Category: data visualization

The Evolution of Media: Visualizing a Data-Driven Future


This post is by Jeff Desjardins from Visual Capitalist


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The Evolution of Media: Visualizing a Data-Driven Future

In today’s highly-connected and instantaneous world, we have access to a massive amount of information at our fingertips.

Historically, however, this hasn’t always been the case.

Time travel back just 20 years ago to 2002, and you’d notice the vast majority of people were still waiting on the daily paper or the evening news to help fill the information void.

In fact, for most of 2002, Google was trailing in search engine market share behind Yahoo! and MSN. Meanwhile, early social media incarnations (MySpace, Friendster, etc.) were just starting to come online, and all of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and the iPhone did not yet exist.

The Waves of Media So Far

Every so often, the dominant form of communication is upended by new technological developments and changing societal preferences.

These transitions seem to be happening faster over time, aligning with the accelerated progress of technology.

  • Proto-Media (50,000+ years)
    Humans could only spread their message through human activity. Speech, oral tradition, and manually written text were most common mediums to pass on a message.
  • Analog and Early Digital Media (1430-2004)
    The invention of the printing press, and later the radio, television, and computer unlock powerful forms of one-way and cheap communication to the masses.
  • Connected Media (2004-current)
    The birth of Web 2.0 and social media enables participation and content creation for everyone. One tweet, blog post, (Read more...)

5 Megatrends Fueling the Rise of Data Storytelling


This post is by Nick Routley from Visual Capitalist


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Infographic explaining the Rise of Data Storytelling

Infographic: The Rise of Data Storytelling

Humanity is creating more data than ever before, and more of that data is publicly accessible.

While “data is the new oil” has almost become a cliché, the impact that data abundance is having on the world is undeniable. All of the world’s most valuable companies are heavily reliant on data for their continued success. Even oil giant Saudi Aramco, the world’s most valuable company, runs a 6,000 m² data center, and is partnering with Google Cloud.

In a world where nearly everything is quantified, communicating insights from that data becomes a massive opportunity. This is where data storytelling comes in. In simple terms, it’s the difference between simply making a chart, and actually explaining what it means, why it’s important, and how it fits into the broader context. This style of data-driven communication is cropping up everywhere, from newsrooms to corporate communications.

Here, we examine five megatrends fueling the rise of data storytelling.

① Information Overload

It’s estimated that between 2015 and 2025, the world will see a 16-fold increase in data.

  • The bad news: The rising tide of information is growing faster than our ability to harness it
  • The good news: This growing universe of data holds the promise of more insight, if properly utilized

Thankfully, data storytelling is an emerging field that thrives on information abundance.

(Read more...)

Our Top 21 Visualizations of 2021


This post is by Nick Routley from Visual Capitalist


Another tumultuous year is coming to a close. While volatility can be stressful at times, it does provide fertile ground for the Visual Capitalist team to explain what’s happening using a mix of art, data, and storytelling.

In this eighth edition of our yearly round-up, we’ve curated a small selection of our most noteworthy work. Visualizations are highlighted because they reached a wide audience, sparked lively conversations, or broke new ground in design and data-driven reporting.

Let’s dive in to our countdown of the top 21 visualizations of 2021.

Editor’s note: Click on any preview below to see the full-sized version of a visualization.

#21

The World Leaders In Positions of Power (1970-Today)

The World Leaders In Positions of Power (1970-Today)

Who were the world leaders when the Berlin Wall fell? How many women have been heads of state in prominent governments? And who are the newest additions to the list of world leaders?

The world’s superpowers have had a myriad of leaders over the years, but at the same time, it’s clear that some leaders have been able to stay in power longer than others.

For example, since 1970, Japan has had 25 different heads of state, while the U.A.E has had only two in the same period.

#20

Ranked: The World’s Fastest Growing Cities

Ranked: The World's Fastest Growing Cities

Urbanization is one of the megatrends shaping the future of the global economy. With the world’s population expected to exceed 8 billion in the next 12 months or so, many cities, especially in Africa and Asia, are still growing rapidly.

This visualization (Read more...)

All the Biomass of Earth, in One Graphic


This post is by Iman Ghosh from Visual Capitalist


Visualizing All the Biomass on Earth

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All the Biomass of Earth, in One Graphic

Our planet supports approximately 8.7 million species, of which over a quarter live in water.

But humans can have a hard time comprehending numbers this big, so it can be difficult to really appreciate the breadth of this incredible diversity of life on Earth.

In order to fully grasp this scale, we draw from research by Bar-On et al. to break down the total composition of the living world, in terms of its biomass, and where we fit into this picture.

Why Carbon?

A “carbon-based life form” might sound like something out of science fiction, but that’s what we and all other living things are.

Carbon is used in complex molecules and compounds—making it an essential part of our biology. That’s why biomass, or the mass of organisms, is typically measured in terms of carbon makeup.

In our visualization, one cube represents 1 million metric tons of carbon, and every thousand of these cubes is equal to 1 Gigaton (Gt C).

Here’s how the numbers stack (Read more...)

Airtable makes Bayes its first acquisition to up its data visualization game



Airtable, the makers of the no code relational database, announced its first acquisition today, acquiring Bayes, an early stage visualization startup. The purpose of the purchase is to enhance the data visualizations on the Airtable platform. The companies did not share the purchase price.

Much like Airtable, Bayes focuses on a no-code approach and the two companies have a shared vision about simplifying activities that once required engineering talent to pull off. Airtable CEO and co-founder Howie Liu says that while he hasn’t really been thinking about acquisitions, this opportunity came along and he liked how the team and product fit in with the Airtable no-code philosophy.

“We fell in love with the team and the product that they had built insofar as it showed us their vision for for doing data visualization in a really interesting and user friendly way that we thought would be applicable…and in spirit to be able to apply that kind of design thinking to Airtable’s product and enable our customers to basically better visualize their data,” Liu said.

Bayes’s four employees have joined Airtable and the plan is to shut down the product and incorporate the functionality into Airtable in the coming months.

Will Strimling, company co-founder says his startup matched up well with Airtable, which he said was a huge inspiration for his company since it launched in 2019. He said that it seemed like they could be better together after the two companies began (Read more...)

Atlassian is acquiring Chartio to bring data visualization to the platform



The Atlassian platform is chock full of data about how a company operates and communicates. Atlassian launched a machine learning layer, which relies on data on the platform with the addition of Atlassian Smarts last fall. Today the company announced it was acquiring Chartio to add a new data analysis and visualization component to the Atlassian family of products. The companies did not share a purchase price.

The company plans to incorporate Chartio technology across the platform, starting with Jira. Before being acquired, Chartio has generated its share of data, reporting that 280,000 users have created 10.5 million charts for 540,000 dashboards pulled from over 100,000 data sources.

Atlassian sees Chartio as way to bring that data visualization component to the platform and really take advantage of the data locked inside its products. “Atlassian products are home to a treasure trove of data, and our goal is to unleash the power of this data so our customers can go beyond out-of-the-box reports and truly customize analytics to meet the needs of their organization,” Zoe Ghani, head of product experience at platform at Atlassian wrote in a blog post announcing the deal.

Chartio co-founder and CEO Dave Fowler wrote in a blog post on his company website that the two companies started discussing a deal late last year, which culminated in today’s announcement. As is often the case in these deals, he is arguing that his company will be better off as part of large organization like (Read more...)