The Best 25 Data-Visualization Examples – Data Analysis as Art

Data is very powerful because it allows you to understand what is happening around you. However, if you don’t use the right visualization, you might not understand what is telling you.

Data visualization can be very useful since your brain tends to absorb much more information from a chart, an image, an element design than from text.

Data visualization tools have been evolving in the last few years and it’s now possible to make some visualizations that seemed impossible just some time ago.

When you use data visualization examples, you want to show the data in a compelling as well as in an informative way. Here are 25 data visualization examples – some interactive and some static:

#1: Why Buses Bunch 

Why Buses Bunch is one example of an interactive data visualization example. They just picked on the “bus bunching” topic and explained it, in a much simpler way, by using a visualization rather than explaining it through words. Whenever a bus delays, at the end of the day more buses will arrive at the same time, to the same stop.

With some a simple data visualization, you can see by yourself what happens if one bus delays for just a short period of time.

data visualization examples

#2: Languages in the World

Despite we all know there are numerous languages spoken around the world, you most probably don’t have any idea about the number. Well, they are 2,678. It’s pretty impressive. But more impressive is how DensityDesign was able to create this magnificent data visualization example showing not only the number of languages that are spoken around the world as well as where they are spoken.

They have used such a huge data and condensed it in a visual way that is so easy to understand and much more intuitive than if you were simply reading it from a journal, magazine or book.

Languages in the World

#3:  Percent of U.S. Population by Age Group

Statistics are, many times, presented as data visualization examples. After all, we started using data visualization tools to better understand data and to be able to identify underlying patterns. As you already know, there are many ways to visualize data and this is a great example of an animated GIF, where you can see the population evolution by age group, from 1950 up to 2060 (forecast).

Despite what some people think, statistics can get quite interesting especially when you use data visualization tools to present them in a more compelling way. 

Percent of U.S. Population by Age Group

#4: The Complete History of the NFL

There are many NFL fans out there. One of the problems with NFL and other sports is that it’s sometimes difficult to get the most accurate data and to present it in a good and intuitive way.

FiveThirtyEight decided to grab all the data available from NFL and created the “Elo rating”, which simply measures the strength based on the results game-by-game. By using this data visualization example, you’ll be able to see how each team performed across time. You can even compare teams that are already defunct like the Boston Yanks or the New York Yankees.

The Complete History of the NFL

#5: U.S. Thanksgiving on Google Flights

Data visualization examples can be fun as well. The U.S. Thanksgiving on Google Flights is powered by Google Trends, and it shows you the flights across the United States on the day before the Thanksgiving. It’s amazing to see how such simple data can be viewed this way. It’s intuitive, gives out all the information you want and it’s just impressive. They were able to condense the entire day flights into a little movie. This is a true example of how you can see such different kinds of data through visualization.   

U.S. Thanksgiving on Google Flights

#6: What’s Really Warming the World?

Global warming and the care for the environment are already part of our lives. One of the most important questions experts and researchers have been debating is what is causing the global warming. So, Bloomberg Business decided to tell the story through data visualization and they created an amazing data visualization example. You’ll be able to see the different factors that have been causing the global warming throughout the years. The visualization starts with the rise of the temperature since 1880. When you start to scroll down the page, you’ll see the most diverse factors that influence the temperatures.

What's Really Warming the World?

#7: A Guide to Who is Fighting Whom in Syria

It’s more than 2 years now since Syria is at war. In the middle of so many different news, we end up not knowing who their allies are and who is fighting them. A lot of different countries have already been involved but it’s still confusing. So, Slate decided to provide us with a simple but highly intuitive data visualization example. And with just a glance, you’ll easily understand what’s happening in Syria and who is fighting there.

Plus, you can also click on the faces, and you’ll get a brief description of the relationship.

A Guide to Who is Fighting Whom in Syria

#8:  Most Valuable Sports Franchises

Column Five, inspired by the “Top 50 Most Valuable Sports Franchises 2014” Forbes list, decided to gather the data and put it in a much more pleasant format. In this interactive data visualization example, you can not only see the number of championships each team won as well as the number of years each team competed.

With much more information provided, and using graphics, this data visualization example is divided into the different sports as well like baseball, soccer/football, American football, among others, or you can see the information that includes all sports.

Most Valuable Sports Franchises

#9: U.S. Wind Map

Just like the Thanksgiving flights visualization, the U.S. Wind Map is a great data visualization example that shows you the wind direction and speeds across the United States, in real time.

