Richard Silvester
February 13, 2015
Reading time:
9 min

ICYMI here’s 8 of the most inspiring visual data pieces we’ve been coming across this week, from Facebook’s Valentine’s day infographic to McDonalds real time data digital billboard..


Multiple owners

Listening to music can be a very emotional experience, and now thanks to a team from Slovenia we can begin to see how different people respond. Designer Črtomir Just has created a series of visual artworks using the brainwaves from 20 volunteers as they listened to a piece of music for the first time inside a sound and lightproof box. The music was composed especially for the occasion by kleemar, and the levels of concentration and relaxation were shown to dance erratically throughout the two minute experience. The artworks all take very different forms, suggesting no two people experience music in quite the same way.

Rise and Shine


Image credit: AdWeek

After last years incredible #LookUp billboard from Ogilvy & Mather UK it’s been a while since we’ve seen really good real time advertising. This charming McDonalds digital billboard nicely executed by Cossette, will not only make you hungry, but put a smile on your face. An Egg McMuffin rises on the roads of Canada, the same time as the sun, subliminally inviting you to pop in the nearest McD for a tasty breaky! Clever indeed.


Image credit: Wiki Commons

With Valentine’s day almost upon us, millions will surely be turning to dating sites as couples everywhere put on a sickening display of love and affection. OkCupid have compiled data from some 25 million accounts over the last six years to visualise racial preferences among love seekers using their service. The data suggests that black men in particular showed little racial preference, while woman of all backgrounds are more likely to prefer men of their own race. Up to six years of data can be examined, and it’s an interesting insight into who and what we define as beautiful.

Since this time we thought we’d dive a little deeper and cop the book “Dataclysm Who We Are When We Think No One’s Looking” by Christian Rudder.

Get engaged with Facebook this Valentine’s day


Facebook IQ released an infographic this week showing some useful data nuggets and resultant marketing advice around Valentines day according to its 26 million UK daily user base. With a tonne of data at their disposal and from comparing it against the general rhythm of OKCupid we were left feeling a lot more could be achieved with the data.

Here’s a few visual considerations Facebook may consider for future visual content:-

Relationship status of Facebook users in the UK:

It may be more logical to put “single” at the top, so it would read single, in a relationship, then married.

Perhaps overlay the bars in a different colour for men and woman to make comparisons easier.

Hitched or ditched section:

Visualise the figures, and include stats for a typical day to show the spike that happens on Valentine’s day. Even better, visualise a period of time in a chart to see if Valentine’s day stands out from other holidays.

Sweet nothings: Show most popular words for men and woman as a comparison.

Quick statistics:

£1.3bn is difficult to comprehend, instead consider showing average per person.

How long would it take you to earn a top footballer’s salary?


Another incredible piece from the BBC this week. How long would it take you to earn Christiano Ronaldo’s salary you wonder? This interactive will not only give you the answer but it will put things in perspective. Slightly depressing we know, but even more interesting when comparing yourself to the world average wage.

Track National Unemployment, Job Gains and Job Losses


Last month the BBC reported that unemployment across the UK was continuing to fall, and had almost returned to pre-recession levels. Now, The Wall Street Journalhas reported a similar pattern across the US, and has done so using an interactive choropleth diagram to paint a picture of unemployment over the last six decades. During that time there have been several recessions, and for each we can asses how jobseekers have weathered the storm, and assess the damage left in its wake. We hope that we never have to live through another credit crunch again, although history suggests that trouble is never too far away.


We live in a world where the WWW have made it possible to keep us connected anywhere in the globe. But how connected are we to our communities and neighbourhoods, to what is physically closer to us? Closr, a startup still in beta aims to bring you the Mile Wide Web – a platform where you can stay connected and nurture relationships with the people and businesses around you. Run by co-founder Jess Bachman who previously worked at, we’re keen to see this one take shape and bring the relevance back to things that matter. Check it out and sign up to follow their progress!

Beer and pub jobs

Signal Noise

Competition from supermarkets is already giving British pubs cause for concern. To make matters worse, the British Beer & Pub Association anticipates that beer tax across the UK will shortly be on the rise, resulting in lost jobs and emptier pockets for workers and drinkers across the country.

Their interactive tool invites us to assume the role of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and set excise duty per pint. By way of a simple dashboard, you can set the scale of the pint price to show the resultant effects this could have in our local community. We just hope Mr Osborne gets to try this for himself before making his decision next month. To take the concept a little further, a visual story could support the findings and open up interest to a wider audience.