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Nostradamus And Big Data

With my recent passion to learn more about the French history, the country where I’ve been living for half an year now. I had to start reading about the inviolable Nostradamus who is deeply embedded in the roots of the French culture. Reading about his work and visiting his heritage home inspired me to write about him and of course, confront him to my passion for data analysis.


Nostradamus Museum, Salon de Provence, France

While visiting his ancient house (preserved as a museum now), I discovered  figures and numbers on the walls, tables and almost everywhere else, depicting the art to handle data manually and obviously without any technologies involved.

Big data analysis has become Nostradamus of 21st century, helping us to find and predict the near future with a high accuracy. We analyze and project our data like it used to be in 16th century, wherein only the ways of interpretation and projection have changed.

Let me jot down the common forecasts we analyze with Big data which might be an example to see if we are behind time or Nostradamus was way ahead centuries ago:

#Climate change


Early predictions by Nostradamus which later, were recognized as Zodiac signs

Nostradamus: A lot of Nostradamus’s predictions were exact before centuries.  He predicted a number of gradual climate changes that will occur and affect the earth. He also mentioned green house effect in his early prophecies and their adverse effects on environment.

 21st Century: Scientists do almost exact weather forecasts today. The simulations produced are available from a broader range of models. Taken together with additional information from observations, these provide a quantitative basis for estimating likelihoods for many aspects of future climate change. Model simulations cover a range of possible futures including idealized emission or concentration assumptions.
The concept of green house gases is a World known fact now, and many major consequences of global warming are well documented. This has been already documented in some of Nostradamus’s  prophecies as a reason for more droughts and floods in coming future.


#Zodiac signs

Nostradamus: Centuries ago, zodiac signs were discovered and practiced by Nostradamus, by looking at the position of different stars in the solar system.

21 Century:  Scientists and researchers have scientific explanations now behind the concept of  zodiac signs, that are based on Motion Of Celestial Bodies. These concepts are well elucidated  by physicists.



#Nostradamus: During the deadly outbreaks of plague disease, when million of people lost their lives looking for a cure,  Nostradamus was the most famous doctor during black death years. He recommended his patients to drink only boiled water, to sleep in clean beds and to leave infected towns as soon as it was possible. It was him, who saved lives of countless people by explaining them basic hygiene tips and  prophylactic  measures.

21 Century: Scientists identified different strains of diseases, can anticipate their virulence, developed treatments and eradicated totally or partially specific diseases from the planet (Rinderpest). Many antibiotics have been introduced since centuries now along with the thorough understanding and knowledge of the disease.

Careful study of data drawn about disease’s geographical distribution pattern have helped scientists to trace contacts & take necessary control measures for households located in high risk areas, strengthening of disease surveillance and case management, and sensitization of the affected population.

# He also gave clues about the consequences of attacks on environment (which were interpreted as nuclear attacks by many authors)  as “the sky will boil at 45°”. While looking at the facts, I found an interesting research work stating the global temperatures plunges upto 20°C to 40°C for several months after a nuclear attack, which matches nearly as documented by him.

Nostradamus’s extraordinary and crucial contributions to the world are beyond words can explain. But a question still arises, will Big data replace Nostradamus for the upcoming centuries?

In all cases, hundreds of Nostradamus’s prophecies about sudden tragedies and natural calamities are beyond the level of calculations, no matter how much technological advancements can predict!

Let’s Be Creative This Fall

 Send us your best data presentations!

To celebrate the arrival of the season where leaves are falling from the trees and you don’t know whether to keep up with your t-shirt or put on a sweater, Jolicharts invites you to send us your best data visualizations.

Every week we’ll select the best work and add it to the official gallery on the Jolicharts website. We’ll also publish an interview of the winner here on this blog – an excellent way to make your organisation known by thousands of our users instantly.

How does it work?

All you have to do is to create & share your data presentations by simply sending us their public URL or posting it directly to our Facebook or Twitter (#JCDatavizContest) pages.

Try it out and give your creativity a golden chance. We are waiting for your cool ideas ;-)


Myths Uncovered About Data Visualization

For a long time, I have been noticing how big and open data can be easily simplified and interacted with new visualization methods and techniques. But, since not everyone knows the secrets of building a successful visualization, I found it necessary to share this article about myths and reality of effective data visualization I came across lately.

#Myth: Data visualization is easy.

#In Reality: Although data visualization seems easy, projecting the correct values (units, numbers) holds as much importance as the dataset itself. Sometimes, authors just skip the part while assigning values or units and this might result in the complete “bizarre” of the message itself.

#Myth: Data visualization is for grabbing people’s attention for eye-catching displays!

#In Reality: The whole sole purpose of a data visualization is to project data in a very compelling way and NOT  to compromise the contents for its artistry. Data can always be presented in several ways alluring to the eyes, but it should always represent the authenticity of its contents.


A pie chart illustrating %age spending by 12 companies in advertising.

#Myth: Any beautiful chart would present my info

#In Reality:  This is absolutely not appropriate to project your data with any graph available. Using certain graphs adds more value to the existing data set. For example, pie & donut charts are best in choice when a percentage fraction is to be shown. Also, scatter charts are best when a two dimensional data is needed to be set.

#Myth: Data Visualization is for those who have difficulty looking at the figures!

#In Reality: The primary purpose of data visualization is to make complicated figures more reader friendly and NOT for those who have difficulty in looking at figures. As it is rightly said “Data visualization is not dumbed-down expression of quantitative concepts.”

#Myth: I need to be professionally trained to project awesome data visualization.

#In Reality: No, you don’t have to master in any specialty to be able to project your figures beautifully. A little knowledge and careful study of the figures would suffice.