Google offers data-analysis tools, liposuction for stats

Uses: Inspiration from washing machines, Rebecca Black

GoogleLabs has a new data-mining tool,  Correlate, which allows folks with data (got data?) to use Google’s algorithms to dig through numbers and visualize meaning. Business folks will love to compare brands; political analysts will look for public-opinion trends; journalists should even more other uses. I hope they don’t all try to figure out the correlation between liposuction and property values.

Two frames from Google comic about its Correlate data analysis tool

Making correlations is up to you...

To teach you what this might be good for, Google Labs offers several educational tools: a Comic Book, a FAQ file, a Tutorial and a research Whitepaper (pdf).

Here’s the main GoogleBlog article on Correlate:
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/mining-patterns-in-search-data-with.html

If you don’t have data of your own, Google already has had tools out there for analyzing public datasets, as discussed in this GoogleBlog article last year: Statistics for a Changing World.

Here’s the site itself: Google Public Data Explorer, an experimental visualization tool, and it’s support site.

Here are the Google datamine’s top 20 database topics:

1. School comparisons
2. Unemployment
3. Population
4. Sales tax
5. Salaries
6. Exchange rates
7. Crime statistics
8. Health statistics (health conditions)
9. Disaster statistics
10. Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
11. Last names
12. Poverty
13. Oil price
14. Minimum wage
15. Consumer price index, inflation
16. Mortality
17. Cost of living
18. Election results
19. First names
20. Accidents, traffic violations

Some of the analysis-visualization is based on Trendalyzer, which Google acquired from the Gapminder Foundation, whose Hans Rosling has done an amazing job demonstrating how well-visualized data — and his dynamic lecture style — can increase  knowledge and understanding, from the poverty line to the air line via the wash line.


Maybe a combination of Google’s sharing tools for analysis and great examples like his will inspire journalists and journalism students. First, I wonder if his BBC feature, The Joy of Stats will convince more journalism students to take statistics courses…

Back to Google:
So what are people searching for? Cupcakes, cats, government shutdown, health care, Rebecca Black, or maybe Vanessa Fox…?

Vanessa Fox at SearchEngineLand has insights into all of these tools, including Correlate. See her take on Rebecca, cats, cupcakes, March Madness and more in this 5-minute video: What is it in our lives that we care about most?   Vanessa Fox video from the Ignite Conference


Other Google News:

I was less pleased — quite disappointed actually — when Google announced it is discontinuing its historical newspaper project. I wrote about it over at the AEJMC Newspaper Division blog: Google Unplugs Newspaper Scanning Project

mild-mannered reporter who fell deeper into computers and the Web during three trips through graduate school in the 1980s and 1990s, then began teaching journalism, media studies and Web production, most recently as a faculty member at Radford University.

Posted in Computers, Data, Google, Internet, Reporting, Technology

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Categories
Archives
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 47 other followers