Video infographics for Delo.media social networks

Category: Best visualization (small and large newsrooms)

Country/area: Russia

Organisation: Agenda.media https://www.agenda.media/

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 17/10/2019

Credit: Anastasia Volosatova, Lydia Lotkina, Alena Rakhmankulova, Vladimir Kotov, Natalia Brusnitsyna, Anna Kulish, Anton Lobutinsky

Project description:

Delo.media is a new media. For two years we have been making entertainment videos about business, promoting economic topics in social media. We decided to experiment with an existing data animation format. We combined text explanations with data to check how interesting it would be for our audience. 

We created videos on hot topics such as dynamics of global brands, oil production in Russia, history of Russian companies. The characteristic feature of the project is that we supplemented data animation with storytelling — the text explanations that make the world of data more accessible to the average person.

Impact reached:

The format of video visualizations proved to be in demand among our audience no less than classic videos with subtitles on popular topics. For example, on one of our main platform Instagram, our usual video on average gets 40-50k views. While visualizations on average gained 30-40k views. The most popular visualization was about how Russian billionaires have grown rich and became poor over the past 15 years

That’s how we realized that hot and ambiguous topics can be covered much more objectively with data visualization. We were very surprised that Instagram users were interested in watching such complex and meaningful content. After creating 5 videos, we decided to launch a separate Data Show channel in English in 2020. So we plan to expand the audience, a range of topics and continue to develop new forms, as well as to advance the visualization format for B2B direction and advertising.

Techniques/technologies used:

Our team analyzed statistical data and converted collected information into a script on the Google Sheets platform. Data visualization is presented in the form of an infographic animated in Adobe After Effects (compositing design techniques, shape animation). The voice-over was made in Adobe Premiere Pro.

We used only reliable media as sources of the information and were guided by journalistic fact-checking standards. Each visual element in projects plays its own informative part. For example, colour is a guide to history. Due to colour solutions, we change the focus of attention in the video. Using a mix of elements, we give the audience an opportunity to maximize immersion in the topic in a short time, due to the video time limits in social networks.

After learning how to animate graphs with big data, we moved further and made a map animation. In the infographics released in 2020 on the obesity in the United States for 30 years topic, we showed a map of obesity in dynamics, integrated animation of other important elements, such as the population and the number of people with obesity. We also came up with an idea of using a spectacular element — the figure of David, which with the help of morphing technology gains weight. In future, we plan to use more entertaining elements to attract attention and enhance the effect of data perception.

What was the hardest part of this project?

Our company works online, so it was difficult to build effective communication between people from different parts of the world. It was even more difficult to assemble a team of specialists with the rare skills required for this project: deep research, a broad journalistic outlook, and rigorous design. None of us had any completely relevant experience in visualizing video data. We all have been constantly learning and we still are. Our purpose is to combine our knowledge to create an innovative product.

What can others learn from this project?

We have directed our extended experience in video production on the creation of this innovative product. Now we want to make data more understandable through videos. We create videos on hot topics such as dynamics of global brands, social media, oil production in Russia, top Russian companies, billionaires, obesity in the USA. For example, with the help of the interactive map, we highlight that nowadays there is no state or territory in the USA that has a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. It’s storytelling with a purpose because obesity is preventable. Data visualization helps to tell stories by converting data into a form easier to understand, highlighting the trends. Effective data visualization means balance between form and function. We would like to share our experience and learn from others.

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