About

Randy Krum infographic designerRandy Krum

President of InfoNewt.
Data Visualization, Infographic Design, Visual Thinking, Product Development and Marketing professional fascinated by good infographics.  Always looking for better ways to get the point across.

Infographic Design

Looking for help creating your own infographics?  Randy’s infographic and data visualziation design company:

InfoNewt Infographic Design

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Entries in Data (60)

Tuesday
Jun242014

HelpMeViz: DataViz Community Feedback for Your Charts

HelpMeViz: DataViz Community Feedback for Your Charts

Have you ever struggled with which type of chart to use in your presentation? Or how to get Excel to display the chart the way you want it to appear?  Or don’t know what software will create the data visualization you would like to use?

Jon Schwabish is a data visualization specialist, and in 2013 he launched a new website to help everyone become better at data visualization called HelpMeViz.  The HelpMeViz site invites you to submit your data visualization projects to get feedback from the community.  The community is encouraged to offer suggestions, critiques and debate ideas about chart formats, software tricks, visual applications and visualization methods that can be valuable feedback to make your data more understandable and impactful.

 

The data visualization community consists of people who use data and design to tackle a variety of issues and challenges. Outside of a few specific blogs and tutorials however, there isn’t a place where that community can provide in-depth comments and criticism on data visualization projects. This site is designed to facilitate discussion, debate, and collaboration from the data visualization community.

The site is open to anyone who is searching for feedback on their visualization designs, from seasoned designers and data visualization specialists to individual analysts searching to improve their graphic displays. All types of visualizations are welcome: simple, single line or bar charts to full-blown infographics to interactive visualizations.

If you have a chart that just isn’t working, or getting your message across to your audience, you can upload it to the site, and get really useful, actionable advice from the Community.

Mapping Program Participation by State

Jon is currently the Senior Researcher and Data Visualization Expert at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC, and he took some time to answer a few interview questions from me about the HelpMeViz site:

Cool Infographics: Who is the target audience of the site?

Jon Schwabish: The site was created for anyone—truly anyone—to seek feedback or submit comments. I want anyone to be able to use the site—from the data visualization expert to the experienced JavaScript programmer to the research assistant using Excel. To attract that broad audience, I decided against using established tools or sites like Flickr, Pinterest, Behance, or Dribbble. Many of those sites require users to create an account, or have some other barrier to easy entry and I wanted to avoid those types of barriers. Additionally, I felt that sites like Stack Overflow and GitHub appeared too difficult for the everyday user. So, although it’s often said that you should refine your audience, I wanted to go broad here to make it as accessible as possible.


Cool Infographics: How often do people post new visualization questions to HelpMeViz.com?

Jon Schwabish: To date, I’ve posted at least one visualization per week. There have been a few weeks when I’ve been able to do more. Interactive visualizations and ones that have a unique design question—for example, how to create something in Excel—generate the most interest.


Cool Infographics: Are you having success getting the audience to engage and recommend design ideas?

Jon Schwabish: For the most part, I haven’t had to engage the audience much on my own; community members have taken most of the initiative to engage with the content, making light work for me on that end. I’d like to see more requests on the design side—questions about font or color or layout. To date, requests have been primarily about tools and creation of the visualization. But I think a lot of people would benefit from asking basic design-style questions.


Cool Infographics: Does it take much of your own time to participate and keep the site running?

Jon Schwabish: It doesn’t take too much of my own time, but that will change, I hope, as the amount of content increases. I oftentimes have to rewrite the text to clarify the challenge or goal. Sometimes I need to tweak an image or extract an image from a larger document. I rarely fiddle with the data—if the person who submitted the visualization could use it to create the graphic, then it’s probably close enough for others to use. I’ll usually correspond with the submitter once or twice to make sure he or she is okay with my edits and then I post the submission.


Cool Infographics: What are the best examples of successful projects posted to the site?

Jon Schwabish: There have been a number of interesting challenges.

Perhaps the thing I’m most excited about for the site right now is the live Hackathon that will be held on Saturday, June 28, with Bread for the World Institute. We are inviting 25 coders, designers, and data scientists to help the Institute with two data visualization challenges. I will be live blogging the event and will make the data available on the HelpMeViz site so that anyone around the world can join the discussion and provide his or her own visualization suggestions.

This site is truly made for everyone, and I encourage you to check it out.  The feedback can range from Excel charting tips to visualization programming code.  You can upload your own charting challenges, offer recommendations on other people’s charts or just lurk and learn from the advice of other experts.

If you’re in the DC area, be sure to check out the HelpMeViz Hackathon event on Saturday, June 28th! HelpMeViz will bring together coders, data scientists, and data visualizers in Washington, DC, to help Bread for the World Institute with two data visualization challenges for its 2015 Hunger Report, which focuses on why women’s empowerment is essential to ending global hunger.

Thanks to Jon for creating this incredible resource, and taking the time to answer a few questions!

Monday
May052014

The Explosive Growth of Cloud Computing

The Explosive Growth of Cloud Computing infographic

Cloud computing is definitely a growing trend. Are you in the position to enjoy all of what cloud computing has to offer? The Explosive Growth of Cloud Computing infographic from Eclipse lets you know what you could be missing if you don’t join their network. 

