Remember that New York Times piece on the results of the Democratic Primary election results? It seems that they are not alone in exploring the use of Rich Internet Applications (RIA) to help visualize and explore complex data.
Jonathan Boutelle has a blog entry citing several other examples and proclaiming
RIA technology is superbly suited to rendering this kind of large data set. What you typically want to do with a data set is explore it, drilling down into different sections of the data or turning it around to see different summary views of the data. This interaction pattern doesn't work if there's system latency: during a pause of more than a second or so, users lose attentional focus, and forget the information from the data view they just saw. This is why MacroMedia always mentions "executive dashboards" as a primary use case for RIA technology.
There’s lots of exciting work going on in the area of visualizing complex data; we’re even exploring the use of a simple RIA for visualizing the results of public surveys at the investment company where i work.
Stay tuned for a glimpse of data visualization in action.