Sunday, 12 July 2009

A way with Wordles

We're always looking for the next best way to visualise data, we've read all the books, been on Stephen Few's courses and used all the software out there, but I have to give credit to Jonathon Feinberg for the creation of which create beautiful and informative word clouds from text.

We have been using the tool to visualise data, simply but providing a dataset which repeats the category names based on a given measure, it is possible to create great visualisations of say 'Top 20 clients', or 'Best performing sales person'.

Of course these are currently one off visualisations, but I doubt it will be long before a forward thinking data visualisation software tool such as Tableau incorporates this functionality into their toolset.

To demonstrate this tool, here's an image of the top 100 MP expense claimers, of course the size of their name shows how much they claimed:

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