There is something going on. Let's put it this way: First, there is a unprecedented availability of data. Secondly, there many new tools to turn spreadsheets into attractive visuals. Thirdly, thanks to the instant distribution power of the internet more and more people get access to these visualizations and they seem to love it
A new market forming
Taking it all together there is a new market forming, that will affect journalists and media companies. And this trend will have repercussions for IT as well, forcing to rethink how agile we handle large amounts of data and how good we are doing at visualizing the information.
Technically, there are some connections to "Business Intelligence", though the structure of the new projects that we see is very different. Data often is unstructured when it comes in, calling for creativity to make it more appealing. Users are not corporate managers, but a much broader public. This is more like "Public Intelligence", if you like.
A collection of examples
As a result an increasing number of media companies have started to work in this space. Foremost there is the The Guardian
, the New York Times and magazines like Good Magazine
, where data is visualized in new, innovative ways. But other media is using data and infographics more, too. Take for example the Texas Tribune
, where data stories are generating an increasing amount of visits.