Creating and Measuring Communication, Effectively

By: Nickie Harber-Frankart

We’re constantly looking for innovative ways translate data and information into interesting visualizations for our clients. There are many ways to accomplish this by using bar charts, gauges and graphs, but but I’ve recently found word clouds to be incredibly useful for analyzing text. provides text-based visualizations, using content pasted from articles, blogs, questions from surveys and more, making the top, most prominently used words in the text the largest in the cloud.

For fun, I entered the URL of our blog into Wordle.

Wordle Word Cloud

The prominent words were: interesting, experience, customer, approach, OrangeBoy, work, time, meetings, process, and so on—all of which explain our mission to help our clients become customer-centric organizations.

This exercise was a reminder about branding and creating effective messaging. It was also a lesson in content analytics.

  • Messaging should align with your target audience, as well as your organization’s mission, brand and personality. I was relieved to know that this was the case with our blog. However, it’s not uncommon to see misalignment. Often I hear clients say, I want our customers to know about XYZ, but it doesn’t align with customers’ needs or their behavior. Communication should relate to the core of what you do as an organization while meeting the needs of your customers. A good example is a library sending targeted email messages about early literacy programs to parents with small children who use the library.
  • Use multiple visualizations to tell the whole story. The blog publisher WordPress has a dashboard tool that displays visitation statistics, views, clicks, and popular pages and topics. Amidst all of this “raw” usage data, there are no metrics to describe the blog’s personality or common message themes. The word cloud helped uncover that. By using Wordle, I was able to visualize the messages we send to our readers and understand commonly used words that describe our blog’s personality as it relates to our brand. In other words, multiple data visualizations resulted in a well-rounded story about messaging and its impact on behavior.

I encourage you to think about your messages and use analytics in a similar way. The next time you craft a message to your customers think about how it aligns with their needs and your organization’s brand and mission. Then, consider the best way to measure the impact of that message, effectively.

OrangeBoy works with organizations to uncover valuable insights about customers and the markets they serve. Insights lead to innovative solutions. OrangeBoy helps clients create personalized customer experiences and communications to achieve measurable results. 


Above the (Big Orange) Clouds

By: Clark Swanson

It came finally—my Southwest Companion Pass. This hard-earned jewel entitles a selected companion of my choice to fly free whenever and wherever I fly for the next year. For our clients, this means they will have the rare opportunity of seeing both Sandy and me, since we can literally travel for the cost of one. For me, it is a big deal. I spend far too much time away from my wife and business partner (Sandy), and the Companion Pass means we can spend a bit more time together.

I earned the Companion Pass by amassing 110,000 frequent flyer (Rapid Rewards) points on Southwest over the past nine months. That translates into roughly 100 flights—no small feat. I would like to thank the Southwest flight attendants for the kindness extended to me, from free drink coupons to the ever-present smile. Thank you. I can’t think of anybody, other than Sandy, I would rather fly with.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Dashboard deserves much of the credit for my Companion Pass. This handy tool, located on the Southwest website, kept me apprised of my progression toward my goal on a minute-to-minute basis. It estimates the value of one flight compared to another, allowing me to maximize the points earned for each dollar spent. No matter the time of day, or my location, the Rapid Rewards Dashboard kept me on the pathway toward my 110,000 goal.

OrangeBoy dashboards do the exact same thing. They keep our clients squarely on the path toward their goals—working much like an instrument panel on an airplane, serving to inform the pilot of flight conditions and the functions of the aircraft. OrangeBoy dashboards display gauges that indicate real-time activity. Clients have the ability to gauge progress toward their goals on a minute-by-minute basis, 24-hours a day, regardless of their location. It falls from the orange cloud.

Sandy and I both came from industries that measured success or failure with a very narrow band of numbers. It was very much like the Olympics—we had to stick those numbers, without a bobble or wobble.

It’s no different today. Our bank, Huntington, measures OrangeBoy’s creditworthiness using the debt payment ratio. Proudly, we passed another year, which allows us to keep our lines of credit. We also track our time, sales, profitability, and body weight. (The OrangeBoy team lost a total of eight pounds last week.)

We track these things because they measure our success as a company (with the exception of body weight, which is a measure of employees’ personal health success). It’s the same for our clients. The metrics we track on our cloud servers help them understand the performance of their business. Each number represents a different aspect of their business, and taken as a whole, their dashboard provides them the ability to navigate toward their goals—all from our big orange cloud.

©OrangeBoy, Inc. 2012