Friday, September 15, 2006

Data Visualization Maps

Data visualization tools will take business intelligence to the masses. It takes a search concept and then shows related items in a visual map. Some of the first items on the web were focused on music. Companies such as Live Plasma started with music, and have now moved into movies as well as a recent partnership with CNet called The Big Picture mapping related news articles. It uses size and color to show relationships. Another player is Dimvision with their music map, that has actual cd images. Both Dimvision and Live Plasma utilize's database to build the maps. Now there is another tool out there that is doing the same for books. It is called amaznode, and also taps into Amazon's database.

Tag Clouds are also data visualization of key words used to describe or tag content. They are typically user driven, but can be aggregated to show trends on perception. There are becoming common place, with such companies as and tapping Google's information. TagClound (the company) will also build/maintain tag clouds for organizations. In addition there is opensource code available so that it can be pretty much integrated into any web application.

I think there is tremendous opportunity out there to expand this type of visualization into other companies and industries. What about tapping REI's database and doing visual mapping for sports/outdoor equipment purchases, or tapping a grocery chains customer database to build visual food maps. Beyond just the cool factor, there is real opportunity for money. As with music, and movies, people want to find items in their same niche interests. Amazon does it internally on their site with "Customers who bought this book also liked...", but the visual map has a much information. When using Live plasma, if offers links back into Amazon to buy the items found on the maps.

No comments: