Graphs and data have been an area of great confusion in the past.

There was a time when too much information cleared a room. However, there have been significant changes in recent years. With open data, journalism has taken a turn.

Today, journalists are trained on how to understand data. They can browse through data sets and figures and represent them to their readers in a clear way.Today, any brand that wants to be competitive has to have this same skill.

There’s more than one way to achieve this goal. In fact, there are a few simple ways to go about this.What Do You Need to Find?Most of the stories written about current data involves being able to identify specific patterns.

Journalists should be able to see trends or specific behaviors present in a set of data. This isn’t always an easy task.

Join the dots

However, for anyone who can find hidden or overlooked patterns, the story will benefit. Being able to filter through data sets and analyze large amounts of information is a key component.

Next, display the data in a chart or graphic. Interactive graphs are great options and can be used with javscript libraries.

This type of display creates transparency by allowing readers to do their own analysis. While bar charts have a place, they’re less valuable.

More popular formats include sankeys and circle packing.After you have these two steps down, all you need to do is put the story together. There’s no limit to formatting options, but these three are probably the clearest ones to use.

Patterns or TrendsAlso known as cause an effect, find patterns of behaviors over time. See how these behaviors can be connected to other events. One example is how recessions occur when banks stop lending money.

Connections and correlations

This is an easy connection to make. There are other correlations that may be more challenging to find. However, use this advice cautiously. If you look too close, you can find a connection between almost anything.

Remember that the goal is the story and making sure that you tell the story in an interesting and engaging way.Top 50Most people like lists.

Whether your story is about the Top 40 Country singles or Top 10 Businessmen of 2017, this is a good choice. Having a list provides a natural category. Also, by their subjective nature, you can bring up alternate and interesting views.

Like with LikeUse a comparison over time to demonstrate how two things are alike and different. This is a great choice for a graphic and easy to understand. The only drawback is that this option may be weak as a standalone piece.

Creating content

Additionally, the supporting data needs to be excellent. All three formats can be used to create engaging pieces. Because so many companies struggle to produce engaging, relevant pieces, data is a great choice.

It’s always available and able to be used without any privacy concerns.

There are many ways to illustrate these stories and remember that interactive content is becoming hugely popular today.

The Content Marketing Institute found that greater than 75% of respondents to a survey reported that they would be increasing their efforts in this style of marketing over the next year.

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