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The phrase “Big Animal Pictures” is a jargon phrase in marketing (and lots of other fields).  It means taking something very complex and explaining it in a way that the “average person” can understand the complexities quickly and easily.

An important part of most projects I work on is to come up with “Big Animal Pictures”.   Usually the audience of very complex models/studies includes people with little background in these complex processes.  But it is always important to explain the process and results in a way that everyone involved can understand it.

Mostly this is coming up with just the right graphs or charts to explain the results and avoiding jargon or technical terms in the description of things.   But sometimes it takes a lot of work to make a complex statistical process understandable.  And sometimes it really does take “Big Animal Pictures”.

In this example below the assignment was not that complex.  We needed to match a very large customer database to external data to answer some key questions.  The matching process was very expensive and difficult, and only worked 70% of the time.  So we pulled a 12% representative sample of the full customer database to match.  Then we used the parts of our subsample that matched to estimate what the full database would look like if we were able to do a full 100% matching.  

But repeated attempts to explain this to the client failed.  They just didn’t understand how matching 8.5% (70% of 12%) could answer questions for the full database.  So I produced a deck with a lot of step by step details given as bullet points and tied it all together with the graphics below.  And it worked to give the client the comfort level to they needed to proceed.


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