Nordic Track Book Club Review: Going Visual

Two Nordic Track Book Club Reviews back-to-back. Its been a good few weeks. Haven’t been on the track for a few days though. Have to fix that.


Tonight’s entry is Going Visual: Using Images to Enhance Productivity, Decision Making and Profits by Alexis Gerard and Bob Goldstein.  You may think this topic is not worthy of an entire book, I mean, pictures are more effective than a lot of words.  Okay, I get it!  But this book had many great insights beyond the obvious.  Fun read.  4 out of 5 stars.  Excerpts and notes are below.


p.38 How do you go from data to decision?  In this era of information overload, how do we use our eyes and brain to make decision?


Three imperatives critical to moving a business to adopt any new technology:


1) Knowledge-worker productivity must be increased


2) Decision-making support must be enhanced.


3) Customer loyalty must be promoted.


p.41 Five action steps to going visual.


1) Identify your community of interest and recognize wherever an image could replace words


2) Implement capture and viewing processes


3) Design and implement an image archive


4) Track and evaluate


5) Reassess and educate


p.50 How long does it take to write/read a report?  Now how long does it take to look at an image?


p.100 Adding just a bit of text to pictures can add a lot of value


p.102 The mobile phone is always with us.  Will become THE image capturing device to many.  Elaboration on this point followed.


p.105 Communicating visually is all about showing relationships.


p.127 Smart Images.  “…for these images to stay alive and useful they must ‘get smart.’  They must be endowed with the kind of associated information that enables them to be found, organized, analyzed, integrated…” The future of business communication will be dependent on establishing a visual base of information now.


p.137 Creating a lexicon.  (sneakers/athletic shoes…)


p.159 Being There by Going Visual.  Telecommunications. videoconferencing, using webcams to give constant site updates, M.I.T. telepresence between Boston and Dublin.


p.181 …the companies that invest today in integrating visual communication tools and practices into their work flow will find the advantage they gain immediately will become magnified in the future, as increasingly powerful tools allow them to derive even greater benefits from their initial investment in Going Visual.


p.182 Imaging innovation themes:  1) the imaging ecosystem, 2) visual mobility, 3) automatic imaging, 4) vivid imaging, 5) personalized authoring.


p.188 The interesting thing about camera phones is that they know many things because of their connection to the network infrastructure.  Awareness includes location, time/date, and event data tied to other related data of the moment or experience.


p.192 Rich potential for new forms of integration between documents and forms.  A form is a document that enables a decision.


p.198 Scanning golf courses (from satellites) to tell their operators when they need watering.  Looking for leaks in pipes—water, sewage, oil, etc.


p.202 One minute filmed reports may sound unusual or not information rich, but consider the years we’ve been watching the 30-second and one-minute television commercial.


P206 3D image information (as opposed to 2D information.)  Extrapolating information from two images to get measurements and object views.


p.207 Personalized authoring.  While the ability to produce still and motion images is exploding, our ability to view them is limited by resources that are NOT expanding: our own time and ability to concentrate.  The baggage inspection system was as an example of an application need; or simple 10-minute overviews of 2-hour presentations and shows.  Heading for on-demand, personalized video editing and creation capability.


p.217 If the terrible events of 9/11 were to take place today, only a few years later, in all probability there would be people on the planes and in the towers with camera phones.  We can only guess about the effects of an image snapped and transmitted in the first stages of one of the airplane hijackings might have had on the events of 9/11…or pictures from inside the towers showing the condition of various stairwells and hallways…

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A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.