Monday, January 29, 2007

IBM 'Many Eyes' Project aim to 'democratize' visualization

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Via my ACM TechNewsletter an announcement about IBM's new Many Eyes project by their Collaborative User Experience research group. Their goal is 'to "democratize" visualization and to enable a new social kind of data analysis'. I haven't had a chance to throw a data set at it but it sure sounds interesting (see tour on the site)- still in research phase but IBM can probably make it into a powerful user tool.

"Many Eyes allows users to upload large data sets, choose how they are represented visually, and discuss them in an online forum. IBM Research director of collaborative user experiences Irene Greif describes Many Eyes as a way to see if crowd-sourcing principles can be used to analyze visualized data, with the goal of creating data analysis that is both broader and deeper. The inspiration behind the site is to "start a conversation about things like data quality ... The visualization lets you grok at a lot more [data] at once."

Chris Kenton called me today to talk to me about the Media2.0 Workgroup that had just launched and the topic of marketers creating their own applications came up during our conversation. Chris just launched a new blog "MarketingRev: Tech News For Marketers" that is focused on the marketing technology industry. During our conversation, I mentioned my recent post on consumer trends affecting enterprise application development and commented that we see marketers creating 'mash-ups' (perhaps not technical mashups but manual reporting mashups)- using consumer tools like technorati, youtube, google alerts, etc. as they monitor the media 2.0 space. I think this 'Many Eyes' project could be an interesting tool for marketers to have an "active discussion, share ideas, add insight and understand" the visualization of certain metrics they are trying to monitor in a group setting.

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