Big Sheets, a new product of tech Goliath IBM, collects, extracts, and enriches “gigabytes, terabytes, or petabytes” (read: tons) of unstructured data from all over the web and lets you visualize the data in a way you choose. People have used data like this to perform sentiment analyses to predict elections and box office blockbusters (see this video starting at about 3:15), and IBM also envisions its usefulness for “Digital Democracy,” or what we have been calling Government 2.0. IBM claims with this new product they can find data on Parliament’s voting records, members of Parliaments names, bills and debates, and a timeline of events and mash it up and enrich it to provide insights on who is doing what, what people aren’t doing, and examine voting records by demographic over time.
Since the beginning, the internet has offered incredible increases in communication speed and information accessibility. In order to take the internet’s value to the next level, a device to organize the plethora of public and private data that exists on its millions of websites is absolutely necessary. Big Sheets appears to be just that.
- Terra Curtis