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16 Jan, 2014
Around here, we don't stress this enough: the greatest revolution that social media introduced, especially in the context of corporate culture, is only a little about the cooperation and sharing.
The biggest change since "everyone has a Facebook profile" is already linked to generalized expectations about the ease of use of digital applications and their language.
The language of social media today pervades every other digital imaging: likes (or "+1"), updating in real time, the vertical scroll to go back in time, the dominance of the pictures on the text. These are just a few examples of an interaction model that has spread outside of the social environment. Moreover, if we look at the time spent on social media - in Italy, two hours a day according to we are social - it is easy to imagine how that affects the other channels of digital interaction, from applications for self publishing to the professional management of information and data visualization.
Now the data visualization is increasingly being replaced by "infographic". Either because they were born over time applications that make easy and affordable for everyone building a data presentation effective and high-impact (various applications such as Xcelsius MicroStrategy Tableau), and because the habit of storytelling has become a standard, thanks to the social media, in which power of telling story makes the difference between who is online and who is leading online.
Today, alongside the usual skills of information analysis and understanding of the market, who is responsible for the data must know how to "tell": not only present, but also represent, staging a conversation with their own recipients, whoever they are, considering the digital environment surrounding them.
So we move from self-reported presentations, filled with numbers, tables, and implicit values and comprehensible only to those with direct knowledge of the generation of numbers, to representations that may grab the attention with strategies of the graphics and storytelling.
On this issue there are several handbooks of what to do or not to do when making a new data presentation, winking at storytelling and infographics. Everything can be reduced in a few steps to proceed on the way of design.
1. Collect data: This is the first step for everyone, from the reporter to the analyst, must go through the information, collect them, organize them by categories, for example, to identify common areas, the most significant, which are the basic elements of speech. And as is taught in school, there's always time to cut.
2. Display data: identifying the pattern of presentation of any information in accordance with information - that is graphic, symbol or text, it is important that the focus is on the data and not on the model, because the model is not to drive, but is the meanings that you wanted to express through the data.
3. Define the styles: colors, shapes, shadows, and font size can greatly affect the view of the beholder. Not always add graphics is functional to representation: might be more effective to reduce the graphics, to identify a minimal set - the flat design is the most meaningful trend produced over the last 10 years - than adding detail that "cover" the data, like clothing that seeks to disguise the gap of content.
4. Expect interactivity: according to context, the interactivity may be more or less central, but never be entirely absent. The habit of sharing and bookmark today forces us to consider any information as "shareable" in any context and on whatever medium it travels. Reportages via twitter of the live events are a main example. If you have not planned for your presentation during a public conference an hashtag or a Twitter direct of photos & quote, you're sure that someone will do it for you.
Provide interactivity means, therefore, take into account the interaction that you want and can set off during the presentation.
If you talk about a presentation at a board meeting, the participants will be able to interact with data and each other on the data through their own devices. Do not consider this aspect because you are building a data visualization for top management of a company that meets live in a room is to underestimate the expectations and the social cultural context that surrounds everything.
Useful link: http://neomam.com/interactive/13reasons/