What do Siri, the Oakland A's, Facebook, and the United Nations have in common? They all are adept at unlocking insights from "big data." In fact businesses, governmental agencies, and organizations of all types are experiencing breakthroughs thanks to the power of big data.
According to an article in the New York Times, Big Data's Impact in the World (1), Apple's Siri keeps getting smarter as more users feed the system with data. The Oakland A's reportedly mined big data (such as baseball statistics) to find undervalued baseball players to recruit at bargain prices. This strategy was detailed in the 2003 book (and subsequent movie), Moneyball. Facebook is well known for amassing huge volumes of data about its users and then using that data to deliver highly targeted advertising. The United Nations reportedly mines big data to take the pulse of social networks in order to predict job losses, disease outbreaks, and economic sentiment in a various regions around the world.
These are but a few examples of how organizations mine big data for insights, but where do they get that data? In some cases, big data is publicly available. For example, data.gov (2) is the home of the United States Government's open data. Here you'll find over 100,000 datasets covering everything from agriculture, climate, education, energy, finance, health, and public safety to weather, jobs and skills, global development, manufacturing, business, law, and more. Twitter with its millions of real-time tweets and hashtags is another public source of big data.
In other cases, big data comes from the organization's own data sources such as transactional records, logs, project management software, CRM software, content management systems, and sensors. Consider Amazon as an example. It uses big data to recommend different products, books, movies, and services to you based on your history as well as the histories of customers similar to you.
Big data is huge, and it's readily available. However, making sense of all that information remains a challenge. Fortunately, solutions such as InetSoft's Style Intelligence (3) make it possible to mine big data for relevant insights. Mining big data allows companies to discover new opportunities, improve their efficiencies, and reduce costs as a result.
1. New York Times "Big Data's Impact in the World ," - http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/sunday-review/big-datas-impact-in-the-world.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
3. InetSoft, "Data Mining Technology" - http://www.inetsoft.com/business/solutions/data_mining_technology/
Is your organization moving away from using Flash? InetSoft's dashboards now also render in HTML5. This latest release of Style Intelligence also includes apps for Android and iOS, for greater end-user access and adoption. Read more here.
Anyone who has helped select and/or actively uses a data visualization solution like ours is invited to participate in a new analyst survey. Gleanster has created a short 7-question, 10-minute survey about why and how data visualization is used in organizations.
So whether you're on the IT or business side, your confidential input is welcome, and you'll get a copy of the completed report to understand what other organizations are doing with the technology.
Here's the link to the survey: http://fluidsurveys.com/s/gleanster_2014_data_visualization/
Read how Simpson University sees a positive ROI from creating an integrated campus-wide dashboard reporting system with InetSoft, enabling power-users to run complex queries from any location.
As a provider of data visualization software we're always curious to find interesting data visualizations that people are making in the real world. Here's we've collected five good-looking, well thought-out and interesting examples.
1. Communicating Transparency and Corruption
Transparency.org's Global Corruption Barometer is an excellent example of an interactive data visualization. In the screenshot below, you can see how global survey respondents perceived the level of corruption in their respective countries. This particular screenshot is displaying perceived corruption data as it relates to political parties.
2. Relationships of Common Health Symptoms
Have you ever wondered how common your health symptoms are or if they're related to other conditions? GE has. Its Health InfoScope allows you to look at data from millions of patients to get a deeper understanding of common health conditions. This is another interactive chart where you can drill down into the data according to your interests.
3. Historical Browser Statistics
Remember when AOL and Netscape were the browsers of choice for early Internet surfers? They're mere blips in the history of Web browsers according to this data visualization on Axiis.org. Presented as a series of colored rings, much like the inside of a tree trunk, this data visualization shows how market share has changed over time.
4. Election Visualizations
Voters often change their minds just before voting, and the following data visualization shows how the nation shifted during the 2012 election. This particular visualization also allows you to see how the nation shifted from the 2008 election as well as how women, hispanics, and young voters influenced the elections.
5. Fuel Economy by Auto Manufacturer
Curious about which auto manufacturers are boosting fuel economy? InetSoft's interactive Fuel Economy by Manufacturer allows you to look at fuel economy by manufacturer in numerous ways including by manufacturer, model, fuel type, or the number of cylinders. With just a quick glance, you can easily see which manufacturers are focused on fuel economy and which ones aren't.
From corruption and health conditions to browser types, voting, fuel economy, and beyond, the world of data is waiting to be explored visually. How will you learn more about your world?
1. InetSoft, "BI Visualization Gallery," - http://www.inetsoft.com/evaluate/bi_visualization_gallery/
2. Key Webmetrics, "20 Inspiring Big Data Visualization Examples," - http://www.keywebmetrics.com/2013/07/big-data-visualizations/
4. GE, "Health InfoScope," - http://visualization.geblogs.com/visualization/network/
5. Axiis, "Historical Browser Statistics," - http://www.axiis.org/examples/BrowserMarketShare.html