28/7/2017

Facets

 

A visualisation tool for big data.

It’s impossible to look at a dataset and understand it intuitively. But now that Google has open-sourced Facets this task has become a lot easier.

Rather than spending large amounts of time developing graphs to understand big data, Facets does the hard work for you. It is essentially made up of two visualization aids: Overview and Dive, which allow you to input data and explore its nuances. You can get a sense of the shape of each feature of your dataset using Facets Overview, or explore individual observations using Facets Dive.

Facets Overview

Overview gives a high level view of one or more data sets. It produces a visual feature-by-feature statistical analysis, and can also be used to compare statistics across two or more data sets. The tool can process both numeric and string features, including multiple instances of a number or string per feature.

Overview can help uncover issues with datasets, including the following:

  • Unexpected feature values
  • Missing feature values for a large number of examples
  • Training/serving skew
  • Training/test/validation set skew


Image: Facets Overview.

In particular, Overview provides an easy mechanism for the discovery of outlier detection and distribution comparison across multiple datasets. Other interesting values, such as a high proportion of missing data, or very different distributions of a feature across multiple datasets, are also easy to identify, via red highlighting. And if there’s a feature you’re more interested in, these can be sorted by values of interest such as the number of missing values or the skew between the different datasets.

A live demo is available here.

Facets Dive

Dive is a tool for interactively exploring up to tens of thousands of multidimensional data points, allowing users to seamlessly switch between a high-level overview and low-level details. Each example is a represented as single item in the visualization and the points can be positioned by faceting/bucketing in multiple dimensions by their feature values. Combining smooth animation and zooming with faceting and filtering, Dive makes it easy to spot patterns and outliers in complex data sets.

A live demo is available here.

Image: Facets Dive.

Explore Facets here.

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