The everyday consumer is no stranger to data. You don’t even have to be a data scientist to be touched by it – every day, in virtually everything you do. It haunts us everywhere – in stock tickers, ad campaign dashboards, political polls, March Madness statistics, office KPI reports, board meetings, and our personal finance alerts.
In recent months though, the subject of big data has become a larger one. It regularly frequents blogs ranging from Tim O’Reilly to Jeff Bullas to Giga.Om. Some might even say it feels like the song and dance we’ve experienced with mobile technology over the last five years – “this is the year for mobile” – only to see it ride steadily with no significant bursts in innovation or consumer adoption trends.
Well, honey, the duckling is a swan. Mobile is here. And data …well, it’s growing up.
First, data visualization is here to stay.
What used to be reserved for data junkies and designers, has gone mainstream. With plug-n-play, interactive charting tools for anyone with a little access to data sets and a decent eye for copy and design…you can_have_charts. Lots of them. Just check out the number of charts – info graphics, mini info graphics, data illustrations and standard charts – that float across the blogosphere and Pinterest.
Second, data just got way easier to crunch and share.
It’s not perfect yet, but it certainly has gotten easier. On iCharts, it’s only a 3-step process: Upload, Choose Template, Publish. And if you so choose, add a fourth by Sharing it with all your favorite people via blog, Facebook, Pinterest and more.
Third, interactive charts are expanding to enhance surveys.
(Reader Beware: This one’s a teaser for what lies ahead.) But yes, if you regularly use survey data and even like to share results with friends, peers and colleagues, you will soon have accessible, time-effective tools at your disposable. Think Survey Monkey, on steroids. #awesome