Infographic: Contraceptive Prevalence Up, Maternal Deaths Down
Presenting data in a visually engaging way can help audiences understand it better. This new animated infographic from Marie Stopes International is a great example. It shows the relationship between Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) in ten countries over a 35-year period. It struck me as a superb demonstration of how infographics and animation can be used as knowledge management tools.
Reading a sentence gives a textbook level of understanding. The key finding of the data here is, "By reducing the number of unintended and high risk pregnancies, family planning is key to reducing the risk of maternal death." Stepping through individual slides of the CPR and MMR rates for each country gave a more complete picture.
But when I watched the data in motion, I was fascinated, and wanted to learn more. I watched the animation several times to see how the rates were related for each country. It was a much deeper learning experience than reading a sentence or looking at data in a table. Even though it gave no more data than the individual slides, the animation made the exchange of knowledge more successful.
 See, for example, “Effectiveness of Animation in Trend Visualization”, http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/64262/tvcg2008-trendvis.pdf