You can easily see that the wind speed is showed by the lines moving faster or slower and the direction is shown by the way the lines are moving.

This is a great interactive data visualization example since you know what’s happening and what’s showing you just by looking at it. If you want more details, you can always click on the map itself.

U.S. Wind Map

#10: Where News Audiences Fit on the Political Spectrum

Pew Research Center decided to conduct a study back in 2014 about the ideological placement on a 10-point scale of the people interviewed and according to the different news channels they had watched on the previous week.

Usually, on this kind of research, journalists tend to create tables that are easier for readers to follow. However, this time, they went for a completely different data visualization. They chose to use a distribution plot instead since it was even easier not only to compact all the information they collected as it was even simpler to readers to completely understand it just by looking at a glance.

Where News Audiences Fit on the Political Spectrum

#11: The Daily Routines of Famous Creative People

Based on Mason Currey’s “Daily Rituals” book, Podio decided to show us the daily routines of famous writers, musicians, and general artists. With such a simple concept, the result is absolutely amazing. They were able to divide each artist’s routines throughout the entire day and make it engaging.

The Daily Routines of Famous Creative People

#12: The Year in News

In 2014, Echelon Insights decided to gather the most talked subjects on Twitter throughout the year, in the United States. Through this data visualization example, you can easily see that the most discussed topics were about the Ferguson shooting and Grand Jury, and the Election Day. You can even see the months where the discussion happened. With this visualization, you instantly remember all that happened in that year.

The Year in News

#13: Funding the Final Frontier 

When most people think about a good data visualization example they tend to think about infographics. Infographics are, indeed, a great way to show people all the information regarding a specific topic. In this case, with such a simple infographic created by GOOD Magazine and Column Five, you’ll be able to see NASA’s budget for the next 5 years as well as where the money will be spent.

This is a great example of a well-though and carefully designed infographic. It doesn’t only compile all the information it needs as it has a great design. Plus, and what makes it one great data visualization example, is that is simple, highly intuitive, and engaging.

Funding the Final Frontier

#14: Caritas Kontakladen Annual Report

Despite the fact that we just presented a great infographic, this one had to be here as well. Data visualization needs to be engaging, intuitive and simple to understand and read. These are the main goals. In order to have a good data visualization example, you don’t need it to be interactive or animated. It truly depends on the nature of the data you’re using. And the Caritas Kontakladen Annual Report proves exactly this point. Marion Luttenberger, an amazing designer, created this simple infographic for this company that supports drug addicts in Austria. This one is truly inspiring.

Caritas Kontakladen Annual Report

#15: How Americans Came to Accept Gay Marriage

Gay marriage has been in debate for many years. With some people in favor and others against, June 2015 was a decisive month, with the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the gay marriage.

So, with this debate in mind, Vocativ decided to create a great data visualization example expressing how much the people perceptions about the subject changed throughout 1993 up to 2014. You’ll see the differences in all the different states giving you a great perspective of the evolution.

How Americans Came to Accept Gay Marriage

Source: http://visual.ly/how-america-came-accept-gay-marriage

#16: The New York Times: The Economic Future

Based on Thomson Reuters, the Treasury Department and Bundesbank, the New York Times created a remarkable data visualization example showing you a 3-D view to predicting the economy’s future.

Despite no one can know for sure what’s going to happen in the future, predictions and forecasts are a part of the world economy. And decisions are made based on those forecasts. So, the New York Times decided to use the data it already had as well as some of the predictions that were in place at the time to give us all this information. If this was written as a text, most people would be completely bored. Not because they don’t care but because it’s not appealing or engaging. By presenting the data this way, the New York times was able to clearly demonstrate all that they wanted, in a much simpler, effective, and engaging way.

The New York Times: The Economic Future

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/03/19/upshot/3d-yield-curve-economic-growth.html?_r=0

#17: WhiteHouse.gov: Interactive Budget

Despite looking so simple at a first glance, this data visualization example gives you a lot of information. It’s important to know, as a citizen, how your taxes are spent. And most of us don’t have a clue on the priorities of the country at a given moment.

By looking at this visualization, you get the perfect notion about where the most money is going to be spent. You see that the health care has a larger budget than national defense, for example. However, you can get more information by clicking on each tile.

WhiteHouse.gov: Interactive Budget

Source: http://visual.ly/presidents-2016-budget-proposal?view=true

#18: The Wall Street Journal: Infectious Diseases and Vaccines

“Infectious Diseases and Vaccines” was the Data Journalism Awards 2015 winner. The Wall Street Journal compiled all the information regarding infectious diseases in the 20th century, comparing to the impact of the vaccines. Some infectious diseases are covered since the 1930s and all the states are represented.

