Meet svift — A quick Open-Source Data Visualization Tool for Everyone
Wait! Another data visualization tool? Oh no! Why on earth do we need that when there are already a gazillion of other good tools out there?
»Data« and »data visualization« have been big buzz words in journalism for quite some time now and it is indeed a very interesting and quickly evolving field.
However, while working with people in different news outlets over the past years, we have realized something: Much of today’s daily journalism involving data is not so much about making complicated and fancy hand-crafted data visualizations, but rather about communicating a few relevant numbers with clear insights to the (often local) readership.
We also realized that the production of data visualizations and infographics are still usually quite skill-intensive and time-consuming. In Germany for example, only a handful of selected news outlets can afford to spend such resources on a broader scale. Smaller and more local news outlets often do not have such funds available.
This is why we came up with svift: It is essentially a tool for anyone who quickly wants to include data-driven graphics in their work without being data visualization or visual design experts. The ultimate goal is to create a tool that is so intuitive that you will instantly know how to use it and that will make beautiful charts in a few seconds (think beyond pie charts ;).
svift is not designed to be a tool for people who want to create highly customized and complex data visualizations as there are other great tools out there for this, such as D3, DataWrapper or Tableau. These tools have much greater functionality, but also require more knowledge and are sometimes overly-complex.
If you just need to have a chart ready for your next article or twitter post within the next three minutes, svift will be your choice: Make an interactive chart, produce data-driven content for your social media posts or create a graphic for a print product. svift can do it all … and in style ;)
svift will have many more interesting features and will be ready for public testing soon, so stay tuned!
We have just completed the development of our first prototype (proof of concept), which we are currently testing in a closed setting.
In January 2018 we will release a first public demo, which we will announce here. So stay tuned or follow us on twitter (@SviftTool).
All our code is free and open source and can be found here: https://github.com/svift-org. Please get in touch with us if you have suggestions or would like to contribute to the project.
We are grateful for the financial support by the MIZ Babelsberg for a first round of initial funding.