Sosius launches a zoomable fractal map of data pleasure and pain

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I don’t cover enterprise applications often, but today Sosius launches something that not only made me sit up and notice, but I could also see scaling into a tool which almost any web application could make use of. Sosius provides online collaboration and group workspaces, but before you close this tab, you need to check out their new visualization application. This is a fascinating tool I’ve seen demonstrated live which allows you to plug in any kind of data and then map it into a fractal map that can be zoomed into – almost to an infinite point, depending on how deep the data goes.

The tool was originally designed to allow businesses to visualize where the pressure and pain points were in their projects. The visualization is colour-coded and reveals patterns, trends and oddities on any
given project which has structured data. So for example, imagine you have a profit and loss spreadsheet which pertains to a multitude of different departments within a complex organisation. Using Sosius , you can upload the document, click on the the visualization tool, and then see problems areas marked out in red, with varying shades all the way out to the areas that are doing well, which are outlined in green. The effect, as it was being demoed to me last week in San Francisco, was startling enough to attract the attention of a health-care company person who promptly handed their card to Andrew Cameron-Webb, CTO and founder of Sosius.

That works in terms of enterprisises. But what about wider web applications? Where it gets interesting is that Sosius has a full open API which anyone can apply to their data. This already allows an interface with spreadsheets on Zoho for instance. So in theory you could – for example – plug in a site’s traffic data and instantly drill down into specific pages that are not performing well and work out why.

Cameron-Webb says the tool was built because their clients started asking for it and so they built it, not unlike the Basecamp story. It launch today for enterprise customers and in May for users of the free version of Sosius aimed at SMEs.

To better illustrate the effect check out this screencast:

    • Avichal Garg

      heads up: the video embed says it’s a private video

    • Mike

      Video seems to be set to private

    • Rowdyeh

      Private video! Doh!

    • The_Mainlander

      Damn, was hoping to see this in action with the youtube vid – is this becuase it was an IP issue?

    • Jules Morgan

      I think Mike does it deliberately…

    • Azeem


      Looks like sosius is using Fractal Edge’s technology. FE is a UK tech business which has been around a few years.

      You can check there tech on:

    • Mike Butcher

      Ah, darn – apologies people, Sosius have forgotten to un-private the video – trying to get a hold of them now…

    • Mike Butcher

      Ok, sorted – video now viewable

    • Kristy

      wow, looks like amazing technology

    • Pete Austin

      How is this Web? It’s cool, but it looks like client-server, presumably acessed by Citrix/RDP/Sliverlight, or similar. @Azeem is right about the supplier.

    • sky

      This is just a fancy heatmap. It has been done many times before.

    • Azeem

      It is definitely fractal edge and i am happy to put you guys in touch with them as i know the team very well.

      It is quite different to a heatmap in terms of the depth of recursion you can take it to.

    • Richard Laughton

      @Azeem, thanks for the spot, Sosius are indeed using some of our technology under license to provide the visualization and they’re combining our front-end display with their own capabilities in the plumbing to provide a unique view of social data.

      We’re delighted to be working with Sosius to take enhanced visual analytics beyond the traditional on-site enterprise market – where the vast majority of our customers are right now – to anyone with large amounts of connected data… which is, er, everyone, right?

    • Jason M. Lemkin

      Pretty cool. Congrats to Sosius team here.

    • Mat

      This looks like a great app. I can see real benefits being able to visualise info stored on our Sosius account. Looking forward to getting hold of the free version in May.

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