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Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Making big data interesting through visuals

In an era of information collection, the presentation of data through visual media has become very popular. There are plenty of fascinating examples of how big data can be made available to people, in an interesting and simple way.

One is Frog Design's A world of tweets which is a real-time visualisation of tweets happening around the world. It uses a heat map to show the areas of the world where people are tweeting the most, the countries with maximum number of tweets and the newest country to join the band of tweeting nations.

Recently, Google has launched an experimental visualisation of the global arms trade which lets you explore the imports and exports of arms and ammunition by any country over a period of time, starting from 1992. There is a wealth of information that can be explored too. (Source : Mashable)

What is interesting is the shift from static infographics to real time interactive visualisations that allow people to play with the data and discover interesting nuggets for themselves that they can share with their friends.

It's a great idea for brands to adopt as well. If you're a telecom company, you might want to show your customers a network map which lets them see how many people are logged into the network, or real time signal strength and 3G speeds. If you are a food chain, maybe it could be a map of the branches across the city along with how full each one is. The possibilities are endless but one thing is sure - big data made interesting is a sure fire hit with people.