Think Insights with Google, research tool for marketers

December 19, 2011

*Quick pop quiz…

1. How many hours of video were uploaded to YouTube in 2010?

2. What percentage of smartphone owners, use their device while shopping?

3. What Australian state most frequently searches for the weather forecast?

As a planner, I’m always chasing that one research tool to bring them all together, and while Think Insights with Google attempts to do just that, it does fall short in a few areas. It’s missing the core search functionality that is the cornerstone of Google’s business. After all, the nirvana of a planner research tool would provide just that, a simple way to intelligently search and prioritise, facts, stats and behavioural trends based on a simple question, such as: ‘How many Australian’s use their laptop in the kitchen while cooking?’

On the flip side, this is a good resource if you are looking for general information on search and mobile related topics, particularly for Google brand related products. And, it does include over 100 custom reports, so you can certainly pop it on the list of go-to resources for all things digital.

My personal favourite resources on the site are: Our Mobile Planet tool (though the data is a little shady for the emerging markets such as India and China) and the Research Library finder.

Ultimately, Think Insights with Google is the perfect tool for media planners, and a useful resource for digital strategists too. Despite it’s downfalls it is one of the best free resources that I have found.




1. 13 million hours

2. 70%

3. Victoria

Using data renegotiate your rent

April 21, 2009

It wasn’t so long ago that 30 people would turn up to an apartment opening and bid up the weekly rental asking price by up to $50 in a Dutch English auction.  We were told by the media that Sydney was experiencing a critical housing shortage with an average vacancy rate of 1.2% – well averages (and methodologies) can be very misleading indeed.

Let’s take a look at the residential vacancy rates in the CBD – as compiled by SQM Research using this great online tool.


An 8.8% vacancy rate might be suggesting that people who were up until recently less price sensitive (finance industry and those on the LAFHA) are leaving the CBD.  The forces of supply and demand are coming into play as they always eventually do.

This recent SMH article suggests it’s possible to get up to 20% off original asking prices.  Time to do your own math …

Beautiful data : visualization links and examples

December 4, 2008

I’ve said in the past that some of the best Creative Directors of tomorrow will be those who also appreciate the usefulness of data and analytics. This may seem to be a contradiction in terms but in a digital world, a creative mind that is able to find meaning in spreadsheets, graphs and data may discover ‘gold’ that can compliment, add to, or even originate new ideas.

Unfortunately creative people are usually visual beasts who thrive on imagery, not numbers. (Ugghh!) It would be nice if we could decode ‘matrix style’ data into meaningful insight that allowed us to see patterns and trends. The good news is that there are tools and people that see data in a different way – I’ve listed some of my favourites below:

Data visualisation examples:


Other resources and examples:

I know there are those who disagree with me on this, and I understand their viewpoint as I am also a huge believer in the expression “Knowledge does not always give you Insight”. Despite the difficulty in adapting to thinking in this new way I have become quite happy spending time in Excel etc and after a few hard years it has become my friend not my enemy.

(Exec Creative Director, Amnesia Razorfish) – (

SpatialKey data visualisation of Geo data

October 13, 2008

I came across this cool application (here)this morning which allows visualization of geo-data. The images below show the spread of Walmart Store openings in the US over the last 45 years. SpacialKey is in Beta at the moment – Sign up and maybe they’ll let you feed in some of your own data 🙂

Plotted using concentric circles (# Walmart Stores)

Heatmap version of Walmart store openings 

From what I read on the BrightKite (here) blog see SpacialKey may be implemented with Brightkite (here) the location based social networking tool.