when Alberto Cairo tweets about your blog….

….you quickly drop everything and rush to said blog to update it.

So I’m really bad at this thing which is primarily because I’ve been spending a lot of my time updating my team and company about all the great things I learned during Alberto Cairo’s MOOC ‘Introduction to Infographics and Data Visualization’.

But I want to share these learnings far and wide so below are some of the nuggets I’ve been sharing with my Edelman Digital comrades as the Global Knowledge Manager for all things #dataviz:

Hello my name is…

 Brittany Dow with Bear

For those who don’t know me, I work in digital measurement, analytics, and more recently, visualization at Edelman Digital. Last June, I had the opportunity to attend the Eyeo festival <one of the best dataviz conferences around in my humble opinion>. Although sold out for 2013, I encourage all of you to look into it for 2014.

More recently, I took the first ever massive online course (MOOC) taught by Alberto Cairo focused on data visualization and information graphics. I would keep an eye on the courses page for the next session as I strongly believe this is a must attend class if you’re pursuing a career in this field.

Finally, I interviewed Alberto Cairo seeking advice for PR professionals and posted it on Edelman Digital.

Interactive and Physical Data

Data on demand….

The New York Times and the Guardian are currently leading the charge with some of the best interactive visualizations out there. Their work is regularly linked to, discussed, and referred to as best practice. In fact, a student preparing for her thesis developed a website/archive with some of the best examples.  I encourage you to archive this site and use it as a source of inspiration when planning and developing an infographic (static or interactive).

Why interactive?

Interactive infographics and data visualizations allow a reader to explore a data set in a way that may not be possible with something static. Also known as ‘data on demand’, interaction gives the reader the opportunity to personalize and contextualize the information based on their own needs or curiosity.

A great example of this was developed by the NYT leading up to the US election. Focused on the National Conventions, users can isolate certain keywords used during speeches and compare/contrast between each candidate.

Interaction may also be necessary in order to tell a specific story.  For example, GE developed an interactive viz that looked at over a century of annual reports. They wanted to highlight the company’s technological evolution but also reveal and visualize how that looked over time in order to map trends. From there the user can drill down and explore annual reports for more information.

Let’s get physical….

Physical dataviz or data sculptures is an emerging trend that is gaining momentum. A recent example was developed during the summer Olympics in London. The Emoto Project looked at sentiment around the summer games in real-time and was visualized online. This data was then used to create several sculptures which were featured in an art exhibit at the end of the games.

One of the creators of Emoto was Moritz Stefaner (data stor.ies) who recently aired a podcast dedicated to physical dataviz.


Examples of data sculptures
Interactive Data Visualization for the Web

P.S. I realize how similar my blog name is to Manuel Lima’s….unintentional but we’ll say it’s a homage. 😉


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