How to maintain an interactive data chart with infogr.am

If you need to create an interactive data chart for your site and periodically update the chart, a simple solution is to create the chart with infogr.am and embed it on your site; when it’s time for updates, go edit the chart in your infogr.am account, and it will refresh automatically on your site.

Infogr.am is a free web-based data visualization tool, and I’ve been using this method to maintain an interactive chart showing monthly traffic to my blog. For each month, the chart needs to be updated with two numbers: pageviews and unique visitors; here’s the chart I have on the About page:

To do this, I created a chart by choosing one of the many chart templates offered by infogr.am, as seen in the screen shot below:

chart type

Then entered the monthly data as seen in this table, hit “Done” and I had an interactive chart:

chart data

Then copied and pasted the automatically generated embedding codes to my site page, and that was it. If I need to make updates, I log in to my infogr.am account, find that chart in my library, click to edit and enter new numbers to the above table, hit “Done,” then back to my site, refresh the chart page, and I see an updated chart.

I would suggest infogr.am create standalone application for data updates; for instance, an app on mobile devices, where site administrators can launch the app on iPhone, enter/edit numbers, and the chart will refresh with the updated data. On another note, the default look of the embedded chart, as seen above in this post, doesn’t look nice: I would like to have options to customize how the embedded chart looks – at least being able to remove that unsightly black bar at the bottom.

About Mu Lin

Dr. Mu Lin is a digital journalism professional and educator in New Jersey, United States. Dr. Lin manages an online marketing company. He also manages MulinBlog Online J-School (www.mulinblog.com/mooc), a free online journalism training program, which offers courses such as Audio Slideshow Storytelling; Introduction to Social Media Marketing; Writing for the Web; Google Mapping for Communicators; Introduction to Data Visualization; Introduction to Web Metrics and Google Analytics.
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