Corporate Eye

Mind mapping website data

Sometimes the simplest things in life are so darned simple it’s like running full tilt into a brick wall.

Take data presentation for example.

In the brave new world of data journalism, I spend much of my life digging around in corporate websites trying to put together facts and figures.  Usually I don’t care about the surrounding story: just nice articulated figures.

Like carbon emissions: how many plants does a manufacturer have and what are their respective emissions?  Or, supposing I was into IR, what are the business’ product lines and their respective turnover and net profit?

It’s not that the figures are hidden or even deliberately obscured.  It’s just that getting hold of them quickly and easily is like throwing yourself at the ground and expecting to miss: impossible.

Then I stumbled upon a site which made it all so wonderfully simple using one of the simplest of tools around: mindmaps.

It all started, as many of these things do these days, with a Google query .. heaven only knows what it was but I was digging into Canadian mining companies (sorry for that pun).  Up popped this page and after a few minutes’ clicking around I was over whelmed by the ease and simplicity of this solution.

You can be too.  Click on Forbes 2000 Top Mining Companies In The World and .. let’s go for our old friend Anglo American.  If you click on the name a handy little display pops up showing you the Sales, Profits, Assets and Market Value of the business.

Then click on the red arrow next to the company’ name and off you go to another mind map, showing its bases of operations and the minerals mined there.

A few more clicks later you find you can collapse and expand the various arms and access points of the corporate website along the way.  Nice, easy, quick and simple; and very satisfying once you realise all the data and structure is lifted directly from the corporate website.  All that’s missing is that extra level of data:  plant emissions, product turnover, subsidiary profit, country employees, etc.

In an age when corporate transparency is becoming all the more important and more and more people are understanding the value of data journalism, this would be the perfect way for a business to present its data on a website.  In fact, its a wonder no-one’s done it before.

Before?  Ah well, as you may have realised this is not a corporate website and the mind maps are generated using an opensource mind mapping tool called Freemind Browser.  The site itself is called Go Geometry and if you navigate to its main page you’ll find a whole heap of geometry based content from Euclid to Escher.

Quite where mining fits into this is anyone’s guess.  However, given the omni-present Google Ads someone (I’d guess from Peru) is probably making money out of it.  I just hope mining sector webmasters find it galling some of it’s based on their hard work!

Picture Credit: A Very Escher Christmas / Bert Kaufmann / CC BY SA

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A former CTO, Chris has a broad and varied background. He’s been involved with blue chips, consultancies & SMEs across a wide variety of sectors and has worked in Europe, the Middle East and Australia. In 2007 he decided to combine his knowledge of business and IT with his passion for all things sustainable and has been busy writing ever since. However, his greatest ambition remains to brew the perfect cup of coffee.