Radars are a valuable tool in innovation management to visualize and highlight important drivers of changes such as Trends and Technologies.
🎓 Radars in Innovation Management & Foresight
Radars are a very prominent tool in innovation management and strategic foresight to visualize what factors of change (such as trends and technologies), are the most relevant and impactful for an organization. It has gained popularity due the powerful visual image of those factors being on the organization’s proverbial radar. Read more about why radars are so important here.
How to Read a Radar
The first thing to understand about a radar is that each dot on it represents a piece of content or knowledge. These are called Elements within the ITONICS software. For Trend or Technology Radars, the dots represent single Trends or Technologies respectively.
Secondly, it is important to understand that the Elements’ positions and visual appearance are based on how you and your colleagues categorize and rate them. ITONICS provides Trends and Technologies that have been carefully evaluated by the ITONICS analysts as part of the standard software package. While this is a great starting point, it is extremely important that you evaluate all Elements with respect to your own company’s context.
There are two main things to consider when looking at an Element on a radar in more detail: a) Which segment of the radar it is in, and b) its distance from the radar’s center.
Usually, all segments will have a similar overall importance; there is no clear way to order them by relevance, and they are primarily there to organize the content into logical buckets, e.g. representing a common categorization such as STEEP-categories. The distance, on the other hand, is explicitly there to convey importance: Generally, you will want to give more attention to Elements that are closer to the center, while Elements positioned in the outer rings might not be as relevant at the moment.
Working with the Radar
On top of the segmentation and distance dimensions, you can configure the radar to visually represent other relevant information using the Color, Halo, and Donut dimensions.
💡 Pro-tip: To keep the radar readable and allow your colleagues to concentrate on the most important information, consider using only one of the secondary dimensions at any time, e.g. use Color when you want to show a secondary categorization such as the market a Trend is especially relevant for, or Halo to represent a rating criterion such as Scope or Risk.
Once you’ve found a configuration of the radar that suits your needs and conveys an insightful message (e.g. highlighting Technologies that are high-impact and low-effort), save it as a Radar Preset for you and your colleagues to continuously monitor.
💡 If you and your colleagues have added a lot of Elements to your Workspace, your radar can become hard to read as more and more dots are being displayed. If this happens, filter down the content to really focus on a subset of relevant Elements.
Interesting related reads:The ITONICS Trend & Emerging Technology Content