Visualization of election data: Using interaction design and visual discovery for communicating complex insights

Kuhu Gupta, Shailaja Sampat, Manas Sharma, Venkatesh Rajamanickam


State elections results in India yield variegated and unique set of insights. Often it is hard to grasp the nuances of local electoral dynamics, and harder to communicate it to an audience not deeply engaged in the local political process, or to an audience from outside the state. While national news outlets do a fairly good job of analyzing and communicating the federal elections, the state elections in contrast have largely remained devoid of rigorous analysis and insightful communication. In this paper, using the data from the Assembly elections that took place in the state of Tamil Nadu in May 2016, we present a process and a set of interaction design and visualization methods to present complex insights. The general principles thus derived, will not only aid analysts and journalists to present their insights more effectively, but also empower the readers, depending on their level of interest and civic engagement, to go beyond what is presented and to discover new insights for themselves.


Data Journalism, Data Visualization, Visual Discovery, Data Analytics, Infographics, Open Data, Data Democracy, Data Literacy

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