Microsoft joins the fray

I wasn’t expecting Microsoft to get into the online data visualization game before Google, but here they are. Microsoft Research has launched DataDepot, “a site that lets you track, analyze, and share trend lines”. It looks like the development team has populated the site with plenty of initial datasets.

From a very quick first glance:

  • Charts are rendered using SilverLight.
  • You can embed charts via iframes.
  • DataDepot refers to each chart as a “track”. There are also “combined tracks” which seem to be overlays of multiple charts with the same Y axis.
  • Quality of the visualizations is so-so. Definitely superior to the Flash output from iCharts, but not as nice as Many Eyes or Swivel. Pointless shaded backgrounds. Bad color selection. The thumbnail image generated for the DataDepot home page is unintelligible.
  • Data can be extracted from the site in an XML format.

(via Matt Hurst’s Data Mining blog.)


2 Responses to “Microsoft joins the fray”

  1. 1 wilsonmichael68
    October 3, 2008 at 11:05 am

    Cool “new” stuff from Microsoft.
    My questions:
    1: Is it raelly a new feature?
    2: Can they really beat swivel or many-eyes?( I doubt it!)

    I would encourage you to check out http://www.youcalc.com
    Instead of having to upload data sets (which then become static) this platform lets you connect live to data sources (most APIs supported) and generate interactive charts that are always up-to-date.


    Check them out!

  2. 2 sjc
    October 8, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    YouCalc is pretty rockin, especially with the ability to make your own data source.

    note that DataDepot does provide live datasets, although they are system provided. In fact, there are ~25k live datasets.

    Example – Obama poll numbers + McCain poll numbers + Dow Jones: http://datadepot.msresearch.us/Track.aspx?t=31268

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