With a publisher network of 200,000 websites who reach 300 million people every month, Shareaholic has access to quite a bit of data. You’ve read about it before in our previous data reports, but it’s sometimes hard to grasp the full magnitude of our data set without seeing it in action.
As we are planning to go to the MIT Career Fair later this week (psst…we’re hiring), we thought it would be a great chance to give you all a glimpse into the world of big data by creating a visualization of our own. Check it out below along with a behind-the-scenes look at the data visualization process from our Data Scientist, Joseph Kibe:
What does the data visualization show?
A few weeks ago, our team tasked me with a project: whip up something interesting to show the fresh-faced folks visiting our booth at the MIT Career Fair for this week. We threw ideas back and forth until settling on something fairly simple: a data visualization summarizing the pageview data we receive.
The result allows us to observe some of the state of our pageview data stream. We see, for a given window, the total pageviews processed; the velocity of pageviews over time; the density of pageviews by country; and a few dozen of the top-viewed pages across our network.
How does the data visualization work?
Unfortunately, it wasn’t feasible to hook my data visualization into our raw data stream to do a truly real-time visualization — that’s a topic for another post — but I was able to do the next best thing: stream in the raw data logs we store in S3, which weigh in at roughly a gigabyte per hour, uncompressed.
Both the streamer — the component that reads the log files — and the visualizer, which accepts the data and presents it, are written in Python. The former component is really quite simple: a script that opens, reads and parses the log file data, and then pushes it to the visualizer.
But in the end, I pulled it out, and we wound up with something neat to show off the growing stream of data we process.
Intrigued by big data? We’re always looking for talented people to join our team! Click here to see our latest opportunities.