Some of these visualizations can help Google Cloud customers better serve their own users. Understanding customer usage patterns to the point where they can be predicted more precisely would help companies to handle traffic congestion and improve user experience. And Talbott finds it’s better to find out where in the world customers can help vendors to improve their services as well. Talbott told Engadget that Google Cloud examined whether it could outperform this kind of insights for its customers in the future.
Other information that came from data visualizations, but not necessarily useful for service improvements, was surprisingly for Talbott. The team looked at how correlated digital traffic was landed and in some cases there were patterns that you can predict. Countries close to each other working in the same time zones often had similar storage patterns.
But there were also some unexpected correlations. Talbott said that Italy and South Africa’s traffic was highly correlated, as well as for a Caribbean country and Canada. He called these correlated pairs of “digital friends” and said revealing them was a surprising and quite interesting part of the project. “What do companies and users in South Africa act like they have access to their data for them in Italy?” He said, although Google does not have a good answer to that question yet.
In the video above you can see how storage traffic changes all day for different countries, and this is where data can get a little fascinating. Bubbles move up or down depending on the data direction with their size representing the amount of data. “Looking at Cloud Storage requests over time showed us a clear pattern, the pattern gave us a way to correlate countries, and each correlation gave us insight into relations around the world,” said the team. Talbott added that while parts of this type of work may be useful to those who use the service, it can also be just pretty cute. “You can make storage beautiful when you look at it differently,” he said, “so you can really create some thoughtful insights for your customers.”