Data visualization is the new digital storytelling platform, if entries for last November’s Information is Beautiful Awards are anything to go by...
Organized by IIB Studio, the London-based international data visualization studio, the annual Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards are dedicated to infographics designers, information artists, plus data analysts and analytics specialists. These are the people who believe the findings garnered from all that Big Data collected from the Internet should be read in the form of eye-catching graphics.
Entries for the awards came from 33 countries, including several aimed at the creative industries (see Game of Thrones map immediately below).
The media and entertainment sectors increasingly rely on the results that emerge from analyzing mounds and mountains of data amassed from their digital services. Top dog TV-streaming platform Netflix can testify to that.
Sifting through the hoarded data enables them to develop strategies based on audience behavior, consumption habits, what’s trending in their markets and social media ‘Likes’ and ‘Followers.’ Instead of letting those facts, figures, names and numbers sit on a computer for only analytics specialists and research analysts to fathom, data visualization converts them into cool, attention-grabbing pictures that anyone can read and relate to.
IIB Studio co-founder/chief creative partner Duncan Swain feels that, done correctly, data visualization graphics can be just as arresting a medium as offline and online TV, print media and photos for communicating, informing, entertaining and educating.
“It simplifies a complicated story visually,” declares Swain, explaining the demand for IIB Studio’s services. “There are stories, connections and patterns hidden in the data and they will remain so unless they are untangled. You won’t see those patterns unless you join the dots that connect different pieces of information. That is what we do. In journalism, data visualization is another way of telling the stories.”
One of IIB Studio’s most recent assignments is Apocalypse When? - for BBC Future (see data visualized image below).
To continue reading this article and other coverage of technology disrupting the creative industries, download TechMutiny Issue No.9