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Data Analysis Tools and Resources

Too much data, not enough understanding. How do you quickly pull data, organize it, and then make sense of it all? Several tools and articles are available to help.

First, I highly recommend Many Eyes by IBM. It is a web based tool that allows you to load a table of data and it offers some tools / methods on which to organize the data. Examples from Many Eyes include Number of certified organic operations in the U.S. and FoodChat participants in multiple conversations. Many Eyes is free to use, though please note that it should not be used to visualize data that is private or sensitive to your organization.

Second, take a look at Smashing Magazine post on Data Visualization and Infographics Resources. It offers many examples of ways to organize information. These examples can serve as models for your own data visulaztion projects.

Finally, do some reading with Edward Tufte or even better, attend one of his seminars! His books offer approaches and perspective on how and when data should (and should not!) be made visual. Tufte is well known for his research and explanation of how design and data should work together.

PS, Three other tools to consider: NodeXL, Microsoft's Pivot, and Tableau Public. NodeXL is a tool for analyzing networks of data. Pivot is an experiment in making mounds of data more usable. Below is a great TED Talk video Gary Flake: is Pivot a turning point for web exploration? And Tableau Public is a Windows tool that allows people to organize and publish public data.