It may be useful, but if you can’t get anyone to look at it (or understand it), data doesn’t do anything for anyone. After all, how many numbers can you really look at before your eyes glaze over and you begin forgetting what you were looking for in the first place? Luckily, there may be a solution. Meet the Data GIF Maker, a new tool from Google that wants to help data scientists, journalists, and others who depend upon data to support their ideas better communicate their evidence to their audience.
Indeed, the Data GIF Maker was designed specifically with storytellers in mind, as Google notes, “Data visualizations are an essential storytelling tool in journalism.” And while much of this data, especially when it’s meaningful, tends to be highly involved, Google says that it doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated — at least, not to the layman.
And that’s where data GIFs come in.
Meant to help the mobile generation more easily visualize information formatted specifically for their smart devices, these data animations are meant to be used for a “variety of sophisticated storytelling approaches among data journalists,” Google says. And with this new tool, journalists will be able to show share of interest for two opposing topics.
So how does it work? First, GIF makers will need to enter two data points. “We typically use the tool to represent competing search interest, but it can show whatever you want it to — polling numbers, sales figures, movie ratings, etc,” Google explains. “If you want to show search interest, you can compare two terms in the Google Trends explore tool, which will give you an average number (of search interest over time) for each term. Then input those two numbers in Data GIF Maker.”
Then, you’ll add your text, choose your colors, select your explanatory text, and then click “Launch Comparisons,” and finally, “Download as GIF.” That’s all it takes to create an animated version of all that critical information you want to share.
So if you’re looking for a way to make your information more easily digestible, you may took a look at Data GIF Maker from Google.