INSIGHTS

7 Most Interesting aspects of Data Visualization & Data-driven stories

CONCEPTS BY MANJUNATH SUBRAMANIAN, PRODUCT MANAGER & MEMBER BOARD OF DIRECTORS, ORACLE.

  • Insights into Data stories
  • How does Visual storytelling works
  • Gestalt’s principle of visual theory

Visual data-driven stories are a powerful means for conveying information to a wide variety of audiences. Practitioners such as data journalists are increasingly creating popular data-driven stories that have been described as decorative, enthralling, engaging, or immersive. 

Examples include Hans Rosling’s BBC performance that has been viewed over 8 million times on YouTube alone [check references at the end of the article].

In the video, Hans Rosling narrates that with the help of active gestures, simple mixed-reality visuals, and a compelling script – the improvements in 200 countries in terms of common life expectancy and income over the past 100 years. This type of visual data story closely relates to movies and films that the audience can watch but not interact but feels although “immersed” into, despite a lack of touch-based interaction.

Data Storytelling: Data storytelling is creating compelling stories using data by effectively combining storytelling with Data & stats. A story is the only way to activate parts in the brain so a listener turns that story into their own experiences and ideas.

The main focus of Data Storytelling:

  • Persuade
  • Influence
  • Motivate

Using stories to convey a message is not a modern thing. It is one of the traits humans possess that transcends time and culture.
An example of stories and using facts to convey a message is long-existing in all civilizations.
Oxford dictionary definition of a story- Stories are accounts of real and imaginary incidents that engage the listener in interactive communication.

How does visual storytelling work?

  • Stories make the complex data simple
  • It enables us to share experiences
  • It enables us to make the abstract concepts tangible
  • Visually appealing
  • Make info memorable
  • It can foster collaboration within the organization
  • Data stories combine narrative storytelling using visualization
  • Pictorial/ graphical representation makes the audience grasp the point easily
  • Can embed values by creating common ground among multi-functional teams in an organization
  • The human brain craves visual stories to imbibe facts

Gestalt’s theory of visual perception

When human beings see a group of objects, we perceive their entirety before we see individual objects. We see the whole as more than the sum of the parts, and even when the parts are entirely separate entities, we’ll look to group them as some whole.

The way we form our perception is guided by certain principles or laws and the cultural influences too play a vital role in forming our perceptions.

Visual Hierarchy

Refers to the arrangement or presentation of elements in a way that implies significance.
It’s influencing the order in which the human eye perceives what it sees.

This order is created by the visual that is the contrast between forms in a field of perception.

Did the article spark your interest? 

You can learn more about Data Visualization in our upcoming skill-Bootcamp, Sept 2019. Find the details here – Skill Bootcamp: Data Visualization

References:

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