The dummy’s primer to interactive graphics

A step by step guide to 3 data visualization tools

Ginny Romney | Web Editor,, DDM | @GinnyRomney | August 1, 2016

Read Ginny's original article here

In an attempt to better engage our audience and present information in new, clear, helpful ways, has been experimenting the the following three tools.

Northwestern University's Knight Lab

Knight Lab offers several free tools to enhance journalism. One of our favorites is called Timeline. Here’s a quick walk through a timeline project.

You’ll start at their main page and click on “Get the Spreadsheet Template.”

Then input your data in a Google Sheet. Once you’re done, you “Publish to the Web.”

From there, you can preview the article on the site and get the embed code.

Insert your embed code, and you’re live!

2. Google Charts

Now let’s take a brief look at how to make a bar chart. This will require some basic coding skills. First, find the bar chart that works for your project.

Click on “Code it Yourself on JSFiddle” (JSFiddle is a free text editor that lets you preview your coding. Sign up for an account so you can save your data.)

Input your data, make it perfect, and copy and paste the code into your CMS. (If it’s anything like ours, you’re going to need to wrap it in div tags and make sure all the spaces are taken out.)

After a couple tries (or maybe the first if you’re luckier than I), you should be good to go!

3. Tableau

Here’s a peek inside Tableau. Note: you’ll need to sign up for a free trial and download the application.

Upload data from Excel.

Customize and categorize the data.

Once you’ve saved the project, open it in your profile on the site.

Click on the project and then click on the share icon, then use the embed code.

Enjoy the rewards of your brain gymnastics!

Read Ginny's original article here