It’s difficult to predict what the future of data visualization will look like, but there are a few emerging trends that give us an idea of where the field is heading.
1. Everyone—not just programmers—will be able to create data visualizations.
There was once a time when only developers were capable of creating stunning data-driven visuals. That’s no longer the case. Programs such as D3, Google Docs and PolyMaps are designed to help the non-developer visualize information in an easy-to-use platform. Domo generates a sleek dashboard that visualizes critical business information in real time. These tools allow users to build interactive visuals that rival anything a developer could make.
2. Storytelling will become crucial.
Storytelling is more than a marketing buzzword – it acts as a guide to help sort through all the information that’s thrown at us. When harnessed, big data has the potential to tell some really compelling stories about our world. Without an overarching structure, data is just a bunch of numbers sitting in a spreadsheet or silo.
3. Interactive graphics will become the norm for data visualization.
Basic pie charts and bar graphs just won’t cut it anymore. The volume and complexity of data that is available to us today require new tools that can do the heavy lifting. Visualizations like the NYT’s Reshaping New York story, for instance, use an interactive interface to tell the story of how Manhattan’s skyline was altered during the Bloomberg years. Interactive visualizations will become more prevalent because of their ability to tell complex, detailed stories.
4. More location-based analytics.
Remember when online dating was synonymous with eHarmony.com? Tinder, the location-based dating app, has blown other dating platforms out of the water. That’s because apps, social media, and other data-driven projects are increasingly making use of geotags, information about the geographical location of the user. As data visualizations become more complex, they will start integrating more location-based analysis into their interfaces.
5. More data artists will enter the field.
Data art is on the rise. Projects like Computers Watching Movies are attempts to transform databases of information into stunning, interactive pieces of art. As data artists and data-driven projects become more ubiquitous, the data visualization world will continue to experience an explosion of creativity. There will also be more pressure on data analysts to pay attention to principles of good design and art.
Data-driven graphics are becoming more than just a tool for marketers. With the proper analytics and visualization platforms, data can be leveraged as a storytelling tool for everyone from journalists to business executives.
This article was published in its original form on www.BusinessIntelligence.com.