Why you need Many Eyes


Have you heard of Many Eyes? Strange name, huh? Well, Many Eyes is a pretty cool and simple service on the web that let’s you visualize and explore data. Need a quick word cloud of Steve Job’s last speech? Sure. Just go to Many Eyes and create it. Need a quick scatter plot of your hear rate and running pace? Just go to Many Eyes and create it there.

IBM Many Eyes


The basic idea of Many Eyes is the following: “You can explore data using your eyes! This site is set up to allow the entire internet community to upload data, visualize it, and talk about their discoveries with other people.” The service is offered by IBM – it is “An experiment brought to you by IBM Research and the IBM Cognos software group”. The site is really easy to use:

  • Upload a data set
  • Choose a visualization type
  • Discover
  • Share with others

Any kind of data set you upload is visible for the community. That is a neat way to share discoveries, find cool stuff and start meaningful discussions.


A few months ago, I started using Many Eyes regularly. It’s a neat way to quickly create some stunning visuals for presentations, blogs and sometimes also just for fun. It takes less than 2-3 minutes to create a beautiful graphic. The cool thing is that Many Eyes provides a bunch of cool and effective visualization types: Work clouds, treemaps, network diagrams. And then there are also the usual things like bubble charts, scatter plots, bar charts, etc.. Overall, a concise but effective portfolio.

Many Eyes
Creating a new visual is super easy

Here is an example: I uploaded the transcript from Steve Job’s analyst call from October 2010 and created a word cloud. Can you tell which competitors and products were on his mind?

Word Cloud Steve JobsROAM IF YOU WANT TO

Many Eyes is community based. You can therefore also roam around and find some cool data sets and visualizations that other people have created.There is some neat stuff there.

Visualization Types
Browse & comment


Give Many Eyes a try when you have a few minutes. It’s good fun and the visuals are easy to create. Most of them look beautiful and make excellent presentation material. Perfect for those moments when you find some data on the web or receive a last minute csv file for a meeting.

You can find the site here: http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/





One response to “Why you need Many Eyes”

  1. I love Many Eyes, such a cool tool! I have it bookmarked in my toolbar.