I had the privilege this week of attending a webinar by Matthew Erickson of the New York Times about innovative graphic presentations of data. There were some truly amazing interactive displays included in this presentation, and the presenter had a lot of very insightful suggestions for rethinking data presentation:
He spoke about the role of good interactive presentation in situating data, providing context, developing layers, and telling a story. A lot of times, the distribution of the data, and it’s relationship with data from other sources, is its most interesting layer. In an innovative presentation of data, we must balance the expectations of the audience, who become interactants with the data and must be able to manipulate it easily, with a complementary layer of expertise or context.
For example, data about Manny Rivera’s pitching style could best be understood by the placement of the ball at the hitter’s decision making point. In a graphic about Rivera’s success, the reporters were able to show how radically different pitches were virtually indistinguishable at the crucial decision making point for the hitter.
He referred to infographics as the “gamification of news.”
To connect his presentation to this ongoing discussion of text analytics, check out the way he displayed word frequencies:
Interestingly, it is still problematic, but it is super cool looking…
And, speaking of infographics, check out this awesome one that Pew debuted today: