Real-time analytics have come into their own and few ways show this as effectively as the visualization tools that are showing up everywhere around the U.S. 2012 Presidential Election. We can slice, dice and prepare our own ‘meal’ of statistics visualized in ways that make it easy to add human interaction to impersonal data.
Data is displayed in more classical ways on the Washington Post’s Election 2012 map that allows users to choose swing states as falling for one candidate or the other and watching the results tally up.
One of our favorites, though, is this NY Times 512 Paths to the White House graphic that allows the user to follow options of their choosing while hiding the math behind the various ‘forks in the road’ to the White House.
This is just on the public web and is child’s play next to to the tools available for real-time, business-facing analytics. There are many, many other tools that showed up on screens behind the journalists that did everything from Twitter patterns to sentiment analysis.
What looks easy for a journalist is the story of what’s running in the back end, making it all work. Getting interactive, real-time analytics means having the ability to find and incorporate data at rapid rates. It means caching data in-memory so that it can be accessed at blinding speeds. It means integration using the best tools available.
But the good news is that the companies that make the investment are getting ready for Ubiquitous Data, not just the front-end analytics. Those who don’t make the investment will be sucking wind, soon.