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Many Eyes and the Visualization of Data

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Many Eyes and the Visualization of Data


Wrapping up my week on successful uses of information, I thought I would discuss the visualization of data.Not just bar charts and pie charts, but how effective visual information can be on multi-variable plots.

US bailoutsIBM's [Many Eyes] recognizes that 70 percentof our sensory input neurons in our brain our focused on visual inputs, and so we might recognize patternsif only data was presented in more interesting and visual representations.

In addition to X/Y axis, variables can be presented by size of circle and color. Here's an example plot of the past US bailouts, with variables representing amount, year, company andindustry. This plot does not include the current 700 Billion US Dollar bailout currently under discussion.

This is part of IBM's Collaborative User Experience (CUE) research lab. The software is available Web2.0style at no charge, just upload your data set, and choose one of 16 different presentation styles.

These plots get even more interesting when you animate them over time. In 2006, Hans Rosling presenteddata he gathered from the United Nations and other publicly funded sources and presented his findings atthe TED conference. Here is the 20-minute video of that presentation (click on play at right), titled ["Debunking third-world myths with the best stats you've ever seen"], in which he debunks the myth that all countries fall into two distinct categories: Industrialized and Developing.

In 2007, Hans returned with another 19-minute presentation at TED, titled[New insights on poverty and life around the world].

Amazingly, the data--as well as the software to analyze it--is available at[] Web site.

For more information on how you can deploy an information infrastructure that allows you to search, visualize and leverage the most value from your information, contact your local IBM representative or IBM Business Partner.

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