Data Unity

Published31st March 2014

The resource is for social organisations that lack the funds for expensive analytic software, and charities who want better evidence to support fundraising. The tool helps users make and distribute visualisations, or ‰Û÷infographics‰Ûª, from the data they collect as a way to help them communicate insights.

Good visualisation makes complex information quickly intelligible. (See, for instance, David McCandless‰Ûª book Data Is Beautiful.) They tell a story in fewer words, and work particularly well in digital media. Data Unity developed the tool to help more charities to realise the value of their data, and to use it more often to support their work.

Features

There is a simple front end tool for querying data called the Data Explorer. Users can create a query by dropping aspects of their data onto rows and columns and view the results as tables and graphics. Once these views on the data have been created they can be shared.

Data Unity lets users create visualisations of their data to help communicate insights. Sometimes it’s difficult to recognise insights in the data because of the way it is presented. Good visualisations help make data more familiar, approachable and understandable. Infographics can tell stories in fewer words, so they lend themselves to being distributed beyond the system, like being posted on blog pages. Data Unity includes tools for creating and distributing insightful data visualisations.

When insights have been gleaned using the Data Explorer tool they can be shared further afield using html snippets to paste the results into any website. More experienced web designers can use the javascript library or Web API to access and customise the results through code.

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