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DataStorytelling.tv - Ideas, tools, best practices about data storytelling





Pixotale, a simple tool to tell stories based on images, maps and texts


Posted on Monday, July 7th 2014

In our world of data storytelling, all stories are made from the same ingredients: graphics, images, text, maps, audio and video. That's it! For storytelling software vendors, it's all a question of recipe. How will I use these ingredients and what will my story look like?



Pixotale, a simple tool to tell stories based on images, maps and texts
You can already download a dozen of applications that will combine these ingredients on your mobile device and share the result of your work on social networks.
A very small number of these applications are really connected to data and can honestly be called “data storytelling apps.” But, as Data Storytelling is a new market, some other applications could be interesting to try too. They are more “storytelling” applications, not connected to data. But frequently, your data are actually static graphics created by a BI or analytic solution… which mean they are… images.
You can find in storytelling applications a good way to create a shareable presentation including graphics, text and comments, organized through a linear narrative schema to tell the story you want your readers to read.
What is the difference with a PPT presentation? No killer difference at all. But, a more modern way to show your audience that you invested in storytelling for a better understanding of your messages. And your story will automatically fit in all mobile device screens as most of these applications are using responsive and adaptive design.

Here is a list of applications you can try: Storehouse, Bonjournal, Exposure.co, Medium.com
We will give test and compare all these applications for you during the next months.

One of then, relatively new, seems attractive. It raised some attention thanks to an article on Techcrunch and trough the background of its founders, Robert Mao and Haitao Li, former engineers at Microsoft Research and Internet Explorer team. Its name is Pixotale. Available on iOS, it's actually free. You create a story, import photos, maps, and text. And it produces a great story your readers can browse.
You can share it trough social networks (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter) or trough a link sent by email to your contacts. And you can start the conversation as people can like and comment your story directly in Pixotale application. Of course, you can browse other Pixotale stories.
To be improved, Pixotale needs to include audio, video and other sources. It should maybe propose ‘action’ buttons that could for example provide another navigation scenario. Developer’s team works on improvements.

You can use it for personal stories (holidays, wedding, kids growth…) but I found a lot of professional case studies like: exhibition feedback, conference story, or new product launch… As an example you can browse a very short and simple story I created in French following a meetup last week: http://pixotale.com/story/42801619/

What’s about you? What type of professional applications did you find for data storytelling tools? Please share your best stories in comments.

Philippe NIEUWBOURG
I am an independent industry analyst, and author, with 20 years experience specializing in business... Know more about this author

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