Tools for Data Visualization

Toby Segaran (Google), Jesper Andersen (Bloom Studios)
Location: 2006 Level:
Average rating: **...
(2.50, 20 ratings)

It’s been said by many that the most in-demand developers over the next few years will be those who know how to help interpret data. As datasets get larger and more complex, it’s not enough to simply know statistical techniques to test hypotheses — you’ll also need to be able to spot the things you didn’t think of, empower others to do the same, and to reduce a difficult concept to a single image. Visualization makes all of this possible.

This workshop will focus on the latest crop of free visualization tools such as R, processing, canvas, matplotlib, google widgets and many others to show you how to create great visualizations. It will also take you through the steps of getting and cleaning that data, and give you ideas of the best way to display all different kinds of information, be it numeric, geographic, temporal, topographic or networked.

You will leave with the inspiration and the knowledge to create pretty pictures that everyone will tweet about, and in which someone will spot a key fact, heretofore unknown by mankind.

Photo of Toby Segaran

Toby Segaran


Toby Segaran is the author of the O’Reilly titles “Programming Collective Intelligence”, one of the top-selling AI books, “Programming the Semantic Web” and editor of “Beautiful Data”. He frequently speaks on the subjects of machine learning, collective intelligence and freedom of data at conferences worldwide.

He currently holds the title of Data Magnate at Metaweb Technologies, where he works on large-scale data reconciliation problems. Prior to Metaweb he founded Incellico, a biotechnology software company, which was acquired in 2003.

Toby holds a B.Sc in Computer Science from MIT and is deemed a “Person of Exceptional Ability” by the USCIS. He loves applying data-analysis algorithms to everything ranging from pharmaceutical trials to online dating to financial risk models.

Photo of Jesper Andersen

Jesper Andersen

Bloom Studios

Jesper develops experimental online services designed to introduce emotional contexts into online relationships, creating more authentic experiences. He is the co-founder of Bloom Studios, developing novel data interface applications for web and tablet platforms. He is also an accomplished data scientist, working on problems including home valuations for Trulia, credit card fraud for Visa, and social network analysis for Visible Path. Jesper speaks frequently at international technology and design conferences and has appeared in print and broadcast media for projects like Avoidr, Freerisk, and his Foursquare privacy hack. He holds a B.Sc. in Physics from Haverford College and an M.B.A. in Econometrics from University of Chicago.

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Picture of Michael LaGrasta
Michael LaGrasta
05/08/2010 7:08am PDT

I thought it was great. It showed me just how important it is to present data in the right format. I also came away with a good list of tools to check out and even tips on which one to use for what purposes. Thanks Jesper and Toby!

Picture of Len De Groot
Len De Groot
05/07/2010 3:21am PDT

I liked it. Addressing a wide range of participants, from beginner to data geek, is a difficult thing to accomplish — and I speak from experience. The content was strong, comprehensive and well organized. This is the first time in a long time that I came away from a session with a long list of good tips and some new things to learn. While I agree the presentation style could have used some evangelism, they addressed the content in a measured, thoughtful way.

Tim Woods
05/06/2010 7:05am PDT

Really really disappointed by this one. The subject is so fascinating, and the Collective Intelligence book is really great, but this session let both down in a big way. Three hours! Way too long, it moved at a terrible pace, I could barely keep awake. The speakers were too quiet and placid, and moved through the slides without any energy. A shame, because what they have to say is well worth listening to. It took so long to get to anything interesting, that I’d lost the willingness to engage and digest the info. I think the size of the group, the length of the talk, both contributed to the downfall, as the presenters didn’t have the energy and drive to make it work. A real shame.

Picture of Karin Gyulai
Karin Gyulai
05/06/2010 4:37am PDT

IT took too long to get to the interesting Stuff. WHO cards àbout where they Findus THEIR data??

Mattie Langenberg
05/04/2010 2:45am PDT

The speakers had good material, but it seemed they were too nervous to present effectively. Maybe some practice with smaller groups is in order or perhaps a more solidly rehearsed presentation.

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