Jason Atchley : Big Data : Turn Up the Heat on Big Data Views


jason atchley

Turn Up the Heat on Big Data Views

Use heat maps to persuasively share Big Data.

Patricia Kutza, Law Technology News

May 14, 2014    |0 Comments

When captured smartly, Big Data represents big opportunities for attorneys.  Consider the way thatStanford Law School, in collaboration with Cornerstone Research, illustrates the frequency of new securities class action filings occurring over time.  Assessing eleven industry sectors in the S&P 500 index, Stanford uses a heat map to show the percentage of companies in the index subject to new filings. Viewers of this graph can quickly locate the most frequent filers industry wide by focusing on the colors—the most saturated color, the greater frequency of new filings over time.
Attorneys should think about using heat maps when they want to communicate relationships between data values that would be more difficult to understand if presented simply as two-dimensional data in a spreadsheet.  Caveats do apply:  Heat maps are generally less effective resources for color-blind readers.  Also, heat map colors don’t always look the same printed as they do online.
To take advantage of the potential of heat maps, attorneys don’t have to spend an arm and leg on proprietary software.  While there are a number of third party providers, they can get their feet wet by trying out Excel’s Surface Chart option.  Take a look at both alternatives by watching the following YouTube tutorials.

1. Use heat maps in Excel.

Producer: Annielytics, published July 13, 2013.
Viewing time: 4 minutes.
Style: Presenter Annie Cushing is dedicated to ‘making data sexy.’ That’s a goal few viewers will protest!
Takeaway: Cushing guides you through this Excel feature in less than five minutes.  She shows that it’s a low-cost option that is easy to learn and use.  Some detractors say that Excel’s default color scheme is inferior to those offered by customized software packages. However Excel’s colors can be edited easily to improve their visibility.

2. Use data visualization software.

Producer: Data Champions, published January 19, 2012.
Viewing time: 3 minutes.
Style: This channel provider concentrates exclusively on Tableau tutorials.
Takeaway:  Tableau is one of a number of data visualization providers, (such as MicroStrategy, LabEscape) that offer heat map features.  Smart companies know that many clients associate ‘complex’ with Big Data. Thus Tableau Software boils down their mission statement: “To help people see and understand data.”  The company also offers specialized data visualization packages targeted for over a dozen industries.
Law firms that invest heavily in marketing strategies to drive traffic to their websites are already familiar with heat maps.  These tools are used extensively for analyzing the behavior of visitors—tracking the behavior of mouse clicks (mousetracking heatmaps) and eye movement (eye-tracking heatmaps). With  rapid mobile adoption, heat map providers are also providing  software that tracks  taps, swipes and  other gestures on a variety of mobile devices.
Patricia Kutza is a business and technology journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Email:pkutza@pacbell.net.

Read more: http://www.lawtechnologynews.com/id=1202655185985/Turn-Up-the-Heat-on-Big-Data-Views#ixzz31iQj22oK


One thought on “Jason Atchley : Big Data : Turn Up the Heat on Big Data Views

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