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iPad Program Let's You Touch Your Data

Kinetica_screenshot

As more devices add touch capabilities, doesn't it make sense that your data should be flexible enough to push around?

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University may be on to something big when it comes to manipulating Big Data.  Jeffrey Rzeszotarski, a Ph.D. student in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute and Aniket Kittur, an assistant professor at the Institute took a look at how to use new touch-screen technologies like the iPad or Galaxy Tabs to better manipulate data found in spreadsheets and the like.

The proof of concept idea is called "Kinetica" and it's inspiring to see how cool data manipulation can be. Data points are rendered as colored dots. Using standard touchscreen hand gestures, users can sort, filter and pull data points to form new views of data ties.

The Kinetica app can load any Excel XLS, CSV, and TSV table of data. Users can mix and match techniques to investigate more than five dimensions on one iPad screen.

Kinetica_example

From the website:

"Here a user is trying to understand how models of cars (the circles) differ based on manufacturing country (color) and horsepower (x-axis). As she has a budget, she dragged all models over $40,000 to the top of the chart using a filter. Because the circles still feel a pull to their place on the chart, it's easy to see that many of the expensive models had high horsepower.

Here's a short video that gives you a feel for the project.

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