Make money while the Data shines
December 14, 2006
Information is the key to most of the things.. Most of the jobs revolve around info gathering at some stage or the other.. but that is just half of the story.
What good is the info if it cant be interpreted or understood properly? Any chimp could gather info, but it is how we analyse that sets us apart. There is tons of info out there on the internet.. in the form of databases, as underground stacks of files.. but unless they make sense, they are mere numbers. You could read on and on about what the wealth or life expectancy for a country/region was in 1980, 1990 and so on.. but what if you could instantly infer something, say a pattern out of that? You could, unless that is in a presentable manner. You need info/data in a useable manner to further develop or work on it..
Google realised a huge potential for info and data.. hence their motto is “organizing the world’s info/data”. I bring before you two amazing tools that make presenting info/data a treat. There are interesting stuff that could be told in a boring fashion and vice-versa, but this is telling interesting facts in an interesting fashion:
1) Hans Rosling’s “Myths of developing world” talk at TED hits the bull’s eye. He presents some of the facts that change people’s (false) perceptions.. Just watch his amazing 20 min. video which is nothing short of spectacular. He led me to this website that presents data in a very ineresting and useful manner: Gapminder.org (the flash there “might” not work with Firefox, just opt for the fullscreen mode). See the video to get a glimpse of what the site has to offer.. it studies the shift of wealth in the world, how China becomes a super-power, how priorities change from wealth to health for rich nations like UAE, etc. The patterns are simply awesome.
2) Techcrunch called Swivel as the Youtube for data. Swivel.com allows you to compare various data/statistics that are uploaded by users and help you study or infer. For e.g., you could compare how the # of parking tickets and how corrupt a country is here, or see the relation b/w skin color and intelligence here, or see the incomes based on educational levels attained here..
If Information is everything, then data analysis is God! Welcome to the future.
PS: Wouldnt it make sense for Google to acquire the above two? I mean agreed that Youtube gave a huge viewership (and lots of attention or “eyeballs” as marketers refer to) but this is pretty close to their “motto” (other than not being evil) .