Anyone who’s ever made a presentation with data knows that making data presentable isn’t always easy. That’s part of the rationale behind Databoard, a new tool from Google that’s designed to help users do just that.
Announced on Tuesday, Google Databoard gives users a new way to share data insights.
“We created the Databoard tool to help marketers explore, interact with and share some of Google’s recent research in a more immersive way,” Adam Grunewald, a mobile marketing manager with the company, told the E-Commerce Times. “They can browse the studies by topic and create infographics with their favorite data points.”
Data can be selected and then presented in the form of an infographic that can be shared by email, social networks or blog.
Now available for testing on Google’s Think Insights site, Google Databoard is currently home to four recent studies, “and we’ll be updating it frequently,” Grunewald added.
‘Everything Is Quite Beautiful’
“Creating infographics is all the rage, and has been for the past year or two,” Jon Parks, lead digital strategist at digital marketing consultancy firm Dijital Farm, told the E-Commerce Times.
“Is it a useful presentation layer? Yeah, I think it is,” Parks added. “It makes it easy for you to understand. It allows you to quickly look at small chunks of data.”
Indeed, “everything is quite beautiful,” said George Terhanian, group chief strategy and products officer at analytics firmToluna.
“What’s different is that they are permitting the user to select parts of interest and put a header or explanatory information above it,” Terhanian explained. “You can create a small report, publish it online, share it by email or use it internally. It’s a way of spreading information that may be valuable to your audience.”
Infographics can be posted by anyone to social networks to demonstrate thought leadership or answer questions as well as be used by ad agencies, media buyers and other businesses for their own purposes.
‘It’s Just Google Data’
The biggest catch, of course, is that the tool currently can be used only on Google’s own research.
“It’s just Google data,” noted Parks. “That is kind of a limiter. My hope is that Google will put some muscle into this tool.”
Data graphics are also presented in simple format, without access to deeper information. Infographics are posted in a proprietary file format that can’t be manipulated by users. To incorporate an infographic in a presentation, for instance, the user will need to cut and paste or take a screenshot and insert it.
“The limitations of it are simple,” Terhanian noted. “It’s an existing report — you don’t have access to real-time information. You’re stuck with what you’ve got.”
‘Great for the Google Brand’
That, of course, is by design. Google surely wants to remain credited for the data as well as ensure the data retains its integrity.
“From a search engine optimization perspective, they’ll get many more links and linked pages,” Terhanian predicted. “I think it’s great for the Google brand.”
In the meantime, “there is an art and a science to it, and they certainly have mastered the art,” he added. “From my perspective, it’s of limited value now, but where do you take this? I’d be interested to see.”
Parks took a similar wait-and-see attitude.
“It’s an interesting tool that’s very much in its infancy,” he concluded. “We’ll give it a little more time and see what they put behind it.”