Hitwise, an Australian Web traffic monitoring enterprise backed by Australian and United States venture capital, was sold in April 2007 for A$286 million. This post looks at some of the reasons why Hitwise become so valuable to its customers and buyer.

I pinched myself when I read last month that Hitwise, an Australian Web traffic monitoring enterprise backed by Australian and United States venture capital, was sold for A$286 million. I listed the sale in the post: Billions made with Internet business exit strategies.

Then a few days ago I stumbled upon an excellent Hitwise presentation which illustrates what customers get by having an account with Hitwise. Suddenly I understood some of the reasons why Hitwise had become so valuable to its buyers and customers.

A friend who is a specialist customer relationship management software and services consultant estimated that the Hitwise presentation might have cost a six figure sum or more. Moreover, he commented on a key strength of the presentation saying “What is good about it is the sales and marketing  thinking and customer connection via benefits rather than just features.” Here, here.

My friend is Jason Kemp (DialogCRM or his blog). Like me he has been involved in what used to be called multimedia from its local beginnings in about 1993. He works in Auckland, I work in Sydney. In a further response Jason went on to overview his recent projects involving helping clients capture stories about their products for online presentations and videos.

Visualisation per capita income country by country

Proving how switched on he is, Jason then led me down a rabbit hole to see another contemporary example of data visualisation. Warning: to view the links I’ll now discuss you need a good level of broadband.

  • "gapminder_hans_rosling"First watch this 20 minute Gapminder video. The presenter is Hans Rosling (pictured, courtesy of the TED Website) speaking at the TED conference. The “About TED” page explains that “TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader.”
  • Then play with what Rosling’s Gapminder Foundation built here. I’ve set that linked page for you to view and compare the changing income per capita between Australia and China from 1975 to 2002.
    • Use the Play button in the left hand corner to watch that data change over time."gapminder"
    • Google bought the Gapminder Foundation’s Trendalyzer software. It turns complex trends into lively animations.
    • I’m assuming the underlying data is drawn from the United Nations Statistics Division or somewhere similar. You can manipulate many dimensions in Gapminder to compare different data subjects and countries.

Visualisation in law – contracts and related legal documents

Now why am I so interest in writing about all this as a lawyer?

Simple. Proper, clear and engaging presentation of information in business and legal documents helps communication. We’re the only law firm to my knowledge which includes “Knowledge Management” as a service field. Data presentation is part of knowledge management.

To achieve “legal knowledge management”, banished are lawyers getting away with lengthy contract paragraphs filled with archaic words, no paragraph headings and no commas or full stops.

Today a lot more tables, graphics, photos and other data formats have crept into good legal documents. Because of technology use, developments and training soon there’ll be even more use of such non-text data formats.

In addition to text, we use other data formats in assessing client needs and preparing contracts and letters for clients. They are also included in our work for clients, which includes preparing:

  • business process and business functions [Flash Animation] documentation,
  • trade practices compliance programs,
  • profiles of businesses for sale,
  • design briefs,
  • business proposals,
  • legal pages or proofing for Website portals, intranets and extranets,
  • visualisations of evidence to present in court,
  • presentations (eg in PowerPoint) for product pitches and commercialisation,
  • tender bids, and
  • business and product planning documents.

This work’s value and quality and speed and ease of use are all improved by good multiple-media presentation.

From cave walls to photocopiers to computers

"ibm_displaywriter"My personal journey to get here began in 1983 when I drafted my first contract.  I literally used a scissors, paste, blank and typed paper and that wonderful copying device – the photocopier. With them I produced a book publishing contract as the Angus & Robertson in-house lawyer. Within weeks I was given an IBM Displaywriter (pictured, courtesy of IBM). As a dedicated wordprocessing computer it stood at the apex of invention at the time as a production tool for alphanumeric code (ie words and numbers).

We are going backwards to go forward. Today we are increasingly drawing graphics on our electronic World Wide Web cave walls, and then going on a hunt to capture what we and clients envision. It’s better than writing in alphanumeric code. Graphics take less brain power to decode, whether it is at our desktops or in court.

Noric Dilanchian