Many Eyes are better than one!

What is the future of visual analytics? Many would suggest you’d need an army of data scientists and extensive investment in hardware and software to find out. Not so! With the re-vamp of IBM Many Eyes to deliver a broader selection of visualization techniques, IBM is once again giving the ability to derive insight from data, to the masses.

When it comes to finding nuggets of insight hidden in sheets of data, many eyes are always better than one!

Developed jointly by IBM Research and the IBM Cognos software group, IBM Many Eyes is a community that brings together academics, visualization experts, practitioners, and tinkerers like me, to collaborate and share insight through data visualization techniques. Free to use, you can upload your own data set with a simple copy and paste from Excel, or leverage data sets that others in the community have shared – and within minutes be creating and exploring different ways to visually represent and explain trends within the data.

Here’s one I prepared earlier 🙂

Armed with my statistics on US Unemployment from the Guardian Data Blog, I was able to very quickly recognize the US states with highest unemployment in December, 2012 (ie. California). Using advanced visualization techniques, I could also cross-reference the number of unemployed with the % change in unemployment since 2009 – showing that whilst California currently has the highest unemployment (largest block), it is in decline (blue). Whereas New York has both high unemployment (large block) and is on the rise (orange).

Using that same data set, I very quickly selected a few different visualizations to show the geographical representation of unemployment across the US….

… as well as states that were above (increasing unemployment) and below (decreasing unemployment) the line.

But don’t take my word for it, head to the new IBM Many Eyes platform and try it for yourself. You’ll even find my US Unemployment dataset uploaded to get you started!