The new “Data explorer” template makes it easy to create rich interactive visualizations of datasets containing multiple metrics. It’s great for finding the stories in a dataset – and for telling those stories by animating magically between multiple types of charts and maps.
The template accepts any data where each row represents a unique entity – such as a country, company, person or product. Throw in as many numeric, categorical and geographical columns as you like – the more, the merrier! Then use the control panel in the visualization to explore and the template will do the rest.
Let’s try out the template with a dataset of nations, including demographic and environmental metrics such as population, GDP, carbon emissions and income group. Here’s a sample of the dataset. The blue columns contain text data (categories, names and identifiers) and the yellow ones contain numeric data:
Now let’s look at what happens when we drop this dataset into the new template. We’ll use Flourish scrollytelling to step through the views.
The true power of the “Data explorer” is its combination of quick exploration and beautiful explanation. Quickly selecting variables to see how they relate to each other makes it easier to discover patterns. Any views you find that are interesting can then be sequenced together into an animated story in just a few minutes.
When you share a story with others, you can decide whether to include the “explorer” controls in the visualization. In the scrolly example above, the controls are hidden, making the result feel like a piece of narrative content rather than a way to interrogate a dataset. But you may prefer to expose the controls to allow your viewers to dig into the data. Here’s the same dataset again, with controls, for you to explore …
As with most of our templates, the magic starts in the Data tab where you can upload your data and choose which columns to visualize. Add as many categorical and numerical columns as you like. These will become available in the control panel for positioning, sizing and coloring. You can also choose a column to use as a Filter, if you want to expose smaller subsets of the data.
If your data includes geographic information, you can enable one or more map views by choosing a column as the geographic “key” (such as a name or country code). The contents of this column should reference regions or coordinates listed in the Geo Regions and Geo Points data tabs. The template comes preloaded with countries in the region sheet, but you can easily customize this – for example by copying and pasting relevant geodata from any normal Flourish map.
The template performs best with tens or hundreds or rows of data. Pushing into the thousands will make a visualization that’s difficult to read and won’t animate as smoothly.
One unique trait from this template is that you can set two simultaneous color palettes: one categorical and one numeric. The correct one will be applied based on which type of data is being used for coloring.
Check out our help doc to learn more about this powerful and magical template.