A few days ago, I was watching a TED talk by David McCandless where he said something that has moved me. His words were,
data is the new oil, data is the new soil.
Data is raw and unusable without proper management and handling. Google has stepped into this business with its service Google Refine 2.0.
Google Refine is a rebranding of the Freebase Gridworks service Google acquired as a part of the Metaweb acquisition. The service works with the data to provide it with easy and powerful tools to remove inconsistencies, transform data, using web-services with the data, and linking it to a database. As the Google open-source blog says, the service can work wonders with messy data.
Google Refine 2.0 will serve an excellent back-end for data visualization services. It has been well received by the Chicago Tribune and open-government data communities. Along with Google Squared, Refine 2.0 can create a powerful research tool. Learn more on the service from these video. The open-source project hosting can be found here.