5 Terrific Data Visualization Applications

As technology advances, the amount of data collected continues to increase exponentially. Much of this data could be very useful if harnessed and presented in a way that turns it into Information.

This is “Part 1” in a series of articles about great data visualization tools and applications.

[note class=”info”]One use of data visualization tools is corporate and government dashboards. Being able to apply data visualization tools to corporate and competitive data is a growing need in the information age. The tools to visualize the data continue to improve and evolve and corporate use allows for better trend identification and decision making.[/note]

Here are 5 outstanding data visualization tools:

1. Akamai Real Time Web Monitor

Akamai Real Time Web Monitor

Akamai Real Time Web Monitor

Akamai is a company that handles a large percentage of the web’s traffic. As a result, they have an enormous amount of data moving through their networks. They monitor global Internet conditions around the clock in real time. With this real-time data they can identify the global regions with the greatest attack traffic, cities with the slowest Web connections (latency), and geographic areas with the most Web traffic (traffic density).

This is an interesting application because it allows a user to know in real time what is happening all over the world, in a visual manner. It takes a great amount of data and presents it in a very easy-to-view way.

2. Voyage RSS Reader

Voyage RSS Reader

Voyage RSS Reader

Voyage is a web-based RSS reader that visually displays RSS feeds on a timeline. It’s a great way to explore the different feeds you subscribe in a completely different format.

The application bubbles up content in a timeline based approach. You can surf through and move around the articles with the most important and most recent items getting priority positioning.

Voyage is a good model for future news and information interfaces because it allows for bringing the most relevant information to the forefront as it wades through mountains of information. Adding personalization to this and you’ve got a huge advance.

3. Wiki Mind Map

Wiki Mind Map

Wiki Mind Map

The Wiki Mind Map is a tool to visually browse Wiki Content in a mind-map format. It uses the open source “FreeMind” format so you can export your own personal generated Mind Map.

I searched on “Baseball”, one of my favorite things, to create my Mind Map. It created a visual representation that I could click through to find related topics. Topics presented included, stats, the World Series, and baseball history.

This tool is very handy and easy-to-use. It allows you to easily move through relationships of the search words that you’ve entered.

4. Universe

Universe

Universe

Universe is a terrific visual application that presents a representation of the “universe” of particular search terms. There are sample terms available or you can input whatever you choose. The visualization given is reminiscent of astronomical charts.

Universe is incredible visual application and a great representation of the enormous amount of data floating around. As a useful daily tool, it may be a bit lacking as the payoff may not be worth the effort. To see visually your interests floating around the “universe” makes it a compelling and fun application. It is certainly beautifully design and fun way to interact with data.

5. Microsoft Pivot

Microsoft Pivot

Microsoft Pivot

Microsoft’s Pivot is a great way to navigate large volumes of visual data. It gives structure to data collections and allows for searching sorting and drill down into topics and images.

As other tools, Pivot is geared toward one type of content. In the case of Pivot, the type of content is graphical and is particularly good with large image collections.