Everything about Google is big. Big vision, big ideas and, of course, big data. So it’s no surprise that Google would install an irregular-shaped, semi-truck sized, 134,784,000 pixel display of screens to cover an entire wall of the cavernous lobby at their Chicago headquarters. As designers, one big question came to mind: “So what can we do with all those pixels?”. Enter Daniel Walt, a Google Analytic Lead in search of the perfect method to manifest his passion project: Running of the Googlers (“ROTG”).

ROTG is a data analytics meets HR meets infographic match made in heaven. Combining Google Chicago’s calendar, facility, location, personnel and conferencing data into meaningful visualizations. It was Daniel’s dream to display this complex data, in real time, on the mammoth-sized lobby screen — and it was Kitemath’s mission to take the complexity of the data involved and boil it down into a meaningful, engaging, on-brand, infographic masterpiece.

Here’s Daniel to explain how Kitemath helped humanize the data by making it more accessible and approachable:

“I remember my first contribution to the project was merely a dump of charts and graphs that described my perspective of the data. Google’s stated purpose is “to organize the world’s information” and Kitemath suggested that we should orient the piece around answering the questions a typical employee or visitor would have when he or she walks into the building – “Where can I find some quiet time,” “What rooms are free,” or “Should I take the stairs?”. Kitemath helped us move away from technical diagrams in favor of simpler illustrations. One example: instead of representing the congestion on the stairs as a Sankey diagram between floors, Kitemath used animations of Google colored balls bouncing up/down the stairs and riding in animated elevators so end-users could quickly see which option was busier (the actual answer to the question). Further, Kitemath’s suggestion to start each of those individual data visualizations with an animated version of the voice-command “Ok, Google…” has demonstrated not just an understanding of what the Google brand currently is, but what it hopes to become in the future.”

– Daniel Walt
   Analytic Lead, Google

The resulting work has been a great success, serving as:

  • an on-brand marketing communication to non-employees that visit the office
  • a best-in-class approach for business intelligence and illustrative data visualization within the analytics teams
  • a Facilities/PeopleOps ideation platform for new metrics that address productivity and utilization,
  • and a piece of functional artwork packed full of engaging and sometimes playful commentary on what it’s like working in a multi-story, open-office environment with 750 other cross-functional teammates.