US Insights

Data Viz: What's new this year?

Samantha Scruggs

Brand and Communications Manager, Kantar

Digital 09.21.2017 / 11:00

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Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards 2017 Showcase

The Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards 2017 published the showcase of entries received this year. A record 787 entries were submitted, compared to 523 entries in 2016 - a 50% increase on last year. Entries were submitted by creators ranging from leading media publishers and design agencies, all the way through to solo practitioners and students. 

This year the Awards refreshed its approach to categories, inviting artists to submit by topic (art, science, current affairs...) instead of technical discipline categories (infographics, interactives and so on) in previous years. 

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26 countries are represented including the United States (18% of entries focusing on Trump, the US election and economics); United Kingdom (15% of entries, often featuring Brexit and the UK election); Italy (9% of entries); Canada (3% of entries); Australia (3% of entries); Germany (4% of entries); China (5% of entries - themes include pollution & climate, cultural traditions).

We saw a number of prominent themes emerge this year:

Trump

6% of entries explored Donald Trump and his presidency - making him the most-visualized subject of the entire awards. Trump’s unique communication style inspired projects exploring his tweets and inaugural speech compared to those of his predecessors.

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One Angry Bird by Periscopic - Showing how Trump’s inaugural speech was largely negative compared to the past 6 presidents, as shown by their facial expressions

Mr Trump’s business interests also caught the attention of data visualisers who documented his financial ties with hundreds of individuals and organisations. Concerns about fake news inspired some important fact-checking work, investigating Trump’s claims and the media coverage they received.

One entry even analysed Mr Trump as a subject matter in hip-hop over the years – and it’s not looking good for him:

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Hip-Hop is Turning on Donald Trump by Alison McCann - Every mention of Donald Trump in decades of rap lyrics, suggesting that Trump is no longer in favour amongst rappers.

Environment & climate

Climate change and natural disasters including floods, typhoons & hurricanes made for fascinating visualisations.

With Hurricane Harvey dominating the news in the weeks leading up to the Awards closing date, Andrew Hull created a real-time rescue map allowing visitors to view the scale of those affected and pinpoint the needs and concerns of people caught up in crisis.

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Hurricane Harvey SOS rescue map by Andrew Hull - An interactive real-time map detailing help requests from Houston & surrounding areas.

Continuing the theme of water - who has it, who doesn’t, and who is stealing it from who - the Watergrabbing Atlas uses today’s technology to replicate the rich information source of an encyclopaedia. 

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Watergrabbing Atlas by Riccardo Pravettoni, Federica Fragapane, Emanuele Bompan, Marirosa Iannelli - An overview of global watergrabbing activities, including individual case studies.

Gender

The prominence of gender equality in the media and social justice circles is reflected in this year’s Awards submissions. Scientific American uses imagery to expose the complex challenge of defining sex & gender in scientific terms. The Pudding (published by Awards 2017 winner Polygraph) shines a light on bias in literature, offering the hopeful note that some book genres are now at gender parity.

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What’s it like to get trolled all day long? by Harry Stevens - Every profane or abusive tweet sent to 4 prominent women over the course of a single day.

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Beyond XX & YY: Visualizing Sex & Gender by Amanda Montanez, Wesley Grubbs, Mladen Balog - Exploring the complexities of sex & gender.

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Bias, she wrote: The gender balance of the New York Times Bestsellers list by Rosie Cima, Russell Goldenberg, Matt Daniels, Llia Blinderman - Tracking the relationship between author gender & commercial success since the 1940s.

Political issues

Israel is worried about terrorism, Australia - unemployment, South Africa - corruption. Federica Fragapane has turned a detailed Ipsos survey from Ipsos into a graphic that instantly highlights the fears of 25 nations.

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What are we worried about by Federica Fragapane - Analyzing the top 5 sources of concern in 25 countries.

The graphics this year also challenges popular misconceptions about terrorism and faith. ‘How many foreign fighters make it to Syria and Iraq’, and ‘where do foreign fighters outnumber the Muslim populations of countries around the world?’ are prime examples:

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On their way: The journey of foreign fighters by Paolo Ciuccarelli, Alessandro Zotta & Team - Detailing the journeys of ISIS fighters to the Caliphate territories.  

A number of entries focused on North Korea. Reuters provided a suite of graphics exploring the perceived North Korean threat and its ongoing arms race:

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North Korea Visualized by Weiyi Cai, Jin Wu Christian Inton, Wen Foo - A suite of information graphics detailing North Korea's military ambitions.

Fun entries

As usual, we had a number of irreverent entries this year. Why did searches for ‘donut’ peak in July 2015? Why do cheeseburgers get a lot of online traffic on September 15th? Your searches on Google reveal a lot about your eating habits - as six years of data shows.

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Rhythm of Food by Moritz Stefaner, Alberto Cairo, Simon Rogers - When do people search for cheeseburgers? Pumpkin spice latte? Exploring 12 years of food trends using Google data.

The world’s first robotic bartender tells us in Makr Shakr that the Chinese would much rather drink a Firefly or a Shirley Temple than any other alcoholic cocktail. And let’s not bother offering a Spaniard a long island ice tea...

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Makr Shakr by data by Andrea Pedrina, Paolo Rigamonti - Analyzing every cocktail served by the world’s first robotic bartender.

And outside of the controversy around La La Land’s did-they-didn’t-they Oscar win, the big question a lot of fans were asking is: was that a tragic or a happy ending? Damar Aji Pramudita used music data from Spotify to make his own conclusions.

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Is La La Land’s ending hopeful or despairing? by Damar Aji Pramudita - Visualizing the emotional rollercoaster that is La La Land.

You can see all the entries to this year’s for Kantar Information is Beautiful awards here.

The shortlist of finalists will be published on 17th October. The award ceremony will be held in London on 28th November.

Source: Kantar

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