Another key application that has become more prevalent in recent years is using data visualization in interactive interfaces that allow users to explore data. This is typically most valuable for companies seeking to display their proprietary data—either for individuals or for the media—and to earn branding value from such exposure. Creating a hub with the data, and enabling user exploration and analysis, can be very beneficial to both the brand and the viewer who can use it as a resource. As it relates to the interactive formats described in Chapter 2 (Infographic Formats), these would typically be updated monthly or annually with the most recent data.

The visualization of user-selected data, which aids in identifying insight, further amplifies this benefit. These hubs should be designed to be inherently explorative; they should encourage users to draw their own insights from their findings, without prescription. However, this approach should not be limiting. There is also great opportunity to implement a narrative on top of the explorative data, drawing user attention to points of note. Many businesses could take cues from the New York Times, which does an excellent job of maintaining this balance in the publishing world. Providing a complete data set to explore in various ways, while also highlighting key factors that may have had an impact on that data can be a very strong approach.

Brands can implement this type of interface for various objectives. The first ...

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