Wednesday, August 27, 2008

For The Time Series Folks

I stumbled across this tool will looking at Google Spreadsheets yesterday. Then I learned that others (here and here) have posted on this from a while back. This might be quite useful in addition to being fun and entertaining.

In my little example, there are two dimensions of numerical data, in this case income and wealth. I generated the data as follows. Income is a uniformly distributed random variable from -50 to 50. [Rand()*100-50]. Wealth is last year's wealth plus this year's income. Initial wealth is 10,000. There are three fictitious individuals plotted over a 50 year interval. Two of those individuals are female. The other is a male. Gender is one categorical variable. If you have your mouse hover over the bubble, it should indicate the name of that individual. There is also another column of random variables between 0 and 1 that can be used to size the bubbles.

Whether this is useful for real data I leave to others. Here is a specification of Google Spreadsheets limits on size. That might help determine the use value of this application. But it is definitely cool, no doubt.

By the way, originally I couldn't get the player to install. My time period started 0,1, 2, etc. Ultimately I changed that to 4 digit years and it worked fine. So if you do try it, don't make that mistake.

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