The billion dollar chart can be found at http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/the-billion-dollar-o-gram-2009/ . The real take away is that you have to realize the difference between absolute numbers and relative numbers, which this presentation explains brilliantly.
It’s been a year since the government started the open data initiative, you can download mash up and view over 277,000 datasets at www.data.gov, but that wasn’t enough for some enterprising individuals. The website http://www.datamasher.org/ contains datasets from data.gov as well as state data, and datasets from nonprofit organizations. However, with healthcare such a big topic right now, by far one of the most impressive ‘data dashboards’ has to be the community health map developed by GE Health. You can click on the map at this link and navigate to the county level http://www.ge.com/visualization/county_health/index.html. This is the idea behind binding large data sets into intuitive visual displays, with 277K datasets at your fingertips you have more than enough to start working with.
This is an extremely interesting data tool that is open for all to use (and explore at http://www.gapminder.org/). The speech goes to show that views are often formed early in life and stay that way despite the constant change that takes place around us. The term ‘conventional wisdom’ was coined years ago to describe an idea or set of beliefs that was accepted by most and was often predictable, for example, we all thought the world was flat at some time. The problem with conventional wisdom today is that we are inundated with data and finally, we are seeing tools being built that will visually display that data so that it can be understood in the context of the larger picture. This will in turn challenge our long standing beliefs, and shape the way that the next generation views the world.
So how can you turn your internal datasets into valuable insight?
There are also some tools coming out of Microsoft Labs that will take excel spreadsheet like data sets and display them in a manner that is similar to the display featured in the video above. If you want to know more or try your hand at creating a simple data visualization navigate to http://www.getpivot.com/