Brandwatch: Data is beautiful and a driving force behind business

The Brandwatch digital canvas is a visual metaphor for how data drives every aspect of our lives.

The Brandwatch digital canvas is a visual metaphor for how data drives every aspect of our lives.

Taking data from the theoretical to the visceral, the display is a labour of data and design love. Not to mention a love of our Brandwatch hometown and headquarters here in lovely Brighton.

During the Brighton Digital Festival for the duration of September, the second-floor windows of International House will be draped with a hand-crafted LED curtain. We'll be displaying messages, designs, and a slew of fun stuff. It's a creative twist on what we do in our day jobs at Brandwatch, harvesting social data and conversations and displaying them in a creative visual design.

Data can often be seen as mathematical and technical. We see it as beautiful. Data is the driving force behind our business, providing supreme social intelligence to world-leading brands and agencies. That's why members of our engineering and design team have hand-soldered 1,792 LED lights for this interactive light display driven by Brighton citizens sending messages via Twitter. It's a marriage of social data and high-concept design aesthetics, a major design and business approach for us.

We're big on open data. It's an under-utilised resource that can lead to medical breakthroughs, technological discoveries, and learning more about how our society functions and thinks on any topic. The Brandwatch digital LED display for the Brighton Digital Festival taps into all that amazing open data on Twitter to produce something that appeals to the eyes, the minds, and all of the senses of Brighton.

The LED window display is purposefully lo-fi, a whimsical throwback to the graphical style of 1970s and 1980s computing. This retro approach is a nod towards 25 years of the web, one of the themes of this year's festival.

Visual communication is paramount in today's data-driven mindset. We love that!

The digital space and the social media landscape are constantly evolving, driven heavily by the prevalence of visuals. Our Brandwatch Funky Fridays give our engineering team the chance to set their creativity free.

What's a Funky Friday? All engineering staff get to work on whatever project they want. Anything at all. Get an idea, try it, and hopefully learn something new in the process. At the end of the day, people get together and show what they've built. Some of these innovative breakthroughs get turned into cool new Brandwatch

products and features.

This collaborative and creative approach is the same driving force behind the Brighton Digital Festival and our city at large. We're proud of both - and happy to have a window view to it all.

Giles Palmer is chief executive officer of Brandwatch. For more information, visit: