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Cinematic is to film as Literary is to prose. It’s not a measure of quality or of beauty. It’s mainly the application of technique to impart an additional layer of meaning to the writing, performance and direction of the medium. Cinematic technique lifts the viewer to another, more profound point beyond the literal.

Whether it’s film, literature, verse, stagecraft or other visual arts, techniques vary but they have the same purpose. They make the audience feel more than what is said.

The quality of a good work of art is that it tells a truth without saying it.

And this, I believe, is what the analyst should also strive for. It is at least what I try to do and, having practiced for a while, I think I can convey some of the techniques I learned.

We don’t have a better word for describing these techniques than “cinematic”. They allow the presenter of complex and rich data to convey meaning with an economy of rhetoric. They draw the audience into completing the picture thus making it their own. They persuade without pleading. They teach without lecturing. They create, in a way, a poetic language for data that combines techniques from several arts, especially cinema.

The means for teaching this is a workshop called Airshow.

Together with IBM, we are proud to bring Airshow to Boston, New York and Helsinki this year.

Register here.

  • obarthelemy

    Don’t I want to see Cinematic when I’m at a business presentation about as much as I want Literature when reading a business report ?

    • Cory

      The typical business presentation is without persuasion. Horace’s work is full of persuasion. The worlds of cinema, literature and business are not as divorced as you state.

  • Excellent images that go with this post. Love to get a closer look at them in the form of a slide show? Or do they come from previous posts?

    • Farshad Nayeri

      As of this moment, they come with the Airshow Workshop:
      BTW, they are not images, almost all of them are motion pictures (and charts). We had a hard time finding a photo that captured the gestalt, so we figured to give you a glimpse of the table of contents inside the App.

  • bertram

    What’s the schedule in Helsinki? When does the workshop start and end?

    • Farshad Nayeri

      We are checking with IBM Helsinki on hours of access. Workshop takes full day, so I am guessing 9:30a-5p. We will send detailed info as we get closer.

      • bertram

        It would be great to know the fixed times asap because before booking I have to make sure that I get the plane back at 18:40

      • Farshad Nayeri

        Send us some direct email (Airshow at and we can discuss your logistics.

  • constructive critic

    We don’t have a better word for describing these techniques except “cinematic”.

    except -> than. I’m a great fan of the charts, but this writing is well below that high standard. I’d get it checked over before publishing if I were you.

    • JaneDoe12

      except → than

      The code for a right arrow is: →

      If you’re interested in other special characters, here’s a file of the HTML: link here

      You don’t think that the quality of Horace’s writing in this blog post matches his charts? I do. I think it’s clear, insightful and beautifully written.

  • Bring it to Madrid too, Horace!