Data visualization and storytelling


Flourish year in review 2021

Looking back at the year that was – across our community, product and company

In many ways, this year felt like an extension of the previous one, due to a pandemic that continued to dominate lives around the globe. In that context, it’s no surprise that COVID remained a key visualization topic for the ever-growing Flourish community, along with other big themes such as climate, politics and the Olympics. Flourish the company also saw a lot of growth: the team almost doubled in size since January, as did the number of business customers. Let’s take a moment to look back over the year, starting with a few top-level community numbers.

Still remote: winter

At the start of the year, our team was still remote and under lockdown rules. With the pandemic requiring an ever-greater amount of information to be presented, we launched popup panels to help our users tell richer data stories. Seeking distraction and inspiration from seminal data visualizers, we also launched our first Masters series blog post.

More product improvements ✨

Some community visuals: COVID

The big thaw: spring

With lockdown easing, some of our growing team took the opportunity to meet up for a glamping retreat in Wiltshire

In the spring we introduced some chart accessibility guidelines and also made our editor more accessible by adding improved keyboard navigation. We opened our “Tea Break” webinar series to the whole community and enhanced our maps with a host of new features. On our blog, we took a deep-dive into visualizing local elections and celebrated the arrival of two new mini templates: Number Ticker and Countdown.

More product improvements 🌤️

Some community visuals: politics & society

Brief normality: summer

A breath of fresh air: The new Flourish HQ

Over the summer, the global news cycle started to become more varied again, with several sports events making headlines, most notably the Tokyo Olympics. To celebrate, we launched a new Sports Race template and wrote posts about visualizing both the Olympics and the Euros. We also launched our popular Pictogram template, and – after 18 months of working from home –  moved into a lovely new office space in Shoreditch, London’s tech capital.

More product improvements 😎

  • We added a new visualization type, the Waterfall chart, to our Line, Bar, Pie template
  • Our Quiz was enhanced with support for HTML inputs, making it possible to display images as questions
  • We published a simple five-step guide to data visualization
  • We recreated some of the IPCC’s climate charts and drew lessons on how charts can help us communicate effectively
  • We added a new “reveal” mode to our Line Chart Race template
  • We made it possible to download GeoJSON files directly from your data tab
  • The Slope Chart template received improved labelling with automatic overlap prevention, connector lines and richer styling settings

Some community visuals: economics and sports

Environmental emergency: autumn

After a summer full of weather extremes, and with world leaders converging on Scotland for the COP26 conference, climate became a key visualization topic for the community. On the blog, we wrote about the strengths and weaknesses of different chart types. And we introduced two new templates: Gantt Chart and Word Cloud. Finally, we unveiled a brand-new training series for our business and enterprise customers.

More product improvements 📊

Some community visuals: environment

21 in 21

One final thing to celebrate: in 2021 we welcomed 21 new amazing team members, each of whom have helped shape Flourish’s evolution.

With the end of the year in sight, we’re ready to wind down for a much-needed break. Thank you so much for all your ideas and feedback this year – and for all the incredible visualizations and stories you’ve created. We can’t wait to see what you make in 2022!