More professionals are making use of interactive and animated data visualization to get a story across. This is particularly useful when you have large data sets that span over great lengths of time and that reference multiple sources.

The beauty of this form of data visualization is that it includes an audio segment which acts as a ‘legend’, guiding the viewer through the story and emphasizing the words with visual representations. When you also include a musical background, the data visualization takes a turn into a completely new medium as it quickly becomes similar to movie videos that we watch to be entertained. The message is then more readily received.

Neil Halloran has created a fifteen-minute data visualization video called The Fallen of World War II.” This incredible visual makes the loss of human life in World War II-related deaths all too real. To get the full impression across, the video is divided into three sections:

  •         Soldier fatality analysis by nation
  •         Civilian deaths, including those of the Holocaust
  •         Summary of WWI-related deaths as compared to previous and post conflicts.

This form of data visualization is particularly important when there are multiple, high-level points that need to be made. Some of the more shocking evidence displayed in the video include details and reasons such as the total losses for the Soviet Union attributed to the superior tank warfare abilities of the German Wehrmacht. Others correlate back to Josef Stalin who realigned his generals prior to the war and sent countless soldiers to the warfront to be slaughtered.  


Other jaw-dropping visuals include the six year conflict of Poland, whose civilian losses were terrifying.

Each layer of the video offers an in-depth look at the devastation of human lives as well as underlying cause and effect.

The Benefits of Narration

Text and images alone offer challenges when it comes to lots of information and details. Keeping the audience engaged while pulling the viewer’s eye to the right spot requires skill. A well-written narration within the video can add a more human element that pictures alone miss. This is particularly important when dealing with a message that’s emotion-based.


Narration adds voice inflection, character, and emphasis. It adds the important realm of sound to take the viewer on a journey where text, images, and statistics get punctuated by the narrator’s words.

Music and Sound Appeal to Everyone

Some data visualization videos that don’t include a narration, but instead rely on sound effects and music to create add emphasis. These audio formats can add style and fluidity to a video, telling a story in a unique way so that it complements the information. The addition of carefully selected music and/or special effects can allow the viewer to focus on the data itself – without being distracted by too much text.

The Fallen Soldiers of WWII Touches Our Lives

The methodology used in The Fallen of WWII data visualization video did not simply report statistical data. But it also related it to the human experience of our own lives today. This technique blends narration, music, and data together while allowing the information to ebb and flow between the past and the present. The data visualization emphasizes the consequences of war while guiding the viewer through the emotions and experiences of the soldiers.

Information that uses visual and audio to tell the story through statistics allows an emotional relationship to get formed. This powerful storytelling tactic maximizes impact to resonate with viewers in a way that’s real – so that it leaves a lasting impression in the hearts and minds of the viewers.  

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