|Jones talks about the advantages of data visualisations, or 'vizzes'.|
Data visualisations can have many benefits for content providers, says Ben Jones, Director of Marketing, Outreach Programs at Tableau Software. Jones provided several reasons at a workshop for media introducing Tableau Public, a free version of Tableau's visualisation platform:
They capture the imagination, providing a focal point in a block of text and shaping the gist of the story.
They illustrate trends more easily than using words alone.
Visualisations facilitate comparisons. "Right away you can see a difference there. It makes a comparison hard to miss," Jones said.
Visualisations can hit close to home. Content creators can make use of locally-available data to "give people the opportunity to find out the story in their own neck of the woods", Jones said. The interactive visualisations created with Tableau software are interactive, allowing readers to drill down into more detailed data. "They See the big picture and dive into a certain region to find out (more)," Jones said. "It's a fun story to share on social media. You can see the story that relates to you and the other people you know."
Visualisations stimulate dialogue and aid memory. "Which story are they likely to remember tomorrow? It is all about clicks, shares and comments," Jones pointed out. Interactive visualisations tend to draw readers to explore, lengthening the time spent on the page as well, he said.
Topically, visualisations based on real data can counter fake news as well, Jones added.
Jones then showed how publicly available data such as Olympic swimming statistics can be turned into interactive charts that can be easily viewed on mobile devices without having to learn how to code.
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