It’s that time of year when we’re inundated by campaign ads not only for major offices but also for state propositions and measures. The Sacramento Bee ran a data tracker article showing the top donors for and against these propositions. I really appreciate the research and analysis that went into that piece, but as I was analyzing it myself it occurred to me that this would be another well-suited application of a Sankey diagram.
According to learning theorists, 65% of us are visual learners, meaning we learn better by seeing than by hearing or just reading something. This, along with empirical evidence from marketers, is driving the use of more and more visuals in our everyday communications. By 2018, 85% of communications will be visual and according to Cisco, 79% of internet traffic will be video content.
In an study that Twitter commissioned, they found that the majority of Twitter users (82%) watch video content on Twitter. Further analysis of their own internal data found that native video on Twitter drives more overall engagement than third-party videos shared on Twitter. What kind of increased engagement? How about 2.5X more replies, 2.8X more Retweets and 1.9X more Favorites.
Since creating and publishing the City of Sacramento Budget Interactive Flow Diagram last year for Code for Sacramento’s Open Budget Sacramento project I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback about it. This flow diagram seems to attract and engage people more than any other style of data visualization I’ve produced. People love it. Commonly referred to as a Sankey diagram, alluvial diagram, or flow diagram, these visual representations of how things flow or are distributed and dispersed seem to naturally draw people in to explore and interact with the data.
For a few weeks now I’ve been working on an interactive visualization to represent the nodes and connections of the entities in the Sacramento startup ecosystem. This conceptual map of Sacramento’s startup ecosystem maps out the connections and relationships of the various entities in our region’s growing startup community.