Data Visualization Predictions for 2015
Technology is always changing and evolving, and data visualization technology is no exception. While the term “infographic” was once unfamiliar to most people, fun visualizations are now regularly spotted on Facebook and Twitter feeds for both individuals and businesses.
But just how much can we expect to see change within a year? In the spirit of the New Year, we are posting a few predictions on where we think data viz is headed in 2015 and beyond:
Microsoft Office: it can do a lot more than you think
With all the integrated apps and changes in Office 2013, you can really accomplish some amazing visualizations using nothing more than your trusty old Microsoft Office software. But the fact is that a lot of people don’t use it to its full potential, and don’t realize what it can do.
We predict that in 2015, more people will figure out that Office can be used to create some really interesting visuals, like the chart of weather patterns below (an Excel template):
or this dashboard we created:
No more giant reports sitting untouched in file cabinets
Or, at least, fewer of them: in 2015 we predict a small but perceptible decline in the popularity of the traditional final paper report for program evaluation (you know, that one you meant to read, but never actually got around to, and then you lost it in your desk drawer?) With the rising popularity of infographics, dashboards, and even graphic memos to communicate findings, people will begin to gravitate towards these options for reporting program outcomes, as they are sometimes a better fit.
Less is more
Data viz gurus like Edward Tufte have been touting this advice for a long time, but it is our hope and prediction that more people this year will come to see that less is more when it comes to visualizing data using charts and graphs. Fewer colors, borders, and dancing bears can, in fact, make your data viz better (see this concept come to life at http://i.imgur.com/WntrM6p.gif).
Have a prediction you’d like to share? Leave it in the comments below!