How do people prototype their quantitiative visualizations

June 15th, 2012

Been a while since I blogged. There are a lot of things in the works but they involve a fair bit of scripting, thus I’m spending more time smoothing out the rough edges before I blog them. Projects include

  • new 10046 parser aimed at analyizing I/O specifically
  • IO/ZFS/NFS monitor for NFS filers running on top of ZFS
  • TCP dump analyzer for NFS traffic speeds
  • wrapper for fio to run a database centric set of I/O benchmarks and formate the output nicely
  • orastat – a vmstat like tool for monitoring Oracle I/O latency and IOPs
  • moats.sql exention to include I/O histograms. Might have to release this as a separate tool if Adrian and Tanel don’t incorporate the changes
  • Analysis of the impact of filesytemio_options on non-buffer cache I/O

But in the mean time, methods of visualizing quantitative data are consistently of  interest to me. Excel, Tableau and R have all been recent tools that I’ve used. R recently came to the top of the pile as the only tool of the 3 that could properly graph a 3 dimensional graph. R is on the list of exciting tools to spend more time with. At a recent D3 meetup in SF, the majority of attendees used R to do mockups before coding the visualizations in D3. On that note, what are the tools other people are using. Here is a good list from the Eyeo conference:


  • Hand-written calculations and paper highlights (Stefanie Posavec)
  • Java (Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viegas)
  • Processing and MySQL, pdf exported into Illustrator and InDesign (Felton)
  • Tableau and Excel and Gephi and Processing and Photoshop (Moritz Stefaner)
  • R (Amanda Cox) [I know this from the Chartsnthings blog and a previous talk; although the NYT Graphics team uses many other visual design and development tools as a group]
  • Processing (Ben Fry, Wes Grubbs, Jer Thorp)
  • Dat.GUI (Koblin)

of the list above, check out the blog from Amanda Cox and NYT Graphic Team: Chartsnthings blog



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  2. July 17th, 2012 at 17:12 | #1

    Hey Kyle
    Any chance you can quit screwing around with all that real work and concentrate on this instead? :-)
    I’m particularly interested in the 10046 parser for getting I/O details out…

  3. July 18th, 2012 at 05:04 | #2

    @Flash DBA,
    Thanks for the suggestion of taking a well earned vacation from the graphic visualization stuff. Here is a post on the breezy subject of parsing Oracle 10046 trace files. More to come on the subject but here is a start:
    – Kyle

  4. August 15th, 2012 at 10:06 | #3

    Thanks for hepling me to see things in a different light.

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