We all dig good infographics with hard facts on varied subjects, but what makes great facts stand out in a memorable way, is when there is a story that’s being told behind.
The common elements to every good data story is that they are built around simple messages, anchored in reality and facts, connected to one another, with the intent to create meaning.
Here’s our Personal Top 5:
Why we like it: This is one of the most sober and efficient data stories you can find around. It’s only one visualization, with a simple animation and the Tetris soundtrack. It does exactly what a good story should do: connecting elements – costs – by just comparing numbers. And it’s painfully relevant.
Why you need to know it: It was designed by David McCandless from Information is Beautiful, one of the most prominent players in the data-visualization field.
#4 OkTrends, The Dating Research from OkCupid
Why we like it: The data-science blog from OkCupid rubs our faces with the hard facts on how we fare in online dating. The visualizations are just plain charts without animations. Still, they work perfectly well because each post builds a story. And they taught me to consider talking about beer on the first date.
Why you need to know it: This showed the power of data science not only in a journalistic or eye-candy kind of way, but in a down-to-earth business-like environment. Everyone wished they could analyse their activity this way. (It’s a secret, but we’re working on this).
Why we like it: This one is a personal favorite. I admit there’s not much data, and it’s more marketing than real analysis, but the animation and the messages conveyed tells an airbnb data story that really resonates with airbnb hosts and guest.
Why you need to know it: Although you might have a limited datasets with not much depth, you can still tell a very nice data story.
#2 What are the odds, the most popular Visually infographic
Why we like it: Infographics are simple data storytelling ploys, and it would have been a shame not to represent one. Designed by Sofya Yampolsky, this infographics tells the most commonly shared story: how we came to be as individuals.
Why you need know about it: This works because it ties very emotional and inspirational messages with cold hard probability calculations. This is the magic behind it.
#1 The Feltron report, a voyeur’s data porn
Why we like it: The extreme example in data storytelling, Nicholas Feltron is a graphic designer that measures and quantifies practically everything he does every year, then visualizes all the data and compile them in an annual report. Of his life. That he sells, online. If it sounds a bit crazy, it’s because it is.
Why you need to know it: The resulting charts and graphs have kind of a voyeuristic appeal to them. Yet they make up a perfect data story of Feltron’s life.
#0 The mother of all data stories: Hans Rosling’s data story, with a bit of sword swallowing
If you only had one data story to check out, this would be the one. Everything here is compelling. Hans Rosling, tells such a great story around his charts that the we are wow-ed by the message. He drives his point home. And that’s what the best data stories do (although you can skip the sword-swallowing conclusion).
“How about me?”
Want to tell a data story, but you don’t know how to start? Why not try our automatic tool? Just upload your data and let us attempt to turn it into a compelling story.