Archive for November, 2008

Mapping and other visualization techniques to catalog skills and provide orientation for talent management

Posted on November 21, 2008. Filed under: English, maps | Tags: , , , , |


Talent and career management experts have long tried to catalog skills and capabilities, using taxonomies, or more recently folksonomies (see my previous blog post). For an easier presentation of those, many visualization techniques have been used, from interactive and multiple dimension maps, to more simple infographics based on common metaphors.

I just discovered Deloitte’s latest paper on talent management in an ad in the HBR, of which I have extracted (fair use I assume) the key visual below, using the popular “periodic table” visualization metaphor :


Deloitte's talent periodic table


While I hope this will help HR professionals and employees to visualize what is requested from them (like a “cheat sheet”), I can only hope this is only the first of many more visuals to come. The other ones I can think of are :


  • Orientation : provide a map of the routes for career development, each road bearing the signs of the training needed and the achievements requested to move sideways (one function, one business unit or one country to another), or up (increased responsabilities, position or salary). One of the best example I have seen so far is the classical map from the French ONISEP (organization for the orientation of students), as you can find examples below. Other techniques could be using mind maps or radial maps,

Onisep : orientation apres la classe de 3e


Onisep : orientation apres le bac

  • Update and interactivity : for the data to remain consistent over time (such cataloging requires excessive amount of resources to “audit” the workforce that can only be done once every few years), and to be truly useful to others than HR professionnals in charge of career management and training planning (for example to search a person with specific skills and experience for a task, or to share best practices), a company should add another layer using folksonomies, and a visualization / navigation interface (see my previous post)

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Never got lost in history ? Dates, names, alliances, places, when visual design makes it easy to follow

Posted on November 3, 2008. Filed under: Bibliographie, English, History, Time line, Video | Tags: , , , , , , |

Remember the history you used to learn at school ? The Egyptians dynasties, the French kings, the European alliances : there were ways to learn lists of dates and names by heart, sometimes using mnemotechnical gimmicks (PO GLACE for the 7 capital sins – works only in French, or a little poem for the number Pi “car j’aime à faire connaitre un nombre utile aux sages, immortel Archimede artiste ingénieur, qui de ton jugement peut priser la valeur …”). Or there were the visual design tools …

The first one I used was comics : “l’Histoire de France en Bandes Dessinées”. It was recently republished by Larousse and Le Monde newspaper. My history teacher would give us black and white prints / copies, that we had to colorize (I was 10) : it sure helped me to remember a lot 🙂 Later I got more involved with comics and moved to historical series like “Alix“, then “Les 7 Vies de l’Epervier“, and more recently Marjane Satrapi for Persepolis and her own vision of the Iranian revolution.

Histoire de France en bandes dessinées

The second tool I discovered / used was timelines, visual representations of historical chronologies. A French editor (Maurice Griffe) is specialized in these, and you can find them (often in a foldable format) at every historical landmark’s souvenir shop, or a selection here.

Frise chronologique Maurice Griffe

There’s even a wiki version for easy editing of timelines called … EasyTimeline 🙂


Then of course there are the historical atlas. The best known to French students if the Historical Atlas from Georges Duby, but a field that lends itself especially well to that sort of visualization is geostrategy, as for example Yves Lacoste’s Geopolitical Atlas. There’s also an Atlas collection by Les Editions Autrement looks at many major historical landmark through the Atlas / mapping eye.

Atlas historique mondial Georges Duby Atlas geopolitique Yves Lacoste Atlas de la Chine contemporaine, editions Autrement

The number of books that relied heavily on infographics seems to have picked up lately, with editorial success such as XXI, a quarterly magazine approach brought to the book sector, or separate initiatives in a more “encyclopedian” way, such as “Comprendre l’actualité par l’image” (by well known French infography agency Idé), or l’Encyclopédie Visuelle VU by Gallimard, also editing the beautiful travel guides “Encyclopédie du Voyageur“, similar to the Eyewitness travel guides sold in English speaking countries.

XXI #2 Les Nouveaux Visages de l'Economie Comprendre l'actualité par l'image, Idé Encyclopédie visuelle des sports Guides Gallimard

And I recently watched a video made by a local TV channel for Paris 2nd arrondissement (QNTv), that presented the history of the Jean Sans Peur Tower. Nice infographic job, that follows the narrator’s speech in sync to explain how Jean Sans Peur is related to other key historical figures. Imagine you could get such videos for major monuments accessible on your mobile phone or on a wireless video player that would be rented for a Paris city tour : wouldn’t that be great ?

L’histoire de la tour Jean sans Peur
envoyé par QNTV

Comics, time lines, atlas, infographics encyclopedia, infographics videos : many ways knowledge can by designed to facilitate understanding and transfer.





Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...