10 Funny Examples of Data Viz That Will Make Your Day

We’re all about the data viz here at DEEP, and although we take it seriously, it’s also nice to have a little fun now and again. Here are ten data visualizations that cracked us up.

1. It’s the Boss’s Law…

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2. It’s Actually Amazing Any of Us Gets Any Sleep At All

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3. It’s Funny Because It’s True

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4. When You Think About It, With Just a Few Different Factors, the Whole Santa Thing Could Go Very Very Badly….

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5.  Seriously, Though…Has Anyone Ever Gotten Out of Ikea in Less Than an Hour?! #Impossible

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6. Wait, You Mean Vacation is Supposed to be Enjoyable?!

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7. It’s Bound to Happen, Right? Words Will Become Irrelevant, and We’ll All Just Emoji Each Other

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8. Riiiiiiiight?

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9. Legit Song Graphs

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10. We’re All Hyped Until We Get Off the Plane…

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Here at DEEP, we investigate the world of knowledge visualization, so stay up to date with us as we share our findings!

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If you have any great graphs that  you’d like to share, let us know in the comments section!

7 Little-Known Editing Tools for Visual Content

 

We know that there are tons of articles and blog posts about visual content creation giants, such as Canva, PicMonkey and Adobe Spark. But what about the little guys? Strong, yet powerful, to deliver awesomeness packaged in visual way. Here are 7 great, lesser-known visualization tools that you can use to enhance your content.

1. Visme

 

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Visme is an online tool for creating a variety of engaging visual content,including infographics, presentations, web content, reports, and even short animations. Visme has a large variety of pre-made templates that can all be customized. And you don’t need a graphic design degree to be able to take advantage of all the perks offered here. Visme shines because of its simplicity, with easy drag-and-drop tools and a large library of high-quality images, icons, and fonts. Visme is very often used to visualize data for presentations. All you have to do is come ready with the numbers, and Visme allows you to easily create your data visualization.

2. Flixel

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Flixel is one of the coolest new tools out there. They’ve coined the term “cinemagraph”, an image where only one section is animated. Although you need to have your own video to create the image, Flixel will isolate a frame and allow you to “paint” motion over it to make it move The end product is pretty magical, and you can use it to enhance social media campaigns, emails, blogs, websites, and even banner ads. Flixel claims that their banner ad campaigns even get 5.6X higher click-through than still image ads.

3. Ceros

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One look at their website and you can already imagine the cool things you can create with Ceros. You don’t need to be a professional designer to use this tool. Their interactive content maker gives total creative control to the marketer and designer, and with the easy to embed code, you don’t need a developer either.

4. Snappa

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Similar to Canva, Snappa is a ridiculously easy graphic design tool. You can create all types of marketing graphics using their 10,000+ photos and patterns, 3,000+ icons and graphics, and 200+ fonts. You can even add special effects and schedule or post in real time your graphics to social media. Snappa makes it easy by providing you with the exact image dimensions for all time of visuals: social media, ads, email, blogs, and even infographics. They come in clickable presets that take the guesswork out of creating a large variety of graphics.

5. Thinglink

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Thinglink is one of those tools that makes you think “why didn’t someone think of this before?!” Thinglink lets you make interactive images with links to share on social media. You can upload your own images, add icons, and link back to your website or blog. It’s easy to customize so you can match the look and feel of your website.

6. INFOGR.AM

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Infogr.am offers you tools for displaying lots of data in fun and engaging ways, through infographics, charts and visual maps. All you need is a good data set and they take care of the rest. You can update your data from multiple sources, pick a template to visualize it, and share and embed into any website. Easy peasy.

7. DEEP

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Admittedly, this is a bit of shameless self-promotion. But DEEP is an amazing tool for visual content creation. While most tools ask you to bring your own data, DEEP provides all the data and design, no researcher or graphic designer needed. Our easy to create and customizable widgets enhance your text stories with facts, figures, and beautiful design.

There are so many visual content creation tools out there. These seven can be used by marketers, publishers, and bloggers who don’t have official design training.

Here at DEEP, we investigate the world of knowledge visualization, so stay up to date with us as we share our findings!

Share your Experience

If you have any great visual content creation tools that  you’d like to share, let us know in the comments section!

