Get a free Silk site to share reports and other data, and create interactive visualizations

Silk is a platform where you can make websites with structured data and visualizations.

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Full Description

A Silk site consists of normal web pages that have a special place to enter structured data. This data can be used for interactive graphs, maps and tables. Ideal for transparent sharing of NGO reports or data analysis. Create a site from scratch, or use the spreadsheet importer. The convenience of a database powered site, without technical experience required.





  • Thanksgiving, Gratitude and the Homeless in America
    Posted 27 November 2014 | 9:45 am
    Today is Thanksgiving. A few weeks ago Alice Corona from our data journalism team built a Silk that examined and visualized the data of homelessness. It was, to say the least, sobering. We invite you to explore the data in the Homeless USA Silk and learn more about this issue that is so important to keep in mind during a holiday of eating, joy and thankfulness. In Nevada unaccompanied children are more than a fifth of the total homeless population: Data from California and New York, two of the wealthiest states in the U.S. and home to a great number of billionaires, are also two of the states with the highest percentages of homeless people: Data from Enjoy the holiday and remember to help those in need when you can, if you can. We also suggest you take a look at the site of the National Alliance to End Homelessness and consider donating to this worthy organization Best, The Silk Team
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  • Create Silks automatically with Google Sheets and Excel
    Posted 25 November 2014 | 4:08 pm
    We want Silk to be a versatile data publishing platform. Creating more ways to move your data into Silk is part of that vision. We are excited to announce that as of today Google Sheets and Excel are integrated into Silk. This makes importing your data into Silk significantly easier. No more converting a file into a CSV (although you can do that if you want). Now you can simply paste your Google Sheets URL or drag in your Excel file into our import box. Silk automatically recognizes the formatting and begins the import process. Below is a short video that shows how importing a Google Sheet works. After adjusting the sharing settings of the sheet as specified, you just paste in the link into the importer screen. If you have more than one worksheet, Silk lets you select the correct one. For Excel files, you don’t have to do anything different. It works for either .XLS or .XLSX files. Ready to try it out? Head over to your dashboard and create a Silk from an Excel file or Google Sheet in minutes. If you need help, our updated spreadsheet tutorial explains it all. Good luck creating awesome Silks!
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  • Silk for Publishers: Our New Program for Journalists and Websites
    Posted 21 November 2014 | 5:04 am
    TLDR: Hello there! We’re launching Silk for Publishers, a dedicated program to help news and media organizations use Silk for data publishing and visualizations. Longer Story: Over the past few months, we have been helping journalists that wanted to use Silk for data visualizations and data publishing. The response has been strong. Silk visualizations have been published in Mashable, The Atlantic, GigaOm and The National Journal, to name a few. And we have had ongoing conversations with numerous other publications. So it seemed only logical to hang out a shingle. This week we put up our “Silk for Publishers” page. The page summarizes the benefits of our product and shows why the Silk data publishing platform is truly an all-purpose tool for data journalism. Silk’s power for data journalism starts with the ability to embed Silk visualizations in other sites with a simple snippet of HTML (called an iFrame). That feature opened up the doors. In the last few months, we’ve also added in-line filters, upgraded the visualization palette, added new types of charts and refreshed the overall look and feel of our visualizations. The map improvements are the latest part of this quest to make Silk visualizations truly publish-ready for any media property. The journalists we have worked with love that they can take a spreadsheet and turn it into something visually useful in a matter of minutes. In particular, the ability to convert simple location data into a map has been helpful. Here’s a quick FAQ for Silk for Publishers: Q: I’m a publisher. Why would I use Silk? A: Because it is the fastest, easiest way to publish data and create visualizations, charts, maps and galleries. And it’s free. Did we mention Silk is free for news orgs? Q: Free scares me. What’s your business model? A: A large percentage of Silk’s customers are businesses that like keeping their data private. We will charge them a reasonable fee for private Silks. Q: So how would Silk fit into my site? A: Every visualization created on Silk - every table, chart, map, image gallery, or grouped view of data - has an iFrame code that allows you to easily embed it on most publishing platforms and CMS tools. The iFrame is a well-known technology. And its easy to use. Copy, paste and you have a live visualization. Q: Live? You mean the data is interactive in the visualization? A: Totally. You can filter the data, click on the data points, scroll up and down in gallery windows, all within a nice framework that sits cleanly on the story page or blog post. Q: Where can I see some Silk visualizations live on other sites? A: You can see them on Mashable, The Atlantic, GigaOm, The National Journal, and many others. Q: Cool. So how would my journalism team learn Silk? A: Easy. Get a spreadsheet. Upload it. Then start building visualizations and querying the data. Feel free to ask us for help, too. Note: You can follow our Publishers Program and tools we build for journalists @silkjournalism or if you want to chat or a demo, email us. We can build you something or schedule a training session.
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  • Uber is Now the Private Driver of the U.S. Congress
    Posted 17 November 2014 | 6:19 pm
    Some of you may have read our past post analyzing job listings at Uber. We like Uber so much as a data subject matter that when we saw that Uber had grabbed a huge market share of car rides by U.S. Congress members, we had to put it into a Silk - Uber Goes to Washington.. Data from This is a true measure of the power of Uber and the reach of the smartphone-driven sharing economy. In the span of four short years, Uber has gone from 0% to 60% of all rides reported by U.S. Congress members That’s according to data from the U.S. Federal Elections Commission analyzed by Hamilton Place Insights. We took their static charts and put them into our new Silk visualization styles to bring the data to life. Above is a line chart of market penetration. Below is a stack chart showing changes in the number of rides. Data from The penetration makes total sense to me because Washington D.C. has long been a smartphone driven place (perhaps highest penetration of Blackberries back in the day when it was still a ‘thing’). The private ride usage for these small ticket journeys has soared, more than doubling. This probably speaks to two facts. Uber is actually growing the market for private car sharing. I suspect this is due to the supreme convenience it offers for people with the app as compared to old Yellow Cab models that rely on middle-men (dispatchers) and analog phone systems. Congress is a very busy place. If there is anything that can save you time, it is valuable. So Uber is probably offering significant opportunity cost savings either real or perceived. One curious point - Uber actually did not drive down the average cost per ride. That seems strange, given that it has constantly dropped prices, particularly for its UberX service. Possibly this reflects more usage of the original Uber Black Car service for shorter rides around Washington D.C.? Prices of Uber Black Car have remained more stable as well. Stay tuned for more posts on this topic. I am a huge fan of the sharing economy and am watching it develop. (Here’s an older Silk with visualizations of Uber Job Postings.)
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