Visualizing Everpix Data with Vida.io

The Problem:

Data Visualization is a big part of my workflow and as such I am always trying new tools to find what’ll work best for each task. Some of the libraries I’ve been in love with are Plot.ly, NVD3.js, Dimple.js and rCharts. Each of these libraries have distinct advantages and I use them when appropriate. The one commonality among these libraries is that they require some code. Even if it’s simple plug and chug columns into functions, you have to write code and that may be intimidating to some. I ran into Vida.io on a blog and searched for a use case for it. Vida.io is a framework for visualizing data without having to write any code. With the increased interest in data journalism, it seems like a natural fit in that market. I had a dataset that didn’t need any massaging, so I decided to give it a whirl and sign up for an account.

 

Data:

I grabbed the Everpix dataset from Github, which is a repository of internal and external metrics kept by the company, all in CSV format. I took a look at their new users, visits and monthly sales via Stripe. I downloaded this data by doing a git pull and then saving the files I needed on my machine.  

Working with Vida.io:

Formatting charts in the UI is pretty easy.The only troubles I ran into is the d3 formatting. The formatting itself is not hard, you can look throgh the documentation here: https://github.com/mbostock/d3/wiki/Time-Formatting, the only troubles I ran into is understanding the difference between the axis format and the tick format. Once I thought about this the right way I was off to the races. Once your datasets are uploaded you can change the color, line thickness and axis details.

 

Charts:

Visits by Month:

New Users by Month

Thoughts:


For a small amount of data and for exploratory purposes I would recommend Vida.io as a visualization platform. Since most datasets require cleansing, this tool isn’t going to help you at all in that regard so it may be better to just stick with a statistical programming language and get the entire job done. If you you’re looking for a gentle intro to D3, it might be worth it to look through the Javascript files generated by creating a visualization and learning that way. Overall it is a fun platform and it has a ton of potential.