15 Astounding Visual Content Stats You Should Know in 2017

Our friends over at HubSpot and Inc came out with lists of relevant statistics to help you on your visual content creation journey. The more you know, the more effective you can be. Because knowledge is power!

General Visual Content Advantages

1. Eye-tracking studies show internet readers pay close attention to information-carrying images. In fact, when the images are relevant, readers spend more time looking at the images than they do reading text on the page.

2. In an analysis of over 1 million articles, BuzzSumo found that articles with an image once every 75-100 words received double the social media shares as articles with fewer images.

3. People form a first impression in a mere 50 milliseconds.

4. An estimated 84% of communications will be visual by 2018.

5. People following directions with text and illustrations do 323% better than people following directions without illustrations.

6. When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.

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Social Media Advantages

7. Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images.

8. Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images

9.  Organic Facebook engagement is highest on posts with videos (13.9%) and photos (13.7%)

10. Posts that include images produce 650 percent higher engagement than text-only posts.

11. Infographics are “liked” and shared on social media 3X more than other any other type of content.

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Content Marketing Advantages

12. 41.5% of visual marketers said that infographics were most engaging out of all visual content

13. Infographics were the B2B content marketing tactic with the biggest increase in use, from 2015 to 2016, up from 50% to 58%.

14. 37% of marketers said visual marketing was the most important form of content for their business, second only to blogging (38%).

15. 74% of social media marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing, ahead of blogs (68%) and videos (60%).

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Share your Experience

What’s your favorite kind of visual content? Do you have any tips or tricks for creating visuals? Share with us in the comments.

Here at DEEP, we investigate the world of knowledge visualization, so stay up to date with us as we share our findings!

5 Incredible Examples of Visual Storytelling on Social Media

There’s a power in storytelling that compels us to continue to read, to buy a product, to be loyal to a brand. While slogans can be extremely powerful (just do it, anyone?), people today are becoming more visually oriented, and they need stories and images to get and keep them captivated. Below are some incredible examples of visual storytelling by some of the biggest names.

1. Acceptance: Airbnb2

Airbnb has done an amazing job of responding in real time to a few pressing issues. After renters went to social media to complain about being discriminated against by Airbnb hosts because of their race, Airbnb immediately apologized and enacted a series of anti-discrimination policies. As part of this effort, and in response to Donald Trump’s heavily criticized travel ban, the company ran a commercial during the superbowl to launch their #WeAccept campaign, which highlights people of different ages, races, and religions along with inspiring quotes. “No matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love, or who you worship, you deserve to belong,” says Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. The combination of visuals of real people, along with short, personal text helps people to identify with and feel connected to the brand.

2. Giving Back: Heinz Ketchup

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Heinz consistently shows up as one of the best brands on social media. They’re funny and they do good. Check out their campaign to make the Monday after the Superbowl (Smunday) a national holiday (Heinz gave all their employees the day off). They received over 70,000 signatures on their online petition at Smunday.org, which they are sending to Congress! They also launched their “Selfie for Good” campaign, celebrating “Giving Tuesday”, where the company will donate up to $1.57 when users take a selfie with their Heinz Ketchup bottle at participating restaurants. As of the beginning of February, they had already reached their goal of donating $200,000 to Stop Hunger Now. Both campaigns speak to issues that are important to people, on a personal and a more global level. By giving back to the people, and encouraging them be an active part of their campaigns, people feel more connected to the brand and like they are a part of something bigger than themselves, which always inspires loyalty. Also…who doesn’t love ketchup!?

3. Rewarding Fans: Expedia

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It’s always nice when a company offers cash prizes to its users…especially when it’s user generated content (UGC). Instead of spending money on a campaign, the brand is connecting with users by asking them to send in their own photos and experiences.

4. Process + Awareness + Celebs: Google

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Google doesn’t really need to do much  marketing at this point (perhaps you’ve heard of the company?), but nonetheless, they like to keep their fans happy. One of the ways they do this is by giving their audience a peek into the inner workings of Google. In an effort to highlight the impact of climate change, Google recruited Game of Thrones actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau to trek in southern Greenland to capture scenes of nature affected by climate change. Coster-Waldau is the first celebrity to be kitted out in Google’s Street View trekker backpack to collect imagery. This photo does a lot of things: It gives users a view into what it actually looks like when Google employees go out capturing street views; it brings a high-level of awareness to a serious, global problem, and it uses a celeb as the vehicle for the first two. Kudos, Google.

