5 minute read

10 creative ways to present your data

Data can be presented in so many different ways, but here are 10 of the most creative ways to wow your audience.

1. Polymer Sites

Polymer Sites use advanced AI algorithms to analyze your dataset and transforms your Excel spreadsheet into a customizable, interactive search engine & web application.

Example of a Polymer Site:

FlixGem is a Polymer Site built with this spreadsheet:

Polymer Site


Sorting Feature: You can sort movies & shows by IMDb score.

data sorting

Similar Results: Find shows according to your tastes, powered by AI insights.

Similar Results data

Query Data: Filter data by tags such as genre, sub-genre, length, director, writers and country availability.

query data


How to create a Polymer Site:

Interactive web applications like this can be created in a matter of clicks

  1. Upload your dataset onto Polymer. The data is then encrypted and analyzed by AI technology.
  2. Click 'Launch Polymer Site.' Your Polymer Site should be completely functional now.
  3. Customize the design.

2. Whiteboard videos

Hand-drawn animations are the best way to tell a story with your data. They are extremely popular amongst big corporations, but did you know you can actually create these for a very low cost?

Whiteboard video example

How to create whiteboard videos/hand-drawn animations

Animating is usually the most expensive process in hand-drawn animations, but Doodly allows you to use pre-drawn assets which you can just drag & drop onto the scene.

3. Interactive infographics

Interactive infographics are intriguing, attention grabbing and are one of the best ways to draw your audience in and keep them engaged.

For marketers doing outreach, interactive infographics are one of the best ways to set yourself apart from the competitors who are all pitching the same thing.

Example of an interactive infographic:

ThredUp is an online, environmentally friendly clothing store which created this interactive infographic to measure your carbon footprint:

interactive infographic

It uses a combination of survey questions and sliders:

survey questions and sliders

Results: The results page puts things into perspective and also gives advice on how to lower your carbon footprint.

interactive infographic example


How to create interactive infographics:

The most common way to create interactive infographic pages is through a vector based illustration software like Adobe Illustrator. Then the page can be programmed using JavaScript and HTML. However, this requires some technical skills.

For those looking for an easy way to create interactive infographics, Genially is a great tool.

4. Animated infographics

Animated infographics have the advantage of having background music and voice-overs, allowing you to tell a story better than standard infographics and even interactive ones.

Example of an animated infographic:

Vox created this infographic to show the decline of American democracy. The combination of music and narration makes this almost like watching a movie or documentary. 


How to create animated infographics:

If you're a designer: the assets can be created in Photoshop whilst the animations can be done with Adobe After Effects.

If you’re not a designer, Visme is a great tool for creating animated infographics with no skills required.

5. Interactive flowcharts

Although not directly related to presenting data, an interactive flowchart can be extremely valuable for teaching purposes and helping people make data-driven decisions.

Example of an interactive flowchart

This flowchart was designed for Marriott, a hotels & resorts booking company. Sometimes static flowcharts can become really messy due to information overflow, but interactive ones only show information that's relevant to the user:

Interactive Flow Chart

How to create interactive flowcharts

Similar to interactive infographics, Adobe Illustrator is used to create the assets, and the web-page can be programmed using JavaScript and HTML. However, this requires some technical skills.

Genially offers an easier way to add interactivity to your data, meanwhile static flowcharts can be created through diagrams.net.

6. Interactive dashboards (with bars, charts and graphs)

The old fashioned way of presenting data is through powerpoint slides where each slide is an image of a static chart/graph.

The modern way to do things is through interactive dashboards where we can update the data in real-time.

Example of an interactive dashboard

interactive dashboard

How to create interactive dashboards

Tools like Tableau and PowerBI allow you to program your own interactive dashboards with the DAX language (data analysis expressions).

Alternatively, Polymer is capable of creating simpler interactive dashboards with no-coding required.

7. GIFs

GIFs allow you to create short, punchy animations that make a clear statement about something.

Example of presenting data through GIFs

presenting data with a GIF

How to create GIFs

To create high quality GIFs, the only program you'll really need is Adobe After Effects which allows you to create digital effects and motion graphics. This requires some design skills however.

An alternative way is to use Giphy, which allows you to upload images and add animations on top of them. It also allows you to convert video files into GIFs.

8. Business timelines

Timelines are useful for presenting business data, and showing how performance changes over time.

Example of a timeline

timeline chart

How to create a timeline

Diagrams.net is an online web application that allows you to create many different charts, including the timeline you just saw. Using it is very intuitive and doesn't require much explanation.

9. Proportioned images

Overlaying statistics over images or real objects is a fancy way to present data and allows you to be as creative as you like.

Examples of proportioned images

food diagram
body diagram

How to create proportioned images

Photoshop or GIMP are the tools for this. First acquire the assets (e.g. the photograph of the banana or outline of the human body). Then use these tools to add in the overlays and labels.

10. Build interactive web apps

Interactive web apps allow users to not only see the data, but input their own information into the app.

Exampe of an interactive web application:

interactive web app
interactive web app data

How to create interactive web applications:

Apps like the above can be created using Streamlit which removes a lot of the front-end design hassles. Although some python knowledge is required, you can learn to build an app within days.

Overall

Great data visualization comes down to experience and knowledge of when to use each presentation method. For a scientific look at when to use each chart, graph, diagram, we recommend reading 'The Visual Display of Quantitative Information' by Edward Tufte.

Posted on
November 29, 2021
under Blog
November 29, 2021
Written by
Ash Gupta
Co-Founder & CEO of Polymer Search. Previously Tech Lead for Machine Learning at Google AdWords and a quant developer on Wall Street.

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