Now is the time to get on the growth curve of cloud services as we are seeing ever-increasing demand for these services – look at how they have developed in the home with subscription services such as Netflix and Love Film. There is a real on-demand economy and as a result, a new, smarter way of working.

So, if it’s time to investigate cloud services for your business it’s also time to look at your connectivity partner, and a partner who provides both connectivity and cloud services will know exactly what you need to ensure a robust internet connection. Look for a partner who is prepared to really understand your business needs and the role of both the cloud and connectivity in those needs; a partner that will tailor-make solutions to your exact business requirements and stay away from the one-size-fits-all mantra; and a partner who provides a high service assurance accompanied by easily accessible monitoring systems so you can be ‘in the know’ regarding your network’s performance.

Great use of doughnut charts, bar charts, logos and icons to tells the story of the growth of cloud computing.

Thanks to David for sending in the link!

Friday
Apr252014

Every Job In America

Every Job In America infographic

Every Job In America is a treemap data visualization design from Quoctrung Bui at NPR based on the data that the U.S. government collects for the monthly Jobs Report.  I think I probably fit somewhere in the Services-Professional and Technical Services-Specialized Design section.

Whatever Friday’s monthly jobs report says, it won’t change the big picture. There are roughly 137 million jobs in this country. About two-thirds of those jobs are in private-sector services; the remaining third are split between goods-producing jobs (mainly manufacturing and construction) and government work (mostly at the state and local level).

Here’s a closer look, drawn from the same data that the government collects for the monthly jobs report.

Notes: 
*The data come from the government’s non-farm payroll report — which, as the name suggests, does not include farm jobs. Update: The report also excludes military personnel, government intelligence employees and some self-employed workers.

There isn’t much I would change about this design.  The treemap visualization is well done, and carefully organized to allow for the color coding rectangles.  Titles are missing from any rectangle that was too small to hold the text, but a smaller font could have been used, or a reference to a list at the bottom.

Even though this is part of an article posting, the infographic image itself has a title for easy sharing without the rest of the article.  Including a few other elements in the image file like the data sources and the URL to the landing page would be very helpful.

This is the type of project where I think a link to a public spreadsheet with the numbers used would be helpful.  The article links to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics press releases, but then someone would have to dig through the reports.

Monday
Mar172014

The State of Infographics at SxSW 2014

The State of Infographics at SxSW 2014

I post all types of infographics and data visualizations from designers all over the world here on Cool Infographics, and as a recap, I wanted to take stock of the state of infographics and data visualization at this year’s SxSW Interactive conference in Austin, TX.

I’ve been going to SxSW for a few years now, and infographics have been a growing presence in the Interactive portion of the conference every year.  You can find hidden sessions about data visualization, visual communication and infographics in different portions of the conference like the new SXsports, Health and Business sessions.

Check the links and search the presentation hashtags on Twitter to find more information and audience comments from each event.  I know I didn’t catch everything, so send me links to anything (Events, notes, slides, etc) I missed through the Contact page or the comments and I’ll add appropriate ones into the post!

*Sessions I was able to attend

Official Events:

 

Unofficial Sessions:

 

  • The Attention Economy with Walter, book signing by Ekaterina Walter @Ekaterina, co-author of The Power of Visual Storytelling
    • “Attention is the new commodity. Visual storytelling is the new currency,” say co-authors Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio in their new book The Power of Visual Storytelling.  The first 100 attendees for Ekaterina’s signing will get a copy of her book. Come chat with Ekaterina about the visualization revolution and her thoughts about SxSW Interactive 2014.
    • Hosted by Vocus @Vocus
    • http://www.eventbrite.com/e/wtf-sxsw-visualize-a-powerful-future-tickets-10822280733
  • FH Black Box lounge at the Four Seasons (#FHBlackBox)
  • Column Five announced the release of Visage
  • Cool Infographics Meetup
    • Special thanks to the team at the Fleishman Hillard Black Box Lounge!  They allowed me to host the Cool Infographics @Coolinfographic meetup event after my book signing on Monday for anyone that wanted to hang out.  It was also an opportunity to meet fans and sign books for people that didn’t have official SxSW badges.

 

Please help add anything I missed by posting in the comments below or sending me a note through the Contact page.  I’ll add new content into the post above.

 

 


Tuesday
Jan142014

Information Destruction Through History

Information Destruction Through History infographic

Information Destruction Through History from Global Data Vault explores and quantifies the worst data disasters in history.

Information the most valuable commodity in the world. All human progress depends on the accumulation and preservation of information. When information is lost, human progress suffers. This infographic displays some of the most significant loses of information human civilization has suffered.

The circular timeline shows the data disaster events in chronological order, while also connecting to their geographic locations.  The triangles are proportionally sized so readers can visually compare the modern data equivalents between the events.  This really helps put the disasters into perspective for the audience.

