We use visualization methodology in the simulation and the new app… so we are always looking for other visual displays of information. There are lots of great visualization techniques being used today, and I would like to share one of them here.

David McCandless has a beautiful book The Visual Miscellaneum which is also published in the UK asInformation is Beautiful (I recommend the book to anyone who likes looking at how information can be displayed). This week he has come up with a Taxonomy of Ideas that is his attempt at finding order in the chaos called creativity. (When I was studying engineering I had a classmate Bill who believed ‘a cluttered desk is a cluttered mind’… I always took the opposite side of ‘you cannot create in a vacuum’. But keeping Bill in mind, I do clear my desk at the end of each project.)


First off, I looked for my personal favourite ‘elegant’, but McCandless required that the phrase ‘elegant idea’ be popular on Google search, and it did not make the cut. Fair enough.

Then I wondered where our Visual Vinance ideas would fit in this taxonomy.

Income/Outcome Business Simulations… on the Functional x-axis the speed of learning and the high retention place I/O at superfunctional. On the Conceptual Structure y-axis, I/O is synthesizing (it combines a number of things into a coherent whole). So the Income/Outcome business simulations fall somewhere between beautiful and incredible on this ideas chart. I can live with that.

Visual Finance App... on the Functional x-axis the app the app lets the user create new relationships from the information, so it is transfunctional. On the Conceptual Structure y-axis, the app is betweenharmonic (integrated in nature) and synthesizing (it combines a number of things into a coherent whole). So the Visual Finance App falls somewhere between brilliant and incredible on this ideas chart. Which is kind of fun.

Incidentally, there is a legend for the colours as well…  these ideas show up as unexpected andunpredictable.

I wonder if we will one day get to that top right corner.