Trina ChiassonDonald W. Reynolds Fellow Trina Chiasson believes media publishers need an easier and more cost-effective way to create dynamic data visualizations. She has a solution and is using crowdfunding to support its next phase of development.

“Not every newsroom has the luxury of hiring a large team of developers, designers and data analysts to make information graphics,” says Chiasson, co-founder and CEO of Infoactive. Her company is building a Web application that pulls live data streams into interactive infographics that scale to any device. The drag-and-drop interface also supports interactive visual data analysis.

The Infoactive team today launched a Kickstarter campaign to reach its public beta launch next spring.

“There are several software tools and code libraries available, but many of the tools are difficult to learn or inflexible in their design,” she says. “We want this to be simple and affordable for anyone to use. Our platform lets you interactively explore complex data without doing math or writing code.”

As a 2013-2014 fellow at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, Chiasson is studying data visualizations in newsrooms.

In collaboration with RJI, Infoactive is working closely with several news organizations to learn more about common processes for creating dynamic visualizations. Chiasson’s research will also explore how interactive infographics can be optimized for mobile devices, and look into reader engagement trends for different types of visualizations.

“Our goal is to empower readers to dive deep into information,” says Chiasson.

Though the Infoactive product is in private beta, some publishers are already using the tool to tell stories. A recent article in the Montreal Gazette uses the platform to feed live data into an interactive graphic of survey results. Readers can filter the results by any parameter in the survey, and engage with the story through data creation and discovery.

For more information on the Kickstarter campaign, please click here.


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