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Neat website: Many Eyes

One of the key tasks of researchers and analysts is to present information in an easy to digest manner. Tables, charts and numbers should each tell a story, so that when a reader looks at your document, there is a clear storyline and a plot to follow. Having Microsoft Excel dominating the spreadsheet market means that almost all of the charts and tables look the same – which can be hideous. Websites like Many Eyes help analysts and researchers to present the data in a more interesting manner.

The visualisations go beyond the plain vanilla pie charts, bar charts and column charts and into something more aesthetic to look at. Of course, one can’t go overboard with visualisation as it may actually detract from the message that needs to be conveyed. One ‘disadvantage’ of the website is that you need to upload the data file which will then expose it as well as the result to other Many Eyes’ visitors. One way around this is to upload the data, create the visualisation as required and then delete the data and visualisations that you create.

One of my personal favourite is the Word Cloud feature, being a ‘quantie’ (quantitative analyst), I find it helpful to display text or verbatim comments in a word cloud, which shows words that are frequently mentioned larger and more prominently compared to others not as popular. There are other visualisation gems in the website.

Go forth and visualise!

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