We talk a lot about using data to gain insights into customer needs, markets and industries. What is more difficult to pin down is how, exactly, businesses can do that, and how regular people understand and use that information.
Dun & Bradstreet’s partner, FindTheBest, came up with an interesting demonstration of how to make insights resulting from data analysis accessible to end users. What if you could analyze demographic and firmographic data and put that information in a context that was familiar to people — even tantalizing? So they gave it a try, using a metaphor popular with technical types and several million other people: The popular HBO drama, Game of Thrones.
FindTheBest’s technical team used two of its research engines, FindTheHome and FindTheCompany, to analyze real estate sales, school ratings, personal income and business and industry information to create profiles of counties across the United States. Then, to make it fun, they ranked U.S. counties on a point system and associated each region with one of the seven clans represented in the fictional world of Westeros.
For fans, each clan has a unique identity. The Lannisters are the rich and powerful overlords in the story. The Starks are the rugged heroes, self-reliant and honor-bound. The Night’s Watch are convicts turned soldiers, conscripted for life to protect the northern border of the realm. The FindTheBest team matched every county in the U.S. to a Game of Thrones clan.
It’s brilliant, when you think about it. Game of Thrones fans would be curious: Whose land do I live in? For instance, we discovered that Dun & Bradstreet’s headquarters in Short Hills, New Jersey falls in Lannister country. That means our offices are in a county that has:
• High population density
• A high median income
• A high number of banks
• A high number of political organizations
The FindTheBest team got creative with the characteristics that defined each house in the real world. Stark country is measured by its cold weather and many pet stores. Ship-building capabilities indicate House Greyjoy. Fire protection services point up Targaryen. And areas with a high percentage of unmarried men go to the Night’s Watch.
To gather and analyze all this data, FindTheBest used its world-class semantic platform. The technology takes in raw data, defines an appropriate taxonomy and offers refined data sets through its research websites and as embeddable widgets, knowledge graphs and other visualizations.
During regular business hours, FindTheBest provides researchers and marketers with the data and intelligence they need to address a broad range of business matters, from aggregating government contracts for any one company to determining which businesses offer the best H1B visa programs.
Image credit: horslips5