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Bridging Art and Competitive Price Intelligence

360pi looks at bridging Price Intelligence and Art with artist Thomas Briggs of Salient Images

If you have been on our website recently, you may have noticed the large/colorful images on our homepage. We’ve received several questions about these images, so we felt it was time to elaborate further.

When we first approached this project, we wanted to do something different. We wanted to represent the billion points of retail price data in our 360pi database in an artistic and visually appealing way.

We teamed up with data visualization artist, Thomas Briggs from Salient Images, to tackle the project. We got the chance to catch up with Thomas recently, and this is what he had to say:

360pi: Could you give us a little background about your art and what you do?

Thomas Briggs: By day I am a visual effects artist, making images for film and television. I have a background in art and education.  I studied painting and printmaking in school, and did curating and exhibition design through the ’80s.  I am a product of a late-modernist sensibility and find abstract-expressionist and color field painting as the most direct influences.”

360pi: Our software is all about complex algorithms and data. Can you give us a sense of how math and data influence your work?

“In animation, it is often important to create a motion or a gesture that has grace and fluidity. Paradoxically, this must be represented mathematically in order to be depicted by a computer.  I found that once this has been achieved, it is possible to embed the process into a program and multiply the gesture by the thousands or millions.”

360pi: Some of our customers are tracking hundreds of thousands of product SKUs. How does scalability and large numbers of variables come into play in your work?

I work with the methodology of physical simulation and computational fluid dynamics to drive the process. I work in small sets of lines, 2,500-50,000 in a set, and gradually build up an image.

The end result of Thomas’s work is something that stands out from anything else out there. Each image represents, in an artistic way, what we do; make sense of a lot of pricing data to give retailers better visibility into their competitors’ prices and product assortment.

Here is a brief description of our main image and the logic behind it:

Millions of pricing points visualized  Much like the billions of price points that can be found on the internet, this image shows a jumbled mess at the bottom. At the top of the image you can see the data is coming together into organized columns, which is meant to represent the insights provided to retailers after the data has been filtered through our price intelligence solution.

We loved them so much, we had a local Ottawa company, CanvasPop, print large versions of them to decorate our office. What do you guys think? Do you have a favorite? Do you hate them? Are we the only ones who think these are cool?

About the Author
360pi derives profitable insights from product and pricing big data to help leading omnichannel retailers, etailers, and brand manufacturers compete and win with shoppers. 360pi’s customer base accounts for over $US200 billion in annual product sales and includes Ace Hardware, Build.com, and Overstock.com, along with several Fortune 500 consumer products companies. With the majority of in-store purchases being influenced online, 360pi helps retailers and brands successfully navigate the multi-channel landscape with real-time insight into who is selling what, where, and for how much. Ultimately, 360pi customers make smarter decisions faster to drive increased revenues and margins across all channels.