Sparkwise is a free, open source web-based tool, aimed at the non-profit sector, for creating live data-widget-filled dashboards.
Their tagline: “Sparkwise gives meaning to your data and momentum to your goals.”
You can use add widgets that visualize data — your own data, data from a social media or web feed like Twitter followers, Google Analytics, etc. — or display photos, videos and text. Moving and re-sizing the widgets, you can build your own customized dashboard layout.
Sparkwise also provides some tips for telling data stories that will most effectively engage your audience. Jeremy Lehrer has an article at Co.Design that goes into deeper detail about Sparkwise’s motivation and features.
Piton, in partnership with the Denver Foundation, is working to build two data and storytelling platforms that touch on some of the same goals as Sparkwise:
- Floodlight, a community storytelling tool for creating and sharing data- and multimedia-rich stories.
- The Colorado Data Commons, a public data engine for finding and visualizing information.
One area we are focusing on that Sparkwise hasn’t yet tackled is how collecting data stories together in one place can build momentum and gather attention to them. Through Floodlight and the Colorado Data Commons, which will be open tools but will have a focused effort in the Children’s Corridor, we hope to affect positive change through data and storytelling. The first step to positive change will be shining — or, as we like to say, flooding — light on the unseen issues and stories within our local communities and using data to explore potential solutions.