The 2015 Smart Data Conference

  1 m, 47 s

best ways to visualize textI’ve got some pretty strong opinions about world clouds, and this year’s Smart Data Conference seems like a good place to express them.

That’s what I’ll be doing tomorrow from 3:00PM to 3:45PM, during my talk – Visualizing Text!

As a text analytics company, we often get asked about the best way to present the information that comes out of our engine.  Since we focus entirely on the processing (and not on the visualizations), we have an interesting perspective as we’ve seen what works (and what doesn’t) at a lot of companies across the industry.

During my talk I’ll explain exactly why you should steer clear of word clouds (and start falling in love with bubble charts!).

I’ll also walk you through all the basics of visualizing text data, so you know what to do, and what not to do, when you’ve got all your unstructured text data and you’re ready to make it all pretty and show it to the world.

We’ll cover the strengths and weaknesses of all sorts of graphs and plots including force-directed graphs, clustering, heatmaps, and other methods for giving graphically arresting and valuable information (strengths: they’re all infinitely better than word clouds).

I’ll also go over common software packages for data visualization, so you can walk out of my talk with at least a basic understanding of how to pick the best program and best format for the data you want to present.

If you’re not lucky enough to be attending the Smart Data Conference, I’ve uploaded my presentation to Slideshare so you can follow along at home. Check it out below, and make sure to watch the TED Talk I link to for more on using data to tell a story.

I want to thank a few companies for providing content and visualizations for this presentation:   Bottlenose, Quid, and Provalis Research.  Other visualizations were done in Tableau and Excel.

Note:  if you download the presentation, you’ll get the speaker notes as well so you can follow the story.  🙂

Categories: Events, Text Clouds