Wednesday, June 18, 2008

On the Visualization of Mathematics (Analytics)

While reading articles on analytics and mobile devices, it occurred to me that I need to be clearer on explaining my vision on the visualization of mathematics. I believe that the visualization of mathematics, by using analytics techniques, will transform the way we do business the same way the invention of the printing press transformed the world. Mathematics is the universal language, and its visualization is a form of expression. This is where business, science, and technology meet.

Before the printing press was invented, knowledge was in the purview of a few individuals who knew how to read. Once the press was invented, knowledge and communication became available to all. With the advent of word processing software, more people could not only read but write within their own sphere of influence. Of course, the ability to read and write does not mean that everyone will be a Shakespeare, Neruda, or Solzhenitsyn. The same is true with the visualization of mathematics. The analytics power users will not disappear; if anything, they will become more visible within an organization.

Sometimes we tend to equate Excel reports with analytics. This is a mistake. Reports have a limited capacity to represent the full spectrum of analytics. The alphabet is the fundamental of writing, but only represents a very limited spectrum of the capacity of expression of written communication. A poem by Robert Frost, a novel by Garcia Marquez or J.K. Rowling can create thousands of similar but slightly different mental pictures to different readers.

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. We are living in a world of large datasets. Companies, governments, and organizations are challenged everyday in storing large datasets that contain structured and unstructured data. We have mobile devices that have enlarged real-time communications in ways that 20 years ago were unimaginable. Science has progressed to bring us the capacity to store and analyze large volumes of data. We can combine the advances of business, science, and technology with the capacity of the human brain by visualizing analytics.

The human brain is made to perceive, understand and analyze three-dimensional geometrical configurations. See, The Attention System of the Human Brain at: Mathematics is the foundation of analytics, as the alphabet is the basis for written communication. Analytics can be turned into three-dimensional geometrical configurations that will change the way we make decisions by giving us an evidence-supported decision support system within our own sphere of influence. Analytics is not a report. The power of the visualization of analytics will allow each person to “see” the same analysis but will allow each person to have a slightly different interpretation of how to apply that knowledge in her own life. The visualization of analytics will transform the world by having the power of mathematics at the fingertips of everyone.


Anonymous said...

alberto, I have to comment about your statement "visualization of analytics will allow each person to “see” the same analysis but will allow each person to have a slightly different interpretation".

With good analytics, humans should not be faced with a page of data and be forced to search for meaning like a "Where's Waldo" challenge. 'Slightly' different interpretation - ok. Being left to figure out if there is anything of value at all on the page - worthless.
Good analytics should make worthy observations immediately obvious.

alberto said...

"Good analytics make worthy observations immediately obvious"

1. Mathematics (analytics) are not good or bad, they are quantitative science. The application of these concepts could be "better than".

2. The history of science has shown that what it was "obvious" with the knowledge that we had at one time, it was not "correct" after we gain further knowledge. Two examples:
1. The earth is at the center of the universe.
2. Pluto is a planet

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