Wonder Tools 📊 The Best Data Visualization Tool
Try Flourish to create charts and interactive visuals — a 3-minute read
Flourish is the most useful tool for creating data visualizations. It’s free and easy to use to make line, bar and pie charts. You can also use its templates to craft sophisticated 3D maps, word clouds, quizzes, or annotated timelines.
You can share, download, or embed your creations. Canva acquired Flourish in 2022, so you can use it on its own or insert graphics into a Canva presentation. This post is an update of my earlier writeup.
3 visuals you can create with Flourish
Bar Chart Race
Compare changes over time. Show sales growth, a market value comparison, or a head-to-head assessment of athletic performance.
Show before and after images to illustrate damage caused by a natural disaster or how a face or place has changed over time. Just upload two photos.
Default view: The viewer drags a slider back and forth to see image A and B.
Fader style: Two images fade into one another as the viewer drags the slider.
Spotlight style: Elements of image B are spotlighted when the viewer mouses over image A. This highlight changes to details within an image.
Flourish visualizations don’t require numbers. Cards let you highlight companies, political candidates, athletes, artists, or other entities with a carousel.
New in Flourish
Scrollytelling renders your visuals as an immersive scrollable visual story.
Interactive calculators let viewers personalize data. You can even link a Google Sheet to Flourish to visualize survey responses as they arrive.
Gauge graphics let you show data on a low-high gauge (as on election night).
4 useful features
Templates include more than 50 ready-to-make visuals. Drop in your own data to get a graphic to use for your site, newsletter, or social networks.
Stories let you combine multiple visuals over a series of interactive slides. An example illustrates global exports.
Searchable charts enable your viewer to find relevant data within a graphic.
Annotations allow you to explain complex data sets or anomalies.
Pricing: Flourish is free for basic use. Newsrooms can apply to use Flourish for free. Enterprise users can contact Flourish for a price quote.
No mobile app. Visuals created w/ Flourish do look good on mobile, though.
Some visualization templates— like timelines and interactive calculators— are only available on paid plans.
Data novices may find Flourish’s customization options overwhelming.
Flourish in Action 📈
Wimbledon data 🎾 | COVID-19 data 📉 | US election results maps 🇺🇸 | Climate-related litigation ❄️ | UK name popularity | Love Island dating show data ❤️
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Charts and Infographics is a great list of tools from the Journalist’s Toolbox.
This guide to creating charts and graphics for social media has useful tips
A step-by-step guide + video for visualizing Google Trends data w/ Flourish
Alternatives to Flourish
Piktochart & Infogram have easy-to-use infographics templates
Genially lets you add a variety of interactive elements to your graphics
Datawrapper 👇 is free and simple, but has fewer visualization templates
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Ah, my least favorite subject: charts. LOL I'm not much of a numbers person and I always find it interesting how difficult it is for the average person to create meaningful charts. Charts are like websites: they can be flashy or plain; they can tell a story succinctly or they can bury insights in a jumble of noise; they can be honest or they can be misleading.
Do you know Mynda Treacy? I learned a lot from her site, mainly, that I didn't want to take the time to learn about data visualization. 📈📉🤢
Great edition as always. A follow up "request"...😁 for those of us self taught data enthusiasts, with some data I always wonder what type of chart is better for what set of data...