Will Scully-Power

Excel, Powerpoint now iChart
September 10, 2008, 10:32 pm
Filed under: Analytics, Techcrunch | Tags: , , ,

Today, you will find 900 billion charts offline but only 40 million charts online. Because of that, iCharts believes it currently must be too difficult to bring charts online. So it has developed an easy way to create, share, and embed interactive charts.

The self-proclaimed “YouTube for interactive charts,” iChart provides a way for users to take data they created with other services like Excel or Google Spreadsheets, and upload that data directly to iCharts. Once collected, users need only to drag and drop the data to the chart to create a fully-modifiable and interactive chart.

The startup presented today at TechCrunch50 during the Finance and Statistics session. You can watch a video of its presentation here.

At the bottom of every iChart, controls let users modify the view and change the data series. In addition to being able to zoom into a data range and highlight the most relevant data, users can upload audio files that they record to accompany the chart.

Like most of the other services announced at TechCrunch50, iCharts offers a widget that will let users place the chart anywhere online and can even be embedded into Powerpoint presentations, PDF files, and anything that’s capable of handling Flash content.

Most importantly, iCharts can be published and shared with anyone visiting the site and are automatically optimized so web surfers find them as images in search.

iCharts launches today and is already populated with a slew of charts that are freely available for reuse.

Will Scully-Power
Data Director


Google Analytics for your life?
September 10, 2008, 10:28 pm
Filed under: Analytics | Tags: , , , ,


Me-trics wants to be “Google analytics for your life.” By doing that, it collects data from countless places on the Web based on your activity and will let you input data like blood pressure or stress level to find correlations between something you have observed and the data you input.

The startup presented today during the Collaboration session of TechCrunch50. You can watch the video of its presentation here.

During the demo, Me-trics explained that one user had high blood pressure and wanted to know what was causing it. First, they input daily blood pressure data and then tracked stress level, beer drinking, and other metrics that may have had an impact on blood pressure. From there, they added more data to find correlations between other elements included and found that Twitter usage declined their stress level.

But the main problem with Me-trics is that it requires users to manually input data, so the company is pulling data from fitness and financial sites, social data from Twitter and Friendfeed, and will start adding other services to add data automatically based on the availability of APIs.

To reduce the effect of trying to remember stress levels or thoughts, the company added a mobile app to let you input data on-the-fly.

Me-trics is available now and the company says that its correlation method will improve as more services are added over time.

Will Scully-Power
Data Director

Interesting analytics around Linux developers
September 10, 2008, 10:23 pm
Filed under: Techcrunch | Tags: , ,

TechCrunch50 company FitBit (which demoed its health activity monitoring device live as well) put up this slide to underscore its point that obesity is a growing problem, particularly in the geek world. The slide shows how the distribution of T-shirt sizes at the Linux Symposium has shifted towards the XL and XXL side of the scale.

Will Scully-Power
Data Director

Ooyala launch Analytics Platform for Video
September 10, 2008, 10:17 pm
Filed under: Analytics | Tags: , , ,

Ooyala, a video platform founded by two seasoned Google veterans, has launched a powerful new analytics backend for its service that it calls Backlot Analytics. The new analytics software allows content providers to get an extremely detailed data on their users’ viewing behaviors, helping them tweak their ad placement and future content selection. Backlot Analytics will be available as a native application in Adobe AIR, and will also work in the browser.

Included among the features in Backlot Analytics are graphs that detail exactly when users rewind or stop watching a video. Publishers can use this data to determine when to position their ads (for example, they might find that users are far more likely to drop off if there is an ad in the first thirty seconds of a video, but that there is little impact if the ad comes after one minute). Ooyala features a drag-and-drop interface that makes such adjustments easy – users can simply drag their ads to a new place in the video timeline, and the system will immediately adapt for future plays without having to render anything.

The new version also includes support for Geo- and Domain-reporting, as well as an API allowing developers to integrate the platform into existing management systems.

Ooyala launched in late 2007, and won Amazon’s AWS Startup-Challenge. The site has since partnered with thousands of media providers, including National Geographic, TV Guide, AOL, and Warner Brothers.

To keep costs low, Ooyala has partnered with numerous Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), buying their “excess bandwidth” for a bargain price. Excess bandwidth is typically available when there are lulls in Internet demand, and Ooyala says that these lulls come at a predicable hour: dinner time. Using using a patented polling technique, Ooyala “chases” dinner time (and other off-peak hours) around the world to minimize their bandwidth costs. But they have to stay on their toes – immediately after dinner there is always a spike that the company attributes to one thing: “Porn time”.

Will Scully-Power
Data Director

Welcome to Twitter corporate style
September 10, 2008, 3:45 am
Filed under: Twitter | Tags: , ,

Yammer.com just launched at the Techcrunch 50. Just think about the intelligence Yammer could gain from mining their competitive data. i.e. all of the companies using the corporate Twitter. The question is “What are you working on?”

Is this their plan? Sell off the insights from this data in an auction style format to the highest bidder?


Will Scully-Power
Data Director

My Data Flows
September 10, 2008, 12:18 am
Filed under: Visualisation | Tags: , ,

Readers of Flowingdata were asked to collect data about themselves or their surroundings and then visualise it in some way.

Pretty cool…

I Drink, Therefore I Am

I originally thought this was all alcoholic beverages. I was going to tell Tim that he might have a problem. Luckily though, it was all beverages he’s consumed over the past few months. That’s some serious discipline.

This one focuses on Tim’s Coke consumption. It’s a short story of a losing battle against his soda addiction.

A Month of Email Spam

How about a look at a month of email spam? Almost as many words of spam as in War and Peace.

Ouch, My Body Hurts

This is actually an animated aches and pains chart implemented in Processing. Watch as pains fire off on poor Tim’s deteriorating body.

An Apple a Day…

A calendar of apples and doctors…

Chairs in the Kitchen

…and even Tim’s daughter got in on the action. Here’s her very first chart. It shows number of chairs by room. Proud father.

Commits to the SVN Repository

Brian is a postdoc part of an NSF-funded project and displayed commits to subversion, which he used to manage code and documents. He found that there tended me more commits to the repository as deadlines approached.

Is the Power Company Ripping Me Off?

Hey look – it’s a chart made in R! John bought a new house in 2000 and charted billed electricity use – estimated by the utility company and the regression.

From John, “Every once in a while, the electric company gets lazy and estimates the meter reading, rather than coming to my house to read it. In the attached graphic, I wanted to see those months in particular to determine whether the utility company tends to over-estimate or under-estimate my electricity use in those months, as compared with my own estimation formula.”


We saw this one earlier during the summer. Kevin C sent in BedPost, his project currently in private beta to track private time with your nighttime buddy.

Are You Happy Today?

Kevin M has his own application, LifeMetric, which lets you enter how you feel and then compare emotions with other users.

How Do I Spend My Time Every Day?

Lisa has been tracking how she (and her family) spends time. Below is one day that shows how she (outside circle) and her husband (middle circle) and her kids spend their day.

SSH and FTP Logins

Similar in spirit to Brian’s visualization, Said put together a series of visualizations of his SSH and FTP logins. It looks like Said is a morning person?

Old School Networks

Stacey and Joel held a PieFest with some friends. While they had everyone together they drew up a network. People wrote their name and drew lines to the people they knew.

Music Interest

Tony put his iTunes library through Wordle. He’s a big fan of various artists.

Will Scully-Power
Data Director

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