5. Humor Gets Them Every Time: Grammarly

With our 21st century stressed out lives, who doesn’t need a little giggle now and again? Grammarly, self-described as the world’s best grammar checker, does a great job at showcasing their services with funny (and sometimes cheeky) posts. By using humor and grammar, they are able to get their point across about what they do and why it’s important. It doesn’t get much better than that.

These are only a few examples of some amazing visual storytelling out there on the interwebs.

Here at DEEP, we investigate the world of knowledge visualization, so stay up to date with us as we share our findings!

Share your Experience

If you have any great examples of visual storytelling that  you’d like to share, let us know in the comments section!

AI for Beginners: We’re All Going to be Replaced by Robots (How AI and Machine Learning Can Shape the Future)

Do you keep hearing the phrase “AI” and wonder what it’s all about? Well if you need a crash course in AI (or machine learning, as it’s often called), we got you covered! So then…what do the self-driving Google car, Netflix recommendations and handwriting recognition software all have in common? They signal the eventual takeover of robots from humans (we kid!). They all use AI, or machine learning, which allows computers to identify patterns and operates under the theory that computers can learn without programming them for specific tasks. Scientists want to find out if computers could learn from data, therefore, the more data they are exposed to, the more they are able to adapt independently.

There has been a long standing quest to infuse intelligence into computers and machines in order to get them to work for us. Japan is currently planning a robotics revolution, envisioning a world where artificial intelligence is integrated into everyday life, helping with things such as carrying bags in airports, caring for the elderly, and ferrying us around in robot taxis. While some of us in the West may be seeing visions of Westworld or the Terminator, Japan (and many other countries) are embracing the integration of robots in society.

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In more and more cases, machine intelligence is becoming superior to human intelligence. Machines can assist humans in a variety of ways, and one reason for this is because machines are way more accurate than humans. Machine vision is better than human vision, self-driving cars are more secure than human driving cars (looking at accidents per mileage), as the robot vision system is much more accurate and predictable than human action. Machines are also not ruled by emotion, so they can always act clearly according to their programming. Of course this can have ethical and moral implications (should a self-driving car hit a child crossing the road if it can’t turn in time?). However, it seems as though we are increasingly able to outsource some of our tasks and brain power to robots and machines.

Boy in robot hat/mask, kid smiling in robot costume.

Now perhaps machines will be able to write our stories as well.  There has already a lot of experimentation in creating content by extracting data from images. Using something called “attention network”, a computer can be shown a scene of a picture that can help it to tell a story. The attention network can look at different areas of a scene and describe exactly what it sees. So by pointing out the different scenes or aspects of various photos, and putting them together, it is possible to create a story. However, what is missing from machine learning and AI in storytelling is that it lacks context. Context is something that is extremely difficult to replicate or represent in computers. For now, it seems to be a uniquely human trait.
A man leading a clone parade

One popular method in AI is “word embedding”, which allows the machine to identify a word by the company it keeps. So if the machine can recognize a word by other words around it, it can figure out the word through association. This algorithm will then try to look at a word and predict perhaps 5 words that usually come before and after. What’s cool about this is that the algorithm continues to learn with every word is correctly predicts, so it trains the machine to learn dynamic lexicons, and human language. This is some of the machine learning and AI that we use here at DEEP. While focusing on sports, for example, we may want to collect data on injuries.

Well in sports, there are thousands of injuries and many different ways to describe them, so we had to be smart about our method. We programmed the algorithm with common injuries such as ankle sprains, concussions and torn ACLs, and then used them to see injuries that are similar. This expands the types of injuries we can identify because the computer has already seen tons of data with injury language and can make the connection based on similarity of language.

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It’s impossible to predict where the future of AI and machine learning will take us. Looking ahead in a positive light, machine learning can help augment all the areas where one really needs to have a wide or deep knowledge of a subject (or many subjects). Lawyers, doctors, and transportation are already being transformed before our very eyes.