A great infographic design that tells one story really well, but there are a few things I would recommend to improve the design:

  • I wouldn’t have any of the triangles run off the page, because the audience will lose perspective on how disastrous those specific events were.  Show the full impact of those events to the readers.
  • Add the URL directly to the infographic landing page so readers can find the original full-size version when people don’t link back correctly
  • I wouldn’t list Wikipedia as a data source if possible. Track the Wikipedia references back to the original data source to include in the list.

Thanks to Joe for sending in the link!

Tuesday
Oct222013

Strata Conf London Nov 11-13 - 20% Discount Code

O'Reilly Strata Conference: London, England

 

If you have any thoughts of attending the 2013 Strata Conference in London, England, the discount code “AFF20” will cut 20% off the registration price for readers of Cool Infographics!  Big data, visualization, privacy, science and business!  What’s not to love?!?

This is an expensive conference, so the 20% discount is a BIG deal; saving hundreds of dollars!  The 2013 conference will run from November 11-13, 2013 in London, England.

The future will be data-driven.  But who’s driving the data?

If it’s you—or it should be you—join us at Strata Conference to explore the opportunities made possible by the latest state-of-the-art data tools and analytic approaches.

Get the skills, tools, and technologies to make your data work successfully today—and the insights to plan for a data-driven future.

 

Friday
Sep062013

Visualizing the Microsoft-Nokia Deal

Visualizing the Microsoft-Nokia Deal

Good data visualization uses visuals to put data into context for the readers, making the information easier to understand.  This simple infographic takes a couple charts previously published by Nielsen, and uses them to provide context to the news story of Microsoft acquiring Nokia’s handset devices unit for $7.2 Billion.

Combining data visualization with text and images should make the information easier and faster to understand, and this design does a great job.

Designer unknown.  Thanks to Mike Elgan for posting on Google+ and Luke Millar (@ltm) for posting on Twitter.

Thursday
Aug292013

Consumer Attitudes to SMS Marketing and Texts Alerts

Consumer Attitudes to SMS Marketing and Texts Alerts infographic

The Consumer Attitudes to SMS Marketing and Texts Alerts infographic is the results of a survey done by Text Marketer. The survey was conducted to find out the consumers’ view on receiving text alerts from companies. 

The infographic is based on an exclusive survey of over 1,350 consumers in to their attitudes to SMS marketing. 

The results highlight that 84% of customers want to receive appointment reminders, 61% want order confirmations and 89% would like delivery notifications via text; showing there are a lot of ways to market through this channel that customers love. 

48% of consumers are also likely to respond to a text from a company they have previously purchased from. Consumers love special offers by text and like to be able to ask questions to companies via text messages.

Since the data is from their own survey research, there are no additional data sources cited.  The purpose of the first section is to establish the credibility of the data, but the total number of respondents alone isn’t enough.  Surveys like this target specific consumers, and use screener questions to target a specific portion of the population.  What type of consumers were surveyed for this report?

The visualizations of the data are clear, and the iPhone illustrations for the results of each question break apart the data nicely.  It’s a little hard for readers to understand that the lineup of iPhones is meant to add up to the total of 100% of respondents for each question.

The footer should include a copyright notice, and the URL back to the original infographic landing page so readers can find the full-size version if a link is not available.  A link to the source data would increase the credibility of the data too.  Instead, the landing page has a link to the home page of Text Marketer as the data source link, which means public access to the numeric data is not available.

Thanks to Mike for sending in the link!

Tuesday
Aug272013

World's Biggest Data Breaches Visualization

World's Biggest Data Breaches Visualization

David McCandless and the team from Information Is Beautiful recently released both static (seen above) and interactive versions of the new World’s Biggest Data Breaches visualization.

This weekend, Apple’s developer site was hacked. 275,000 logins, passwords and other records potentially compromised. Two days before that, popular open-source operating system Ubuntu had its forums hacked. 1.82 million records stolen.

Are those big data breaches? Or just pin-points in the big data universe?

We’ve pulled out the interesting and funny stories out of the data. Click on the bubbles to read.

A fantastic design, the interactive version allows you to adjust the sorting, circle size and color-coding parameters.  It’s very easy for the reader to understand how one data breach fits into the overall history of stolen data.

In a move for transparency, the entire data set gathered and used in the design is available publicly to anyone through a Google Docs Spreadsheet.  Anyone can access the source data to verify the visualization or to create their own.

Found on Fast Company

Tuesday
Aug062013

It's Time to Empower Moms

It's Time to Empower Moms infographic

The verdict is out; Support mother’s decisions on how they raise their children. Based on the StrongMoms Empower, The National Motherhood Decisions Survey from Strong Moms Empower, many mothers make decisions on how to raise their kids to avoid criticism!

In conjunction with the StrongMoms Empower program, the National Motherhood Decisions Survey was conducted to gauge how moms feel supported or judged. This infographic illustrates the survey findings, which include: 95 percent of moms have felt judged or criticized; one in three moms makes parenting decisions to avoid criticism; nine out of ten moms notice a positive impact on kids when they feel supported. For more information please visit StrongMomsEmpower.com

Good design.  The key message is very clear.  You don’t have to read the whole infographic to understand that the infographic wants you to support moms in a positive way.  Also, a very clear call-to-action at the end with the link to signing an online petition.

Found on http://visual.ly