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Inciter | Data Visualization Predictions for 2015
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Data Visualization Predictions for 2015

By: Taj and Sarah


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):

 

weather

or this dashboard we created:

Picture1

 

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!

 

 

Sheila Matano
sheila@carsonresearch.com

Sheila Matano, M.P.H., has more than five years of experience using both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to support the research needs of public and non-profit organizations in Baltimore. As part of the CRC team, she has served as the evaluator for several programs, including a workforce development program, a residential program for women with substance abuse issues, and a program designed to reduce hospital readmission under the Affordable Care Act. While Sheila loves her current city of Baltimore, she also likes exploring the art and movie scene at every city she visits. One of her favorite paintings is Ruby Green Singing by James Chapin. She is also a chocolate addict who can detail the cacao offerings at Ma Petit Shoe at the drop of a hat and can offer ranked suggestions on the best gluten free desserts in Hampden.

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