COVID19: No City Gets Smart in a Crisis: Three Ways Tech Vendors Can Help

Ted Cuzzillo,
Principal Analyst – Data Analytics

Summary Bullets:

• Technology vendors should stay away from cities during the height of the COVID-19 crisis unless they’ve got a relationship already.

• Make sure your solution fits the city’s ecosystem and be ready to educate city staff.

The pandemic seems to some data technology vendors like as a great time to be heroes with the frantic staff in cities’ public health departments. But the advice from those close to the action is clear: If you don’t have a relationship with the city already, stay home for now — and get ready for what comes next.

For now, as one observer noted, city public health staffs are getting by on old-fashioned techniques that were first validated during the London cholera outbreak of 1854. Continue reading “COVID19: No City Gets Smart in a Crisis: Three Ways Tech Vendors Can Help”

COVID-19: Don’t Miss This Moment – Invest Now in Data Literacy

Ted Cuzzillo,
Principal Analyst – Data Analytics

Summary Bullets:

  • The world will find its way through the COVID-19 pandemic with data.
  • Data analysts will be among the ordeal’s heroes, and organizations with strong data literacy throughout will recover the fastest. Invest now in data literacy.

Doctors, nurses, and hospitals are the frontline heroes for the acute victims of the COVID-19 virus. But data is everyone’s compass — today as ‘the curve’ signals danger and eventually as the curve signals hope.

It’s a good time to understand data. Many organizations in the western hemisphere now face their greatest peril of our lifetimes. Those that survive will eventually face another daunting task: rebuilding in a new, different economy. Understanding data – knowing how to read it, organize it, prepare it, analyze it, and explain it – will be crucial. Continue reading “COVID-19: Don’t Miss This Moment – Invest Now in Data Literacy”

Data Presentation Made Super-Simple for Those with Little Time for Data

Ted Cuzzillo,
Principal Analyst – Data Analytics

Summary Bullets:

• Toucan Toco offers template-driven data presentations for simple and fast production.

• The tool found a market in France, now tries for the U.S.

We’ve heard enough of that tired promise “easy to use,” yet here comes another one — and this one delivers. It pushes “simple” to an extreme. The tool is by Toucan, a software provider based in Paris, France. It introduced Toco in 2014, designed to pick up where data analysis tools leave off: with the presentation.  The French market, where Toucan has its base, loves it. Toucan claims that its Toco SaaS product has won more than 140 Fortune 500 customers since the tool’s introduction in 2014.

The secret sauce is no surprise: templates. The producer builds a Toco “app” on a fast march, on the cloud, from start to finish: Fill in a title in the “title” box, fill in a summary in the “summary” box, and connect one or many data sources. The result, surprising given the ease of production, can contain a wide variety of charts up to several levels deep, all ready to display well on desktops or mobile devices.
Unlike sophisticated data analysis software, which invite exploration, Toco shows only what the producer deems important.  An objection may arise from executives asked to approve a Toco license. What about the tools we have right now? Why the redundancy? Can’t they easily produce such presentations already? Toucan’s answer is, yes, of course those other solutions can do it. But those who’ve tried to make them do it, says Toucan, have found it difficult and time consuming. These complex data analysis tools just aren’t made to gear down fast enough from Ferrari-like performance to a walk in the park.
Data experts may turn up their noses at Toco. But those who know or care nothing about data analysis will turn their heads for Toucan’s Toco and similar solutions. Toco may be one of the first to colonize a frontier that big and sophisticated tools have found impenetrable. An enigmatic 75 percent or so of business users have no use for data. The tool will also work in smart cities. There, data will flow to an audience of whom many will not have the ability or patience to comprehend the analytics process. They just want the results.
Watch for this and similar solutions to gain importance over the next few years.