What is it? A platform for data visualisation and storytelling, without the need for the user to code.
Cost: Free, with premium services priced at £39 per month. Flourish is working with Google News Lab to offer newsrooms free premium accounts, which include features such as HTML downloads, private projects and custom templates.
How is it of use to journalists? Although it may be true that journalists in 2018 are expected to be jacks of all trades, able to report, film, take and edit photos, produce podcasts and on top of that be social media hacks, there are many tools out there designed to help reporters with their work.
Web development is a sought after skill in newsrooms, but coding can seem daunting to journalists who haven't had any training in basic programming.
Flourish, which was previously available in private beta but has recently opened to the public, aims to remove the complex nature of coding, helping journalists produce with data visualisations without having to enlist the help of programmers to design interactive stories for them.
After creating an account with their email address, users get access to core templates, like a variety of maps and charts. They can insert the data either directly into the webpage or by uploading an Excel, CSV or TSV file, before being able to download and embed the creations on their websites for public view.
The visualisations can be produced on mobile and desktop, and can also be saved for offline use, useful if you want to add them to a project on social media or to an offline conference presentation.
When users logs into their account, they will be presented with a dashboard displaying their project, which can be re-edited at any time.
They are given the option to create a data visualisation or a story – described as 'an animated interactive presentation to guide audiences through one or more visualisations'.
Individual data visualisations include templates for country maps, horserace charts, sankey diagrams, scatter charts and surveys.
The tool provides template guides to assist journalists in how to best visualise their findings, including advice on which templates work best for which data sets, and how to insert data for each specific visualisation.
Flourish also provides examples of what each visualisation will look like when finished, so users don't have to spend time creating something if another template suits their data better.
Once users have uploaded their data and chosen a template, they can preview it and publish to share and embed on their website, while premium users can also download their project as HTML.
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