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Capturing Attention Through the Best Data Visualization Techniques

Wednesday, August 16, 2017  
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The currency exhibit room at the Museum of American Finance. Currency exemplifies one of the highest levels of data visualization.

Data visualization is one of the most powerful communications tools. But for many, learning how to translate and express information in creative ways is a challenge. This is why PRSA-NY and the Museum of American Finance recently hosted an event on the history of data visualization, editorial techniques, and big data applications.

Citadel's David Rosen began by welcoming what he dubbed "a fabulous audience of trouble makers / disruptors who are keen to stay close to the newest trends."

Museum of American Finance President David Cowen showed an array of artifacts of U.S. financial and data visualization history. He said museums are going to fundamentally change in the next two decades. Displays will play to an array of senses in the future.

The featured speaker for the event from Forbes, Nick Desantis, shared best practices from his experience on the front lines of the graphics department at the magazine.

Highlights of Knowledge Shared:

Nick DeSantis, Forbes
Videos and GIFs

  • Don't worry too much about sound in your videos. Most people watch without sound anyway.
  • Keep videos for social to one minute long, and make sure the pace is quick; three minutes or longer is a diminishing return.
  • Get to the point in videos, no long intros.
  • Always consider your color palette. You want people to glean information from a glimpse.
  • Show faces in graphics whenever possible, people respond to it.

Spredfast, Chris Kerns, VP of Research

  • Facebook’s six emoji suite has moved us from the world of “Likes to targeted emotions.”
  • "Love" and "Likes" are the standard desired emotions in posts. But other primary emotions are desired from content -- e.g., "Wow," in sports and action oriented posts is often the targeted emotion from the audience. In a fundraising post about a dramatic cause, “Cry” is likely the desired emotion.
  • Sometimes seemingly negative Facebook reactions ("sad," "angry") are the ones you want. Depends on the INTENT of the post.


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