Big is beautiful: 10 stunning big data visualisations

01 December 2015

The power that comes with the torrent of big data flooding our world has, unsurprisingly, become massively relevant to businesses, government and consumers alike.

With a growth rate of 2.2 million terabytes every day, big data is only getting bigger. But to fully leverage the potential that exists within mammoth streams of structured and unstructured data, presenting it visually is crucial.

The way we communicate data has transcended beyond basic analysis - and into a form of art. So how can you harness a global pool of information and turn it into something not only valuable, but also logical, easy-to-digest and pleasant on the eye?

These 10 inspiring examples of data visualisation - charts, graphs and other design elements - show how to communicate streams of information in one breath-taking package.

1. Intel: The Internet Of Things

 

The best data visualisations present masses of information both intuitively and beautifully. Intel hit the nail on the head with this piece, illustrating the huge phenomenon of ‘The Internet of Things’ in one simple, absorbing infographic.

2. Info We Trust: Endangered Safari
 



With a clever use of colour and direction, Info We Trust convey animal size, family, population trend and IUCN threatened species status. This map, along with a stylish interactive, displays data from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species with both style and substance.

3. Delayed Gratification: How To Win An Oscar


 

With utmost quality and honed design, Delayed Gratification produced an infographic based on analysis of every winner of an ‘actor/actress in a leading role’ Oscar to see which parts most commonly led to glory. An intelligent use of colour is crucial to guide the eye to the conclusive information, and pull-out icons with bold statistics to create a supremely engaging piece.

4. Information Is Beautiful: Snake Oil Supplements? Scientific evidence for popular health supplements
 



Five years after its creation, this fascinating interactive showing scientifically-proven health benefits of popular supplements continues to be updated. With nifty filters and clever use of colour, the piece is not only a great example of beautiful data visualisation - it helps you work out which supplements are a waste of your money.

5. Marion Luttenberger: Caritas Kontakladen Annual Report


 

Who said data visualisations had to be animated? This innovative approach to communicating through real-life photography has a powerful impact. The set of images shows how much people on Austria’s welfare system can spend on a daily basis, from data curated from a charity organisation for drug addicts.

6. Santiago Ortiz: Twitter’s Twittersphere


 

Prepare to have your mind blown. This incredibly complex and stunning interactive illustration by Santiago Ortiz shows Twitter’s employees interacting among themselves. Though impressively complex, the clean design and vivid colour coding make it a pleasure to interact with - give it a go yourself.

7. Concert Hotels: 100 Years Of Rock 


 

Data doesn’t have to be static. This animation of rock music history by Concert Hotels appeals to both the eyes and the ears: with moving lines to represent transitions in genres (with music samples) from before 1900 to the year 2000. Perfect way to communicate a large set of information in a fun, interactive manner.

8. Bloomberg: Billionaires


 

Displaying daily rankings of the world’s top 100 richest people based on changes in markets, the economy and personal assets is no mean feat. Bloomberg manage to nail it with this dynamic interactive. An engaging, clever way to explore a supremely comprehensive topic.

9. Data Pointed: A Visual History of Crayons 


 

110 years of Crayola history could only ever be presented as a stunning visual - and this beautiful radial presentation goes beyond the basic line graph. From the brand’s humble eight colours in 1903 to the 120-count lineup in 2010, data on Crayola’s colourful history was scraped into one easy-to-digest work of art.

10. Moritz Stefaner: Selfiecity


 

Selfiecity is the first project to investigate the trends and style of selfies in five cities across the world, using a mix of theoretic, artistic and quantitative methods. Rich big data visualisations assemble photos on one clean grid to reveal fascinating patterns - leading to essays discussing selfies in the history of photography.

 

Feeling inspired? Check out our exciting opportunities in data and technology here.