Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sparkwi.se: Easy dashboards of data help tell your story

Twitter brought me word about Sparkwi.se, an easy-to-use tool designed to help nonprofits tell their stories by pulling data from around the web or out of their spreadsheets and displaying it graphically in simple widgets. You put your dashboard together in any way you choose, incorporating everything from your follower count on Twitter to MP3 files of audio to videos and photos. And it keeps track, in turn, of the counts and feeds you want to measure, from your Facebook and Twitter fans to much more.

This tool works internally and externally, allowing you to keep track of your data, but also share it with others. For example, if you haven't killed your annual report yet, Sparkwi.se may be your annual report killer, and so much more. With automated data updates, it can be a ready reference for anyone wanting to check out your organization or company--there's nothing to keep your firm, business, government agency or other institution from trying this tool out, and it's free to use. Best of all, it incorporates links so you can engage your audiences after sharing data with them, whether you're trolling for followers on Facebook or asking for donations. I can see everyone from book authors and bloggers to major corporations making use of this tool. And if you have a presence on many social channels, Sparkwi.se offers a pretty good dashboard with a wide range of metrics.

Fast Company has a good article about Sparkwi.se here, and it's easy to test-drive and try out for yourself (and has had a thorough going-over by grantees of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the project's underwriters).  Their Sparkwi.se page is above, and here's another dashboard to show you some of the possibilities. Will you try out this new tool? (Hat tip to Elizabeth Miller at the Knight Foundation for pointing me to this one.)

Registration is now open for the next Be an Expert on Working with Experts, for communicators and related professionals who work with subject-matter experts, policy analysts, scientists and engineers. The workshop is August 23 in Washington, DC, or I can bring it to your workplace. Get an early registration discount if you sign up by August 3. Details at the link.

No comments: