5 Powerful Data Visualizations

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It's Monday so let's take a quick break with some awesome data visualizations. Big data isn't just a way for companies to crunch important numbers for productivity and lead generation; it can also be informative artwork that supports cultural self-reflection. And sometimes it's just beautiful to look at.

Below are some of my favorite graphics along with some I found on a fantastic list of top data graphics put together by Ciara Byrne over at Fast Company.

Even if you're not a numbers person, data visualization is beautiful and part of what makes big data so great.

1. Feel that breeze? The breeze you felt this morning on the way to work is part of a pattern—and probably a much larger pattern. Take a look at the stunning Wind Map that charts the winds of the continental US. Does it tell me a lot about my life? Not really, but it's pretty awe inspiring. Tip: you can zoom in!

2. How many people were disappointed by their summer birthdays in elementary school? The summery cupcake drought is more severe than you thought according to the birth day commonality map.

3. I used to sleep in more often when I was 16. The "How Different Groups Spend Their Day" map lets you filter results based on group identification to see how we all experience 24 hours differently.

4. Check out Netflix queues in 2010 by US city and you might wonder why certain counties just don't seem to like Wall-E (an extremely disappointing discovery).

5. Women's pay inequality is more widespread than you think according to the interactive "Why is Her Paycheck Smaller" graph. This is important data and it's fantastically utilized to educate the public about a critical issue: men still earn more than women doing the exact same job.

In sum, visualizing data can bring power and beauty to data analytics.

These are the kinds of ideas that will be covered at Big Data World 2013  which is co-located withLoyalty World USA 2013 this October.

[flickr – Meg Stewart]

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