Recently some work with a UK Sector Skills Council has involved investigating tag clouds for visualising database content.

We thought what better way to test out some ideas than to rapidly prototype the database structure with portalBase and plug in a facility for visualising a cloud of words from data in it? We quickly did this and found some useful results, but it also turns out that tag clouds are a great way of summarising lots of different types of data, so the facility is now generally available, tweaked and honed in GTpB version 2.1!

To see a tag cloud of your own data, simply go to the summary tab of any report. The cloud automatically appears as part of the summary and will change as you filter data. It’s really useful for bringing new people up to speed with systems as it gives a quick overview of what the data’s all about.

Here are some examples –

A cloud from our own projects database:


Words from the issue log for a web application software development:


One of the reports from a food sales invoicing system: