First things first: you need to let Sparkwise know where your data lives. When you drag and drop your first widget from each source, you’ll be asked to connect to your accounts so Sparkwise can visualize the data for you. You can connect to Facebook, Twitter, Google Analytics, YouTube, Vimeo, and Flickr–with many more sources to come. If you have data on Google Doc spreadsheets or in XML or JSON feeds, there are widgets for that, too. You can save the widgets you want to use in multiple boards to “My Set” so you won’t have to create them again.
Once you’ve connected your accounts, you can drag and drop any of those widgets to automatically feed data into your board. Select how you want the data visualized: as a total number, as a percentage up or down, on a map, as a pie chart, on a trend over time, as a feed or on a gauge towards a goal. Or if you like, all together on a single board!
With a variety of widgets on your board, you can compare multiple data sources in a single widget. Add a Comparison Widget and drag your existing widgets right onto it. For example, you might visualize how much money you’ve raised over your Facebook and Twitter metrics to see how your social media activities affect your fundraising efforts. Provide context for spikes and dips by annotating events on trend widgets. Or paint a richer picture by pulling in open datasets that are relevant to your activities.
Data is more than numbers. Sparkwise helps you tell your story with video, audio, images, and text. Check out the story widgets and add your logo, slide show, trailer, radio interview, or a PDF of a document– whatever you need to show the impact of your activities and make your board engaging. Invite your audience to get involved with Call to Action links on any widget.
Drag your widgets around the board, and resize them to different proportions. Experiment to see how annotations change depending on the size. You might want to make comparison widgets larger so they reveal more detailed information. Think about where you want to place your logo to easily identify your organization, size a video to draw attention to your story, or add a text box to provide background information and links to other content.
When your board is finished, publish it to a publicly viewable URL. You can share the address on Facebook or Twitter, embed the full board in your website, or strategically place individual widgets on web pages and blogs. “Even in the wild”, your widgets will update nightly so your data stays current and relevant. We’d love to hear how you’re using Sparkwise–tell us, and you and your best tips may be featured on the site!