We are all about interactive data visualization at Social Driver. We’ve asked our team of developers, designers and strategists to put their heads together and come up with a few ways data visualization can take your work to the next level.
1. Customize user experience.
Data points shouldn’t just live in a silo. More than one audience might find your information helpful–even if you don’t anticipate that they will. Data visualizations make your information interactive, meaning different people can create a variety of stories from the same data set. Having varied graphs, charts, and customizable features on your website means you can appeal to many audiences without having to know their objectives for visiting your site from the start. This eliminates the guessing game and can grow your reach without much effort.
An example of this coming to life is Honda’s interactive map. The map focuses on data that can be used by dealerships, government affairs teams, and manufacturers, as well as other teams within the company. With heat maps and customizable state data, you can create your own story and experience in a way that a report or a static brochure cannot.
2. Make it more shareable
Have you ever tried to share data from a PDF? Not exactly easy. Copy-pasting is a nightmare and don’t even try to screenshot a graph without it coming out all wonky. Data visualizations allow your info to be programmed and shared easily across mediums. One of our favorite features of data viz reporting is deep linking. This is where you can direct people to specific parts of a page or specific charts through customized URLS. Anyone on any platform can see exactly what you are seeing and take away the same core message.
One site that does a great job implementing shareable features is Change The Equation’s Vital Signs. Each graphic is not only shareable on social media (with a sample tweet right in the text box when you click to tweet it/post it), but if you choose to right click on the graph or data set, your photo is pre-named with CTEq and the right graph category. From every level, this data is shareable and branded so you can track back the info to the source and Change The Equation can maintain brand awareness when their data sets are shared.
3. Tell a better story
Saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” may sound like a cliche, but with data visualizations, it’s true. Creating custom visuals to support your message helps prove a point, and improves your story telling as a whole. It’s one thing to say something, but having a graph or chart to accompany your statement really drives the point home. Your website surely has an overarching goal of what it’s trying to achieve, and data viz may be the missing piece in communicating that message and telling your story the way you want it to be told.
The most famous wordsmith in the western world, William Shakespeare, may prove this point: literary theorists say that shakespeare 28,829 words, arguing that he had the largest vocabulary ever. The website Polygraph wanted to test that theory, comparing shakespeare’s vocabulary to that of Hip Hop artists. The data visualization of all of the artists clearly communicates the story: shakespeare’s vocab was prolific, but he can and has been beat.
If you are interested to find out the beginning process of data visualization, check out this blog that talks about the 3 questions before tackling data visualization.
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