- [Instructor] In this movie we're going to talk about when you might want to think about creating interactive experiences as opposed to just static infographics. There are strong arguments for interactivity and we're going to go through some examples to show the power of it in the context of these arguments. But first a spoiler alert, my answer is pretty much always. If you can, if you have the time, if you have the budget, if you have the tools available, really you should always create interactive experiences. That's the short answer, but here's the long answer.
So, I'm going to start off with a little story. How did you learn to count? I learned using these and I wonder how many of you out there recognize what I'm showing you. What these are are counting beads that are used in the Montessori system. And so the idea is that you get these little beads and so they start off by handing you one bead and that's one and then maybe you're handed three beads and that's three and then eventually you get a string of beads. You can see in the top there behind the other piles of beads there's a string of 10 beads and that's so you learn what 10 is and then on the right hand side in the front here you get this sheet of 10 strings of 10 beads all together and that's 100 and then finally you get this cube on the left hand side and that's 1,000 and so you get a very tangible, physical experience of what these numbers represent.
So my first argument for going interactive is that interactivity gives you tangibility. When you let your audience touch and feel and play with and click on and roll over the data. Even though that's a virtual tangible experience it's still much more tangible experience than simply passively reading something. So that's the first argument. The second argument is that everyone in the end is a narcissist and I mean that in the kindest way possible. And so what I mean by that specifically is that when we're consuming content, if it has nothing to do with us, we really sort of can't relate to it.
Our instinct is to always try to relate to what we're viewing. So as an example, if you're from deep in the Amazon, and someone plunked you down onto a couch and you're watching TV which might be a bit of a unique experience in the first place. You might not enjoy watching a hockey game, right? It might be interesting at first. Maybe you haven't experienced ice before. What's that slippery stuff? Why are they chasing that black disc? And why are they holding the sticks, et cetera? But after long I think it might get boring, because you don't know the rules, everything is so foreign to you that there might not be enough to keep your interest.
It's just not enough about you and your experience. So this is especially true when it comes to the types of content that we consume regularly. Whether it's for business or for pleasure. If it's not about you, it can't keep your interest as well. So an example of an interactive experience created to address this issue is something I did for Booz & Company, a consulting company. And it was based on a study they had done looking into mergers and acquisitions deals, when two companies merge together. What they found is that when the companies merge for capabilities fit, meaning that the capabilities of the two firms are a good match for each other, they get 12 points better return for investors and when they do an M & A deal simply for geographic grab, right? We just want to have an office London so let's go merge with a company in London or for marketshare Grab.
We're just trying to grow so let's merge with a big company. When they do deals like this they do better. So if I were to read this report, I might believe it. I might take them at face value and say okay, maybe that's true. But there may be a little bit of doubt about my industry, right? So let's say I'm in the chemicals industry. I can come over here and click on the chemicals button and as you'll notice everything sort of opens up and now I'm looking at all of the deals within the chemical sector. So specifically what I'm looking at is this center, darker line is zero meaning there is a zero return on an M & A deals.
So to the right, the deals did better and to the left, they did worse. The two darker dots are both what's called, capabilities fit deals and then the white dot is a limited fit deal, sort of the quote unquote, bad type of deal. So what we should find across all of the data is that there are more dark dots to the right and more white dots to the left. What's great about this interactive experience is not only can I filter it down to be just about me and my industry and I can click through all of these different industries, is that let's say I'm in the electrical utilities industry, I might question your logic.
And I might come in and say listen, there are tons of deals done for a limited fit that did pretty well. In fact, the best deal in my industry, this one over here, was a limited fit deal. And so one of the reasons interactivity is really helpful is not only because it lets me look at my industry, but by doing so, it increases your credibility. It lets me question your logic, poke at it, see the flaws in it which is okay because now I'm more likely to believe you because you're not trying to hide something from me, at least I don't feel that way. In this particular experience I can also look at all of the deals within a category.
So I can click on just show me the limited fit deals and sure enough more of them are over here and they spread much further down this way. They're more worse deals this way. If I look at the leveraged fit deals, the best ones, again, they're more to the right hand side and certainly the best deal of all is way over here on the right. So interactivity lends a lot of credibility, a lot of ability to see myself in your data. It lets me turn your data story into my data story which is very powerful. Interactivity is really about letting users explore your data for themselves which enables a lot of things.
As I mentioned it makes it more tangible. And studies have shown that adding an interactive experience, making it more tangible increases learning outcomes and makes things more memorable. As I like to say it also turns your data story into their data story. It makes it about them which is very important. It also increases your credibility. When you expose everything to me, when it's transparent and I can find the little points in the data that maybe don't agree with your overall thesis, then I don't feel like you're hiding something from me. So credibility is a really important argument for interactivity and finally it helps you get past the editorial constraints that you'll find when working in other media.
So if you're creating a magazine article or 100 page report or whatever form it is, you're always making decisions, you're always cutting out what can't be included because of time or space constraints. But an interactive you can put all the data out there and put all kinds of interactivity in features and filters and let me really find endless ah-has. I can find my own ah-has in the data. So you're giving me the power to find things that you don't have time to bring forward for me. Simply put, when you can go interactive.
- Describe the process by which individuals’ interests are incorporated into data visualizations.
- Differentiate the use of the Ws in data visualization.
- Explain techniques involved in defining your narrative when visualizing data.
- Identify the factors that make data visualizations relatable to an audience’s interests and needs.
- Review the appropriate use of charts in data visualizations.
- Define the process involved in applying interactivity to data visualizations.