Marketing – How Do You Take In Relevant Information?
Posted: September 18, 2012
For me, looking at charts and / or graphs representing the data makes more sense. I get a much better feel for any potential messages lurking within a stack of data if I can visualize a concept that may not be readily apparent in the raw numbers.
Many of us have sat through countless presentations based on nothing but pretty graphs and charts. This is not my point. I believe these pictures are a piece of the puzzle. Not the answer. Once we have our charts and graphs we must make a stab at an interpretation of the underlying numbers. “What trend might I see?”, “Has a peak (or valley) been achieved?”, and “What is the historical perspective on current data?”
Texas A & M offers the following on “Using Charts and Graphs”
- Quick way for the to visualize what is being said -- numbers, trends, up or down
- Forceful -- emphasizes main point
- Convincing -- proves a point, see and hear
- Compact way to convey information
- More interesting than just talk or print
- Time consuming to make
- Technical in nature -- knowledge to interpret, or understand
- To show and compare changes
- To show and compare relationships
- To bring facts to life
I follow charts regularly to compare changes, show relationships and bring facts to life as I try to make sense of commodity markets and where we might be headed include (all are already constructed and no-charge to use):
Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME)
Current futures and options prices on all available contract months and commodities as well as historical perspective charting and cross commodity data.
Similar to CME, except it includes some markets not necessarily involved with CME
When I’m exploring some very long-term scenarios I go here. Not everything Ag, but a good source to become familiar with, perhaps.
Mix of many futures market data sources.
The above is not an exclusive listing. There many additional sources of charted data. However, this limited list may serve to get you more comfortable with the uses and significance of charts when it comes to interpreting and understanding commodity market data. Additionally, these noted sites have “education” components that allow opportunity to enhance our commodity marketing expertise.
- Ag Marketing Educator