Last night I read this article on the Atlantic Monthly about a Reddit Q and A with Nate Silver, who believes there should be a Pulitzer Prize for infographics. I completely agree. He notes the New York Times does a great job at creating infographics that can tell a compelling and interesting story that is immediately comprehensible to readers, even when the data is incredibly complex. And they do so in a visually attractive way.
While most of us don’t have access to the fancy software used by Times authors, there is a lot that can be done even with Excel. As Silver notes by messing around with default settings you can create nice looking infographics in Excel. As I mentioned in my last post there are some free programs available for download, like Tableau Public or Google Gadgets, that can be used to create infographics that are a little more souped up than the standard graphs/charts you can make in Excel. Using a program like Tableau Public requires a small investment of time to learn how it works, but I think its well worth it.
In the coming weeks and months I hope to post some more data projects I’ve created using Tableau or Google Gadgets.
Agriculture, Food and Environment Program
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