Statistics at Light Speed!

The only thing cooler than data is really fast data!



You may have seen this type of video before. The social media gurus (or ninjas, as the term has now become a more popular self-descriptive term according to LinkedIn) out there probably have seen a lot of them.

This is part of the “Did you know” or “Shift Happens” series, created by XPLANE in partnership with The Economist.  There are lots of these types of videos, but this most recent installment of the Shift Happens series is probably the best I’ve seen—although feel free to post a like if there’s another one you like better.

I will just come out and say that I’m not the biggest fan of this style. The way statistics are used becomes a little overwhelming (and this is coming from an industry analyst). I prefer data to reinforce and justify a story, not replace it. The strategy of videos like these seems to be that if you throw out enough incredible statistics, and marry them with catchy visuals, eventually one of them will stick. However, that doesn’t mean that the video successfully conveys its message.

That aside, the videos are popular—many of them have over a million views—and definitely have potential. With moderate refinement, this genre could actually become quite influential. Ford was likely influenced by the visual style (exhibit A: this commercial). Once the genre matures, we’ll probably see it rest somewhere between where it is now and the Ford commercial.

Again, as an industry analyst, I am wondering if I were to make such a video about the credit union industry, what statistics would I use. What story would I tell? And perhaps most importantly, what song should I pick? Maybe if we come up with some good ideas in the comments section below, I’ll take a walk to our design department and see if I can talk one of our designers into helping me create a “Did you know? Credit Union Edition.”