Note: This piece first appeared in ComputerWorld.
Data storytelling is undergoing a big change, one that will influence not only data journalism but also how data is shown in the business world. And 2016 will only accelerate this trend.
Five years ago, data journalism focused on rich interactives designed primarily for a monitor or laptop screen. Those interactives were complete applications, destinations to be browsed. You could explore, drill down, filter, and play with them. This was a rich experience in the days when we used a mouse and keyboard.
The world has changed. First, we’re mobile. Second, social media has transformed the way we consume content. We scroll through streams and streams of content, quickly, on sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Buzzfeed. This has led to an increase in "scrollytelling": using scrolling to reveal videos, sounds, and animations which flow into and out of the story text. A great example from this year is "The Dawn Wall," the New York Times’ piece on the astonishing 19-day free climb in Yosemite National Park in California.
These trends are affecting interactive data journalism, leading to fewer rich interactive data destinations. Does this mean data is playing less of a role in journalism? Not at all. Let’s look at the effects on data journalism.