In Data Presentation, Creativity And Clarity Count

One of my favorite blogs that frequently shares data visualizations and infographics, Flowing Data, hosts a recurring community challenge entitled Visualize This. Basically the community remixes original visualizations of data and makes them better.

This is a neat idea by itself you could try out: host a recurring contest to bring your community together and share the content produced back to subscribers. It could be on anything of course, not just data visualizations.

A recent project was on where the public gets their news which is a topic that’s of-interest to readers here, and also the content presented allows me to make a quick point.

The original image shown from PEW research center:

This data shouldn’t surprise anyone and continues to paint the larger story of the world we’ve been talking about for years. You can check out the full report here.

And while the original isn’t bad – a remix of the data (my favourite of the group) makes the point even better:

Note the remixer, Kennedy Elliot:

  • Added clarity by showing % growth
  • Showed high points of each medium
  • Removed all the extraneous numbers minus 1st and last data points (minimizing noise)
  • Clarified what we were looking at with a more descriptive label
  • Drew attention to the medium trending up

Your marketing, media or PR team also spends a lot of time compiling data into reports, presentations and articles. But is it just thrown together, or done thoughtfully? Is it presented as cleanly and articulately as it could be?

You go to all that work to report metrics (and of course trend them up). Seems like elegance in presentation is one of those last mile things most skip. And it’s almost always the last mile that lets you really stand out. Having someone on your team like Kennedy would be invaluable to not just look more professional and creative, but make your data tell the story even better.