An increasing volume of data, from scientific research to pop culture, is being presented online through interactive graphics. These tools empower general audiences to explore data with a granularity that was previously unavailable, but with variable success. The value of powerful visualization tools is lost when audiences are overwhelmed by a confusing graphical interface, even if the display is technically appropriate. As datasets become larger and require more powerful data visualizations, it is crucial that audiences are intrigued (not intimidated) by interactive visualizations.

In his talk “From confusing to convincing: a framework for using animation and storytelling to bolster the effectiveness of interactive visualizations” at the Strata+Hadoop conference in Barcelona, Data Visualization Specialist Michael Freeman presents a framework and specific techniques for using animation and storytelling to introduce complex visual systems to broad audiences.