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Reach Out and Touch Your Data


As more devices add touch capabilities, doesn’t it make sense that your data should be flexible enough to push around?

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University may be on to something big when it comes to manipulating Big Data.  Jeffrey Rzeszotarski, a Ph.D. student in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute and Aniket Kittur, an assistant professor at the Institute took a look at how to use new touch-screen technologies like the iPad or Galaxy Tabs to better manipulate data found in spreadsheets and the like.

The proof of concept idea is called “Kinetica” and it’s inspiring to see how cool data manipulation can be. Data points are rendered as colored dots. Using standard touchscreen hand gestures, users can sort, filter and pull data points to form new views of data ties.

The Kinetica app can load any Excel XLS, CSV, and TSV table of data. Users can mix and match techniques to investigate more than five dimensions on one iPad screen.


From the website:

“Here a user is trying to understand how models of cars (the circles) differ based on manufacturing country (color) and horsepower (x-axis). As she has a budget, she dragged all models over $40,000 to the top of the chart using a filter. Because the circles still feel a pull to their place on the chart, it’s easy to see that many of the expensive models had high horsepower.

Here’s a short video that gives you a feel for the project.

If you want to see more data visualization in action today, you’ll want to check out Actuate’s BIRT iHub Visualization Platform. The tool powers, integrates and manages BIRT Analytics Applications and BIRT-based information.

You can take very complex data and turn it into compelling visualizations such as graphs, charts, tables and diagrams. The BIRT iHub Visualization Platform also has customizable features like dashboards, statements, applications and interactive reports that run on browsers or mobile devices.

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