Hans Rosling and Trendalyzer
By Tim Wilson on in Data Visualization with One Comment
It’s been a long, crazy week, and it’s only Tuesday. Geesh! But, I didn’t want to let things slide too long here, so this is just a quickie in case you haven’t seen Trendalyzer (um. yeah. you WANT to click on that link). It’s been around for a few years, and a co-worker actually sent it to me some time back. But, I’d kind of forgotten about it, until it came up…twice…in the past week. First, was an old boss of mine who had just watched Rosling’s TED Talk where he used Trendalyzer. Talk about data visualization done right!
I did some snooping around, and found out that Google had bought Trendalyzer. I mentioned this to a couple of web analytics colleagues over lunch one day, and, the next thing I knew, one of them was pointing out that Avinash Kaushik had noted how he works 10 meters away from Rosling at Google (see #6). So, apparently Google bought Rosling along with his technology!
I am admittedly a bit in awe of Rosling. It’s not just that he’s an incredibly sharp, passionate individual. It’s that he actually came up with a way to effectively represent 4 dimensions of data in a meaningful way. By illustrating time…using time…what he does is both simple and powerful.
Sadly, if Trendalyzer hits the business world, I’m sure it will be grossly misused. Never underestimate the ability of a business user to grossly misapply a great technology!