Save the date: SIS Quantitative Analysis Festival Friday April 20

Leave a comment

Advertisements

Save the Date: Research Workshop on LaTeX Friday April 6 and April 13

Leave a comment

Data Visualize Your Life With Visual.ly

Leave a comment

I admit, this is probably not 100% related your research, but this is totally related to another great data visualization tool that is available on the web, especially if you are a social media junkie like me.  That is my self portrait on the left there.

Not really, of course.  But if you are regular on Twitter or Facebook (and these days, who isn’t?), there is a neat website that will allow you to take the information that you have on those social media sites and turn it into a wonderful piece of data visualization.  Two great things are associated with this: the website offers free service and you don’t have to hunt for data, because you already have it.

The website is called Visual.ly. This is an online community for people who love data visualizaiton (like yourself) and offers great tips on how to make yours better, links to other blogs and resources on the web related to data vis, and also gives you the chance to show off your original graphics.  Just a heads up, this website isn’t totally for novice data visualizers.  Many of the showcase graphs were created by professionals, especially those who know how to code.  It’s a good idea to look through the gallery anyway to get a sense of how data visualization can be used, maybe even for your own research project.

But this post isn’t meant to discourage you!  As I mentioned before, you already have data that Visual.ly can use to create a cool graphic.  Visual.ly also has a “Create” section where you can make graphics from templates provided by the website.   You can sign up for free with your Facebook or Twitter accounts.

After signing up with my Facebook account, I chose one of the Facebook graphic templates and created a graphic that expressed the data on my friends, photos, and other info.  For my example, I chose the Facebook Monster. I could tell how many of my friends are male, how many are female, and how many times, on average, I have friends in my photos with me.  (The answer is 3.4.) Below is a visual example of the number of friends I have on each continent. I wonder who that lone Australian is.

If you have a Facebook page that showcases a business or an organization you have, Visual.ly has great templates to express the data of those pages as well.  Below is an example from the website that shows the demographics of people who visit a Facebook page.

Visual.ly has similar graphic templates for Twitter.  An interesting one is a graphic that analyzes hashtags.  When you use Visual.ly for Facebook or Twitter, make sure that your account settings will allow Visual.ly to access the information or else you won’t be able to see all analytic parts of the graphic. This website is especially interesting if you want to make a fun, easy, and quick showcase of your personal data.

If you decide to try it out, let us know what you think!

%d bloggers like this: