The aquaman versus superman line is very funny and spot-on!

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6 years ago

Waterloo's entry and exit systems are optimised? Really??

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