What kind of AI or robot do you wish you had in your life?

Here at DEEP, we investigate the world of knowledge visualization, so stay up to date with us as we share our findings!

 

Top 5 Data Visualization Authors to Follow in 2017

Do you ever find yourself sitting in front of a screen, blank page taunting you with all its white space, unable to think of a way to create content that appeals to your audience? Have some boring data you want to make interesting and more engaging?

Well, have no fear! We’ve collected a few top data visualization books to give you inspiration for the new year. These books and their authors can help give you inspiration while you’re on your data viz journey.

1. Data Visualisation: A Handbook for Data Driven Design by Andy Kirk

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Andy Kirk has written the ultimate tome on mastering data visualization. The author, founder of the company Visualizing Data ltd, managed to compress a lifetime’s worth of data viz expertise into this beautiful and easy-to-follow book. Not only does Kirk offer chapters and chapters of information and examples, he also includes sections at the end of each chapter to enhance your experience and help give you the upper hand.  If you’re looking for a challenge (or are a teacher’s pet nerd), this section is for you, and the book as a whole will help anyone looking to hone their data viz skills or understand the field better.

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You can also check out his cool project on “graphically exploring the fluctuations of success across the film careers of a selection of actors and directors” called “Filmography” here

2. The Best American Infographics 2016 by Gareth Cook

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Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gareth Cook has edited one of the best (!) books of infographics this year, “The Best American Infographics”.  This year’s group of infographics can make even the most boring subjects perk right up with colorful, unexpected and unusual visuals. It also takes some very fascinating subjects and brings them to life. Take for example, this visualization of presidential doodles:

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Reagan is a surprisingly good doodler!

This book covers topics including health, the arts, sports, culture, and of course, politics. In one of the most politically charged years to date, Cook included interesting data viz on how people in different occupations vote and who is buying the American elections. Cook brings stunning visuals and expert artistry to this interesting and thought-provoking compilation.

3. Cool Infographics: Effective Communication with Data Visualization and Design by Randy Krum

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Krum makes data memorable by fusing together creative design and the science of infographics in this book packed full of gorgeous and useful information. This how-to provides both newbies and seasoned pros with the fundamentals of infographics, including process, software tools, marketing uses, and presentation tips. Krum also goes a bit political in this election year with an interesting, Candyland-like infographic on how a bill becomes a law:

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Beyond tools and techniques for creating great infographics and even online data viz marketing (including social media and SEO), Krum really goes in-depth on the science behind data viz. If you’re looking for a comprehensive look on how to make your infographics work for you, this is definitely it.

4. Good Charts: The HBR Guide to Making Smarter, More Persuasive Data Visualizations by Scott Berinato

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Dataviz is bringing in the big guns: Scott Berinato, Senior Editor at the Harvard Business Review and dataviz maven. In this essential guide to visualizations, Berinato outlines how visualization works and best practices for thinking visually. Although tricks and tips are included, this is more than just a rule book for turning data into visuals. As you would expect from Harvard Business School, this book uses established and leading-edge research to discuss neuroscience and visual perception in relation to dataviz. It also explores the very new field of visualization science, and gives practical and actionable advice.

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One of the biggest takeaways? Rather than creating charts right off the bat, Berinato suggests investing time in establishing what your message is, who you’re speaking to, and what the setting is. This equation will set you up for success on your dataviz journey.

5. Visual Miscellaneum: The Bestselling Classic, Revised and Updated: A Colorful Guide to the World’s Most Consequential Trivia by David McCandless

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This book is pure fun for the senses. Updated and revised over the years, “The Visual Miscellaneum” provides a “colorful guide to the world’s most consequential trivia”. This reference book gives context to our world and helps us understand all the information thrown at us on a daily basis, including advancements in technology and health breakthroughs. McCandless also adds tons of fun through culturally relevant and interesting data viz, such as hangover remedies from around the world, insurance value based on body parts (don’t show that one to the kids), and a great visual of calories in different foods next to how many calories are burned doing various physical activities (helps us put our New Year’s resolution to lose weight into perspective).