To get a more clear idea about the numbers, you can simply hover any chart. This is a remarkable piece of information that also helps people realize the importance of getting vaccinated.   

The Wall Street Journal: Infectious Diseases and Vaccines

Source: http://graphics.wsj.com/infectious-diseases-and-vaccines/

#19: Are Ubers Supplementing or Replacing Cabs?

The FiverThirtyEight decided to pick on a controversial question regarding Uber and regular cabs in New York. Since Uber appeared, cab drivers have been complaining about losing work for this new company. The have been complaining they don’t have the same conditions. However, the market is free and this is only the new competitor in town. So, the company used data from 2014 and 2015 to create this data visualization example. Looking at it, you can easily see where Uber has been gaining more customers and the areas where they still lose clients to cabs.

Are Ubers Supplementing or Replacing Cabs?

Source: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/uber-is-taking-millions-of-manhattan-rides-away-from-taxis/

#20: Interactive Visualization of NYC Street Trees

We like our cities to be beautiful; we like to see other things than just streets, avenues, and cars all around the place. We like and we want to see more green, more trees spread out through our cities.

Thinking about what trees varieties are more present as well as the number of trees there are in all the 5 boroughs of New York City, Cloudred decided to gather the data from the NYC Open Data and create an amazing data visualization example.

They placed each borough separate and make it very easy to figure out the number of trees and which variety is more common in one particular borough just by hovering the visualization.

Interactive Visualization of NYC Street Trees

Source: http://www.cloudred.com/labprojects/nyctrees/#about

#21: Interactive Millennial Generation Diversity Map

People keep talking about their past and their generation as if theirs was the best one. We all tend to feel this way regarding our own generation. So, CNNMoney decided to compare the changes between the different generations: the Greatest Gen., the Silent Gen., Baby Boomers, Gen. X, Millennials, and Gen. Z regarding races.

You can easily go from a generation to the other and see all the details in particular. It was really clever placing all this information in this format since it becomes a lot more intuitive than just reading a text os looking at a regular table.

Interactive Millennial Generation Diversity Map

Source: http://money.cnn.com/interactive/economy/diversity-millennials-boomers/

#22: The Next America

It’s always interesting to see how religion affects people’s lives. Although among all generations are people who are more or less believers, it’s interesting to see the evolution from one generation to the next one. The Pew Research Center decided to grab this data and use it in this visualization. This is not only good to know to see the differences between the different generations as it gives you a perspective about how people religion believes are evolving to make forecasts.

Despite this is one of the most simple data visualization examples we have on this list, it’s the one that suits better for the kind of data that is being analyzed.

The Next America

Source: http://www.pewresearch.org/next-america/#The-Young-Are-Less-Religiously-Affiliated

#23: World’s Biggest Data Breaches

With globalization and easy access to the Internet, it’s not surprising that the number of hackers has been growing. Despite security measures have been evolving as well, the fact is that more and more companies see their records being compromised.

Information is beautiful decided to compile all the hacks the different companies suffered through time, the leak method – either accidental, configuration error, hacker, among others, and the amount of records that were compromised.

By clicking in a specific bubble, you’ll also be able to see a more detailed report about what happened at the time.

World’s Biggest Data Breaches

Source: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/worlds-biggest-data-breaches-hacks/

#24: Most Popular Dogs Based on Data

This is another powerful data visualization example where you can see so much information compiled in one single place.

They took the data about each dog race longevity, costs, intelligence, appetite, ailments, and grooming and they managed to create a data score for each dog. Then, they asked the American Kennel Club for information about the breeds popularity and managed to create a beautiful presentation with all the information compiled. Just by looking at it, you’ll easily know which breeds people usually look for, great dogs that are usually overlooked and the inexplicably overrated considering their data score.

Most Popular Dogs Based on Data

Source: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/best-in-show-whats-the-top-data-dog/

#25: State of the Union 2014 Minute by Minute on Twitter

Usually, the State of the Union usually catches many people’s interest. And nowadays, most people like to follow it and comment about it on Twitter. So, Twitter decided to compile the data regarding the State of the Union speech and see the different topics that were more commented. You can also notice, just at a glance, the most commented topic through the size of the hashtag (#defense, in this case).

In this interactive data visualization example, you can also hover it for more details.

State of the Union 2014 Minute by Minute on Twitter

Source: http://twitter.github.io/interactive/sotu2014/#p1

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