6 inspiring data visualization examples to brighten your week

By: Chris Peters, Business Analyst (New York)

Data has always been an integral part of any business strategy – knowing your audience or tracking the progress of your product are all insightful ways to grow and adapt a business towards success. Today almost every company across all industries rely heavily on data to understand all the factors that affect their company and their trajectory. At Rokt, we understand the importance of decisions made with data-backed insights and often inform this sentiment to our own customers.

Deemed the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”, the utilization of data to inform business decisions has grown astronomically since the early 2000s. But it’s not enough to simply read the data in order to understand it. Data should depict a tangible story in order for the information to be acted on. This need has brought the emergence of data visualization or “vizzes” for the abbreviation-inclined. Data vizzes have become beneficial for complex data sets to be understood through thoughtful use of design. Here we handpicked some of the most creative and inspirational data visualization examples and detail the elements included in each that successfully bring the data to life.

Example #1 – The data is easy to understand.

When presenting data in the form of a vizze, it should be easily comprehensible to its audience. This diagram depicts the topline stats of the most popular music streaming services. It uses both numbers and graphs to illustrate a number of different data points and accompanies them with color coding to provide a line into which set belongs to which service.

Example #2 – Uses data subject as a design element.

Data can often be quite dense, so why not make it more fun? This graph utilizes the subject of the data set, what types of fish are okay to eat, as a design element. Each type of fish and crustacean is clearly defined which helps to inform viewers, including this analyst, as to what each type of underwater critter actually looks like.

Example #3 – Employs animation.

Animation is an exciting way to bring your data to life. This map illustrates domestic and international flight activity in the U.S. on Thanksgiving in 2015 based on data from Google Flights. The legend box identifies the most popular airlines with corresponding colors.

Example #4 – The data is interesting.

At its core, data helps to uncover information previously unknown. This data vizze poses to answer an age-old question: are we alone in the universe? Based on the Drake Equation (not that Drake), users can manipulate each data set within the diagram to calculate the number of extraterrestrial civilizations that may exist in our galaxy. It even includes tip cards to guide the non-science-savvy through each data point.

Example #5 – Engages the user through interaction.

This Snake oil superfoods visualization invites users to interact with the data. Users are able to change the bubble colors to group the data by evidence or superfood type, adjust bubble size by popularity or scientific interest and even filter through the information. Users are also invited to learn more about each superfood by hovering over each to discover the health issues it claims to solve for.

Example #6 – The data tells a story.

With all the numbers and persona clusters, it can be easy to forget that data can be used to tell a story and data visualization is the perfect companion to illustrate what that is. Diversity especially in the tech industry as become an overwhelmingly hot button topic. This visualization mainly focuses on the lack of diversity in both gender and ethnicity in tech companies but also across U.S. population, Fortune 500 CEOs and U.S. Congress. Luckily, we have come to a point where this story is a work in progress.