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We don’t know about you, but we can’t do anything without a good, strong cup of joe

McCandless really understands how to make data relatable, informative, and fun. This essential handbook to visual culture will leave you interested, laughing, and stimulated.
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Did you know? Visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text.

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Here at DEEP, we investigate the world of knowledge visualization, so stay up to date with us as we share our findings!

Share your Experience

If you have any data-driven storytelling tricks, tips or ideas of your own that you’d like to share, let us know in the comments section!

 

Data-driven Storytelling: Top Tips For Making the Most Out of Your Story

How to Get More Bang for Your Data Visualization Buck

You may remember in our last post that we talked about the importance of telling your story through data visualization. Data-driven storytelling is a way for people (and companies) to effectively communicate data insights, using a combination of data, visuals and narrative. The data-driven visual helps to tell a story in a way that words or pictures alone simply cannot achieve.

However, storytelling is not an inherent skill-it’s more of a science….and we’ve kind of always wanted to be scientists (thanks to Mrs. Miller’s third grade volcano project).  There are many different components that go into data-driven storytelling, including context, audience, choosing the right data and visuals, and much more. It’s also really important to leverage the power of visual storytelling to connect with your audience and provide them a message that resonates. Remember: people remember 80% of what they see, but only 20% of what they read, so if you’re making a visual, make it good. Did you remember that? Because it wasn’t a visual, so we won’t blame you if you didn’t.

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We’re rich! (data-rich visuals, that is)

Here’s a few tips to help you make the most out of your story.

1.The Five-Second Rule

This rule doesn’t only apply to the time you need to pick food up off the floor before you can eat it. According to research, people’s attentions spans are shrinking every year, down from 12 to 8 seconds, in the last 15 years. If you can’t grab someone’s attention within the first few seconds, you’re pretty likely to lose them all together. That’s also why it’s important to create a clear visualization, so people know where to look and what they are looking at.

Caveman Sitting Outdoors Using Stone Tablet with Touchscreen
It can be 6 seconds only if it’s your favorite flavor of ice cream

2. Data Viz Should Complement Your Narrative

If your data visualization is any good, it should be able to tell a story all on its own. Let’s say it’s taken out of context or used in a different site, your reader should still be able to understand the story that the visualization is trying to tell. This means it should be clear, simple, and easy to grasp. As storytellers, we’re always tempted to add in different angles, gizmos and gadgets into our content, but it’s important to start with something simple, and layer on the data from there.

Caveman Sitting Outdoors Using Stone Tablet with Touchscreen
Hi, I’m Bob…that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it

3. Simple Over Sexy (Aka Smack Them in the Face With Your Data)

As noted above, if a visual is too complicated, it can turn your audience off. People are using enormous amounts of brain power on big, important (and small, unimportant) tasks every day, so you’ve got to make it easy for them to grasp the point. Take out anything that’s truly unnecessary, and keep your visual simple. Just because you have the capability of making something complicated, doesn’t mean you should. Interaction with your data viz should be easy and intuitive….like working with DEEP!

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Easy does it

4. It’s Not the Size of the Boat, It’s the Color of the Ocean

Now that you know to keep your data viz simple, easy to understand, contextual and attention-getting, now’s the fun part….color! But you want to be sure that your visualization is not only colorful, but uses color in order to be stunning and effective. Primary colors are good, but a bit blah. Be sure to put a little pep in your step by reading up on color theory. Different colors can cause different emotional responses, and if used correctly, you can align your visuals with the feeling you’re looking to elicit from your users.

Caveman Sitting Outdoors Using Stone Tablet with Touchscreen
Hahaha, look how small their visual data is

5. Don’t Be a Chatty Cathy-Avoid Using Too Many Words

It’s called “visualization” for a reason. If you’re using too much text to accompany your data viz, the “viz” part gets lost. Rather than worrying about words, focus on the concept and message you’d like to communicate to your users, use words sparingly, just to get your point across. Be sure to refine and trim down your copy as much as possible, and let your visuals do the talking.

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Guuuuurl, you should have seen all the words on his data viz

Here at DEEP, we investigate the world of knowledge visualization, so stay up to date with us as we share our findings!

Share your Experience

If you have any data-driven storytelling tricks, tips or ideas of your own that you’d like to share, let us know in the comments section!