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Napoleon’s March to d3.js--The Future of Big, Real-time Interactive Data Visualization

Justin Langseth (Zoomdata, Inc.), Gus Hunt (CIA)
GA Ballroom K
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(2.75, 12 ratings)

If M. Minard could visualize a complex military campaign in 1869 using just papier and a crayon, why are we stuck with static bar & pie charts?

Big data, analytics and visualization is in its infancy. Although it is easy to generate and gather enormous amounts of data, making sense of that data— garnering insights and delivering understanding— requires the use of sophisticated, dense, and often arcane algorithms that require data scientists to develop code and execute. Data analytics tools are complicated to install and pre-configured libraries of visuals limit the ways data can be pictured, thereby constraining understanding. Ultimately, these limitations restrict the use big data to limited numbers of skilled and knowledgeable specialists. This approach is not scalable and the ultimate power and value of big data can only be realized when sophisticated, elegant and easy to use capabilities are placed into the hands of the average person.

Much as the spreadsheet revolutionized data manipulation and analysis and placed enormous power to explore numbers at everyone’s fingertips, next-generation big data visualization tools revolutionize the ability for the average person to manipulate, analyze, visualize, and explore big data. In this briefing Justin Langseth, CEO of Zoomdata, and Gus Hunt, former CTO at CIA will highlight efforts to bring the power of sophisticated analytics and data sciences to the average user. They will show examples of real-world user-centric design approach that: create competitive advantage by providing users and customers with a real-time data experience; enables seamless interfaces with existing systems and data through no/low-ETL implementation; and places the power to differentiate a business in users’ hands by easily creating their own live infographics using the d3.js library of open source visuals.

Photo of Justin Langseth

Justin Langseth

Founder & CEO, Zoomdata, Inc.

Justin is CEO of Zoomdata, Inc. Prior to Zoomdata, Justin was the co-founder of Clarabridge and the inventor of Clarabridge’s award-winning, patented, text analytics software.

Prior to Clarabridge, Justin co-founded and was CTO of Claraview, a BI strategy and technology consultancy, which was sold to Teradata in 2008. Before founding Claraview, Justin served as founder and CTO of, a real-time data analysis and alerting subsidiary of MicroStrategy.

Prior to launching, he was a technology program manager and consultant at MicroStrategy, designing the second-generation web-based BI tool for MicroStrategy, and working with large customers on their BI deployments.

In the early 1990′s Justin was active in the BBS community, and he authored and marketed the EIS-PC BBS system. Justin is an expert in text mining, specifically related to integration of unstructured content. He currently holds seven technology patents. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received an SB in Management of Information Technology from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Photo of Gus Hunt

Gus Hunt


Mr. Hunt currently serves as the Chief Technology Officer for the Chief Information Officer in CIA. In this capacity he is responsible for setting the strategic technology direction to enable CIA’s missions, actively engage across the IC to share and communicate IT solutions, and drive solutions for the rapid insertion and adoption of new capabilities to keep pace with technology change in the commercial sector

Previously, Mr. Hunt served as the Director of Applications Services for CIA. In this role, he was responsible for building IT systems to support and enable CIA’s mission to effectively conduct their business and to set the vision and direction for applications development in CIA. He drove the investment and development process to build core and common services, build the enterprise data layer, brought in training and coaching to drive that rapid adoption and effective use of Agile Development within Applications Services, and implemented earned-value-management and total-cost-of-ownership business processes to dramatically improve management decision effectiveness.

Prior to that, Mr. Hunt served as Director of Architecture and Systems Engineering (ASE). In this capacity he was responsible for establishing the Agency’s Information Services (IS) strategic direction. This includes, developing and implementing the Information Services Enterprise Architecture, building the integrated CIA Information Services strategic investments portfolio, and establishing the CIA-wide Information Services strategic plan. He also chaired the CIA Architecture Review Board and the Architecture and Systems Engineers Occupational Panel. He came from the DI as the Chief of the CIO’s Advanced Technology Group and served as Chief Technology Officer for the Office of Support Services.

In addition to his roles in Information Services, Mr. Hunt also served as Chief of Research and Development for the DCI’s Crime and Narcotics Center and Deputy Chief of the Operations Support Group in the DCI’s Non-Proliferation Center. He began his career in 1985, as a DI analyst in the Technology Transfer Assessment Center and was a branch chief in Space Systems Division in the DI.

Before coming to the Agency, Mr. Hunt spent 7 years in the private sector as an Aerospace Engineer designing advanced manned space flight systems and satellite orbital transfer vehicles. He holds a ME in Civil/Structural Engineering from Vanderbilt University and is married with 2 grown children.