What can we do with a whole year's worth of data?

Data. Not exactly the most colourful four-letter word. It can be a subject as dry as the Simpson Desert, but dig a little deeper, and it can reveal an oasis, with enormous and often largely untapped potential.

Branding, Communications, Digital, Brand Marketing, Creative

Justin Ware 20 Dec 2023
2 mins
Netflix logo

Data. Not exactly the most colourful four-letter word. It can be a subject as dry as the Simpson Desert, but dig a little deeper, and it can reveal an oasis, with enormous and often largely untapped potential.

At this time of the year major tech companies begin releasing their user data from the preceding 12 months of the year, whether that be personalised content such as the beloved Spotify Wrapped, or overall app data such as the recently announced Netflix report titled “What We Watched” 

Surprisingly, Netflix has only just started to release a yearly report of this scale. This particular report gives insights into the top viewing preferences globally, with the most popular show of the year — The Night Agent — watched for the equivalent of 92,000 years. 

The report itself is simply a spreadsheet of the data, detailing hours viewed for 18,000 shows but it came with a 30-minute video call press conference uploaded as an unlisted YouTube video. 

There is some really good content in here, but it can still be boring watching someone with a terrible microphone talking about data. It could so easily have been transformed into interesting and engaging stories by a company the size of Netflix. 

One of the major trends in the data, discussed in the reporter call, was the strong performance of non-English titles.

Netflix revealed that 30% of all content viewed in 2023 was not originally in English titles, while 45% of English-speaking titles included subtitles or dubs.  

The question then is how to make best use of this data.

Data-driven story telling provides a great opportunity, no matter the size of the business. 

In Netflix’s situation, the story around the growth of international films is a missed opportunity. With a little imagination and thought this data could be adapted, supplemented with visuals and used to draw people into the platform.

Using interactive experiences to share this data, such as audience polling or inviting two-way feedback, can further bring data to life.

So in this piece we are demonstrating some of the ways we believe data can become more engaging, whether that is allowing your audience to search a database for themselves, enriching the data with additional detail around the most popular categories (or, in this case, the most watched actors on the planet).

And if you have ranking data, look for ways to demonstrate changes over time.

 

Data is a great tool. It drives and underpins many of our business decisions and can also be used to great effect in visual story-telling.

While the numbers behind the data may seem dull and tedious, picking trends and patterns and turning these into creative stories is an engaging and compelling way to grow an idea and your brand.

You don’t need to be a big tech company to do this.  All data can be interpreted in a way that can be curated into a story, no matter the industry, or how dull you think the numbers may be. 


Justin Ware More from author

Justin is a Yamatji man from Geraldton, joining our Corporate Affairs team as a Consultant.

Following his passion for online communications, Justin has explored many aspects of the industry including website design, digital media, journalism, and computer science, and is eager to channel these skills to help clients share their stories and make a difference in the community.

Before joining Cannings Purple, Justin worked for a UK based Esports business as a journalist, focusing on SEO and news content for their global audience.

In Justin’s spare time he likes staying active, whether that is travelling, riding different skateparks, training at the gym, or relaxing at home watching whatever seasonal sport is on tv.

More Digital