Traditional newspapers are moving dramatically to digital publishing and data analytics in order to better understand their users’ behaviors, build their subscriber base, maintain their online readers, determine advertising placements. The goal is to deepen and diversify their revenue streams. For this purpose, VAL's Taste Graph research analyzes and synthesis the Globe and Mail data about their subscribers and their web-browsing habits, indicating connections between tastes.
Discovering affinities across different categories is a promising method of segmenting the audience within the context of media planning and potential advertising campaigns. For example, if someone shops for organic vegetables they might be more likely to shop to organic tea. Also, if data indicates close affinities between the categories of organic clothes and organic foods, it is reasonable that a purchaser of both organic vegetable and tea packs will be interested in shopping for an organic cotton shirt if they are provided with a choice to pick a shirt. As well, the people within the taste category ‘organic’ could also be interested in certain types of drinks, types of shoes, and a sports travel lifestyle.
To establish similar taste correlations within Globe and Mail data, we follow a “narrative approach” that helps tell stories with the data by providing a smooth transition from raw data to communicating through data visualization. The tool we are developing supports the Globe and Mail marketing teams. Firstly, it provides an easy way to filter multiple sources of data and find relationships. Secondly, it shows patterns regarding Globe and Mail audience tastes in customized narrative visualizations. From these, the marketing teams could gain holistic knowledge about their audience tastes and see the impact of certain taste correlations or become aware of some hidden insights of interest regarding relationships between tastes. Thirdly, it allows Globe and Mail people to remain continuously knowledgeable about their business performance measures.
Our organization of the design space involves two types of narrative tactics: visual and structural. For visual tactics, we deploy several visual mechanisms that assist and facilitate the narrative. We chose a bubble chart, and grouped bar chart to illustrate, evaluate, and compare tastes, scores and engagement levels. Colour is then applied to different categories of advertisements to indicate degrees of divergence in tastes. We depend on navigation strategies as a structural tactic to assist the narrative. For example, we arrange the paths the viewer might take through the visualizations, and we make the visualizations interactive by including filtering, selecting, searching, and navigating of advertisement data. These strategies are tested and refined with Globe and Mail design and marketing teams and will then be audience tested.
Our visualization tool, in general, respects secure web application standards. Our goal is to provide the Globe and Mail with intuitive reports about the overall and manifold correlations of tastes of their readership and advertising audiences. Our proposed tool handles the complexity of massive and heterogeneous marketing data records and translates it into a communicative interface.
See a preview of TasteGraph from the IEEE Computer Society Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee VIS2018 here.
Click here to see Ahmad Karawash presenting this research at the Ontario OAR Conference, May 16 2018.
Click here to view this project on SOSCIP's page.
This research was presented by Dr. Ahmad Karawash, Postdoctoral Fellow and Team Lead, and Sana Shepko at the Ontario Centres of Excellence annual Discovery conference on May 1st, 2018 (see below).