The Art of Transforming Data into Great Stories

What happened last week in the world of data visualization? This category provides you with remarkable visualizations – they can be remarkably beautiful, remarkably interactive or just remarkably interesting. Visualizations differ on so many levels, and so does their content. Let’s take a look at what week #3 brought us; a week that was much influenced by the holidays.


PayPal Holiday Giving Tracker

The spirit of charity traditionally rises during the Christmas holidays. A lot of people bethink themselves on societal values and feel more willing to give and share. The U.S. company PayPal published several visualizations, providing insights into charity donations using their platform.

The clear purpose of the visualizations is to motivate people to contribute to the charity giving. This is one of the reasons why comparisons with last year’s donations are included in the graphs. Even though the individual visualizations are simple, the reader can discover more details than he or she might see at first glance. PayPal probably created that informative and visual appealing site for a good cause, however, a bit more transparency would be welcomed. For instance, it is not stated clearly where the data is coming from. In this case the source is most likely the PayPal Giving Fund, a PayPal owned service for transmitting donations.

Data Stories of the week - PayPal Charity Donation


The 2015 Daily chart Advent calendar

The Economist had its own Christmas countdown timer. As many children (and adults) throughout the world get an Advent calendar, the online appearance of the British newspaper developed a creative version of it. In style of the Advent tradition, the reader could ‘open’ one visualization per day; from the 1st till the 25th December.

Articles based on data are hidden behind the little doors of the calendar. Like for the Holiday Giving Tracker, most of the visualizations are kept simple and are non-interactive. The daily chart Advent calendar by the Economist is working smoothly and is a thoughtful gadget that goes in line with the holiday spirit. As the data-based stories have already been published throughout the year, the calendar serves well as a year in dataviz in review. Worth having a look.

Data Stories of the week - Economist Advent Calendar


Hillary Clinton’s Debt to Feminism

Besides a look back also an outlook for the next year is part of the winter holidays. One of the hot topics for 2016 are the U.S. Presidential elections, in which Hillary Clinton is one of the top candidates. Even though the following visualization has already been published in summer 2015, we have taken the occasion as a reason to bring attention to a timeline contrasting Clinton’s biography with milestones in feminism.

Under the headline “Hillary Clinton’s Debt to Feminism” the media company Bloomberg created a three-folded visualization. Whereas on the left hand side Clinton’s life is recapitulated, the right hand side shows the accompanying achievements of women in economy and politics. Above all this, key figures are displayed providing information about women in congress, inequality in payment, and the proportion of female professional occupations – the relevant numbers change over time. The visualization is easy to access, comprehensible and manages to provide an brief but conclusive overview about Clinton’s life. Furthermore, the newspaper is smart enough to not conclude anything, but let the reader interpret the presented data.

Data Stories of the week - Bloomberg Hillary Clinton's Debt to Feminism

About the author : Eva Lopez (DW)