Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Watson Analytics Tool

IBM has released a new tool for performing analytics on big data.   The name of the tool is "Watson Analytics," and the name refers to Watson, the famous IBM computer that won on Jeopardy. Essentially this tool allows users to pose natural language questions and get answers derived from large data sets.  An example given in the New York Times article linked below is "What high-value customers am I most likely to close sales with in the next 30 days?"     The idea is that a business user can use the tool without having to talk to a data scientist first.  The author of the New York times article ponders whether this is the "killer app" for Big Data.

Here is the link:

Saturday, January 11, 2014

New ways of representing data

The New York Times Bits blog this week has an article titled "A Makeover for Maps" that talks about cutting edge visualizations of data.  The article cites some interesting new depictions of data--such as the one created by Eric Rodendeck of  Stamen Design that creates  "...a representation of how photos spread on Facebook that looks like ice crystals forming on a car window."

The article goes on to talk about the idea of creating visualizations that can be used by different audiences -- like a dynamic chart of Nasdaq financial data that can be read one way by a pension fun manager looking for trends and another way by an SEC investigator looking into an unusual spike in trading during a given day.

Check out the full article with multiple visualization examples at