My year in attention (and yours)

Jon Udell has put together a demo showing how (ahem) easy it is with standard business tools to create a dynamic visualization of your data. Result: it took a handfull of different tools and two different programming languages to show the evolution of his interests via That’s like asking a weekend duffer to shoot par at Augusta. It’s completely beyond reasonable expectations--success takes skill in not just one but multiple areas.

We’re able to do a little more with Excel than Jon and we’re happy to present the dynamic tag cloud viewer. This Excel tool downloads your delicious links and creates an animation that shows the evolution of your attention over the course of the year. Download the tool and try it on your own delicious history.

To see it in action, here’s a screencast showing the evolution of my attention over the course of the year.

My Year in Attention

We appreciate Jon’s perspective; business analytics is a mess. Visualization and animation is possible in theory but not in common practice.

Unfortunately, with more and richer data becoming available to business analysts, the need to answer ad-hoc questions on semi-structured data is becoming the common case. We hoping 2006 brings tools that open up ad-hoc data exploration, visualization and animation to a wide audience. We’ll be doing our part--stay tuned.