Visual digital technologies provide versatile and powerful tools for communicating complex research findings, abstract concepts, or statistical information. These technologies are evolving traditional data visualizations such as graphs, maps, diagrams, charts, etc., into dynamic, colorful, and interactive representations of data. Visual digital technologies can also utilize and visualize any kind of data from across most academic disciplines; thereby, expanding data flexibility and applicability. As visualization tools become more sophisticated so will their ability to analyze and visualize relationships between data not previously considered together.
Although data visualizations can still feature simple web-based static representations of graphs, charts, etc., they are increasingly being utilized for their interactive and story-telling aspects. For example, data visualizations with interactive displays can help users see the data at different levels and interactively change the data presented. An example of this type of interactive data is the NYC Homicides Map available on the NY Times:
In regards to story-telling, data visualizations can be transformed into simpler visuals and paired with text to tell a story or compelling narrative.
These types of visualizations are called information graphics (aka infographics). Below is an example of an infographic on Maternal Health in the US by Amnesty International:
a. Make your message more compelling. Visuals are simply much better at stimulating thought and conversation than traditional textual or numerical data!
b. Allow you to reach a wider and more diverse audience. As stated earlier, visualizations allow you to convey complex data and abstract information in easily digestible and shareable formats.
c. Visualize information, systems, networks and flows, which can be valuable for highlighting social problems and need for policy changes.
d. Illustrate timelines and relationships that can help readers put the dots together in understanding a problem (“Data Visualization and Infographics: Using Data to Tell Your Story”).
To learn more about data visualizations Juice Analytics offers these online guides: