I had to watch the TEDTalk a few times before I got the gist of what Gary Flake was getting at with his Pivot demo. It wasn’t until I tried a few demos available on the Web that it started to sink in how interesting a tack on data this tool takes.
Some of the interactive demos of the PivotViewer provided me the needed hands-on opportunity to see for myself how it can make data come to life and show some very interesting trends.
Another intriguing use of Pivot is at tweetpivot.com. I tried the tool as it appears on the Web page, and it allowed me to see a number of different trends at a glance. Since I have a very small Twitter list, it was more fun to plug in the user names of more popular Twitterers than I. There’s a limit of 1,000 Twitter users in any Pivot graph. Tweetpivot makes a beta Twitter client available, which seems to have much more functionality as seen in the “Lap Around TweetPivot Twitter Client.”
I hope to see more of Pivot technology, or at least more of it’s capabilities in use on the Web. It’s a fun and illuminating way of playing with data.