I have spent the last couple of weeks traveling round Australia and South Africa talking about Natural Analytics and it is fascinating watching the way this subject resonates across the globe. Even though my brain has been turned to mush by the different time zones, as soon as I am on that stage the adrenaline kicks in and I come alive. This is the same adrenaline that would have given me the extra strength to have avoided being eaten 1000s of years ago. So we adapt our innate abilities to help us even when the original reason is largely not valid anymore.
When presenting I use humor and this is another example of how we use our bodies natural abilities. Laughter actually triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain. So hopefully when you have watched me present you feel a little better afterwards.
So as we go through our modern life our body is using innate abilities that evolved to help us survive in a very different environment? Well I am not so sure that is completely the truth. Yes of course we are not being hunted down by Sabre Toothed Tigers or having to fight the tribe next door for the best camp site, but we are still to a lesser extent fighting for survival! I admit the chances of you getting a spear in the back as you walk to work are remote but the chances of your company losing a deal to a competitor because you have poor visibility of the sales cycle is much more real.
These abilities are within us and have evolved through natural selection to help us. Why does a bubble chart work? It’s because we can easily spot outliers, things that are different and that’s because our visual acuity developed long before our ability to read and write. Which one of the graphics below is easier to interpret?
They are both a series of lines and numbers but somehow the line graph is much easier to interpret and see patterns. A lot has been talked about Natural Analytics and how it helps us tap in to innate skills and resources, my journey across the globe has helped reinforce my belief in the common sense of it and how it just works. So come on the BI industry catch up or you may be the one that is eaten by that Tiger.