Dataviz, Twitter, and the State of the Union

Check out some amazing real-time data visualizations.

Few things lend themselves to interactive dataviz more than Twitter. Pick a mainstream topic, and it’s likely that thousands or millions of others are tweeting about it, perhaps even while watching television.

Quadruple that for something as highly watched as the Presidential State of the Union address. But what do those tweets look like? How are they evolving over time?

Pretty data visualizations today often don’t lead to simple answers.

These are great questions and I couldn’t imagine attempting to answer them via traditional reporting tools. Fortunately, I don’t have to. The figure on the right is just one of the fascinating data visualizations on the Twitter GitHub page. Aside from the #SOTU, you can find neat visual representations on the Sochi Olympics, Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs, and other notable events and celebrities.

Simon Says

Static and traditional business intelligence or reporting tools are still very important. They aren’t going anywhere, but they are necessary–not sufficient–for dealing with Big Data.

Pretty data visualizations today often don’t lead to simple answers. This does not necessarily mean, however, that they are wastes of time. Visual Organizations embrace new dataviz tools because they enable data discovery and exploration.

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