October 30, 2014

Avoiding Information Overload

In this age of BIG DATA and information overload, exactly how much information can we absorb? When we communicate with our customers/clients, what is the right amount of information to provide? The answer to these questions will always depend on:

• communication mode (face to face, email, web-meeting),

• customer sophistication (is this new technology, are you evangelizing, etc.,

• relationship with the customer (new or existing). 


However, there are some 'rules of thumb' worth keeping in mind. 

Physiologist George Miller developed a 'maximum packets of data' theory. I am calling it the… MAGICAL 7 +/- 2

What the theory describes is that in any one encounter (sales call, presentation, conversation) the human brain can absorb/understand 7 (plus or minus 2) packets of data at one time. 


Let us think about this for a second. Seems to make sense. If I try to push too much information, I lose my audience, they drown in the information. In my research of infographics, the same theory applies; too much graphics/data, and the audience is overloaded - and then disconnects. 

My experience has been I try to leave my conversations/presentations with one or two key points, with an informational backup of 3-5 relevant stats/data/info. This seems to follow in line with Mr. Miller's theory. 

What does this mean to you, who must present to customers, talk to customers, interact with customers? 

  1. Avoid PowerPoint overload. Endless text violates the magical 7 +/- theory.
  2. Plan ahead. What are the 5-9 key data points you want the listener to go away with? 
  3. Try the "tell them what you will say, say it, and recap what you said". This will help define and clarify the 5-9 datapoints.
  4. Please keep the data graphics simple. Too much information causes the brain to simply 'tune out'. 

Most of this seems common sense, however, it is amazing to see in many presentations how these common sense rules are violated and ignored. 

Better communication leads to better customer/client understanding, which leads to a better customer experience. 


David Haynes, NCARB, PMP, LEED AP
Ideate Director of Consulting

David is a Registered Architect, Project Management Certified Professional, who previously had his own architectural practice and was President of a commercial design–build construction company for 15 years. A graduate of University of Arizona, he has worked as an Architect, contractor, developer and as a national construction manager for a national retailer. David currently provides business process analysis, data integration, and change management solutions for AEC clients across the United States involved in the design and construction industry. Follow David on Twitter: @dhaynestech 


Get it. Know it. Use it.


This post was originally published on David’s blog Connecting the [Data]… 

October 27, 2014

eLearning - Upcoming Revit, AutoCAD and Ideate Software Classes

Join the Ideate Tech Experts for eLearning – live online classes that provide your entire organization with easy access to premium education. 
10.29::Revit 201:
Getting Started with Roof Framing in Revit Structure

10.30::Ideate Software:
Revit Project Management with
Ideate BIMLink
11.5::Revit 201:
Project Setup for Revit MEP
11.6::Revit 201:
Revit Server
11.11::Infrastructure 201:
Analysis for Master Planning
10.12::Ideate Software:
Revit Auditing with
Ideate Explorer for Revit

11.13::Revit 201:
Stairs and Railings in Revit Architecture
 
11.14::Revit 201:
Revit Import info 3ds Max Design
Each class is designed to give you specific, improved results in a particular topic. You can interact with the instructor right from your own office, while eliminating travel time. Because the class schedule rotates, you can easily select your topics of interest and choose the day which best meets your schedule.

Click here for class descriptions, times and registration link. Questions? Contact education@ideateinc.com

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11.11-11.14::Sacramento
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11.18-11.19::San Jose
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October 20, 2014

eLearning - Upcoming Revit, Network License Manager, and Ideate Software Classes

Join the Ideate Tech Experts for eLearning – live online classes that provide your entire organization with easy access to premium education. 
10.21::Revit 201:
Residential Construction in Revit Architecture
10.23::Revit 201:
Revit for Interior Designers
10.24::Ideate 101:
Network License Manager

10.29::Revit 201:
Getting Started with Roof Framing in Revit Structure
10.30::Ideate Software:
Revit Project Management with
Ideate BIMLink
Each class is designed to give you specific, improved results in a particular topic. You can interact with the instructor right from your own office, while eliminating travel time. Because the class schedule rotates, you can easily select your topics of interest and choose the day which best meets your schedule.

Click here for class descriptions, times and registration link. Questions? Contact education@ideateinc.com

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