Stunning data visualization for digital annual reports

While data visualization is nothing new, some companies are beginning to see its benefits in creating their annual reports. From highlighting important yearly numbers to encouraging audiences to share the visual experience, infographics and other forms of data visualization are the perfect match for any company’s Year in Review. See below for some of our favourites of the past few years.

1: General Electric – interactive visualization of 120 years

General Electric created an interactive visual experience with the annual reports of all 120 years they’ve been in business. A user can now browse every report from the years 1892-2011. GE writes how they “trac[e] the company’s evolution in the words of its participants…keywords provide navigation through thousands of scanned pages”. Choose a keyword such as ‘aviation’, ‘manufacturing’, ‘technology’ or ‘global’ and see every mention of these words in their annual reports. Clicking on a specific year brings up the exact scanned page and a highlighted paragraph.

GE Annual report

BONUS: General Electric also has an entire blog full of data visualizations for website visitors to peruse. The blog is broken up into four sections: powering, curing, building and, moving, based on the areas that GE is involved in.  Explore different data visualizations they’ve created for every industry they assist. Cool! (We’ve probably made it obvious by now that we have a crush on GE. Stay tuned to the blog in the following weeks for a more detailed breakdown of their social media brilliance).



2. UStream – 2013 annual report

UStream, an HD video streaming platform, won many awards for the stunning visualization of their 2013 annual report. At the end of 2013, nobody was really thinking of annual reports as thrilling reading material or engaging visual experiences. UStream was one of those early adopters doing it right. Their interactive website animates every important number, graph, and chart to keep users interested. Check out the full thing for yourself here.

UStream annual report

3. Warby Parker – ‘Make-Your-Own’ annual report 

Warby Parker, the New York eyeglasses startup, decided that the way to attract audiences to their 2014 Year in Review was to allow people first to create a ‘choose your own adventure’ type annual report of their own to share. Go to their ‘Make-Your-Own Annual Report’ website and answer some goofy questions like ‘what is your preferred reading position?’ and ‘what nicknames do you have?’ Warby Parker then generates a wonderfully visualized annual report for you. Cue goofy words like ‘canoodling’ and ‘puttering’. At the end of your annual report, you have the option to see the Year in Review that Warby Parker made for themselves (very sly). Their method worked. Their annual report went viral on social media, shared almost 2,000 times. I mean, who doesn’t want to find out what their ‘Spirt Animal of 2014’ was? Our Senior Digital Designer tried it out below:



Can’t get enough? Why don’t you check out some ways you can keep your investor marketing hot over the summer.

Marika Hirsch
Marika Hirsch

As Blender’s Content Manager (aka ‘Resident Wordsmith’) Marika enjoys bringing readers the latest and greatest in both digital trends and IR tips. Follow along on Twitter: