By sharing a story with one email or make it public, you can easily grab its view link, embed url and embed code, all depends on what you want to do with the story.
Grabe the embed url, find a notion page you want to embed the story, paste the url into the page, and you will see the story is embedded into the page.
Every story offers schedule settings, you can set a schedule to ask Columns to auto-update your story, so that the story will always be up-to-date with your notion database. Any changes you made in your notion database will be reflected in your story.
Congrats! Now you know how to build a full loop with Notion in 4 simple steps, you can build a story on Columns, embed it back to your notion page, and set a schedule to auto-update the story, so that you can always have a live story on your notion page. You just edit your notion database, and Columns will take care of the rest.
Does that sound great? Let us know if you have any feedback or questions, we're here to help.
April has been great so far for Columns and our users, people find it more and more enjoyable at data storytelling, from insights discovery, and chart building, to presentation beautification.
At the beginning of the month, we announced Notion Integration where you can easily build two-way sync between your Notion database and Columns graphs. Today, I’d love to share some more exciting features that simplify your storytelling process further.
On Columns, AI is used to help us with two main scenarios for easy data storytelling: Insights Discovery and Story Design.
Today, we focus on the second part, let AI design a beautiful and insightful presentation for you. This includes 3 initial functions we brought to the Columns editor
Magic Theme: in addition to the built-in theme template, now we can ask AI to generate a customized theme for your specific story with a “topic” for styling, it generates background, colors, and palette to have a nice and comfortable look and feel.
Smart Title: a smart title is generated based on your insights data.
Insight Summary: a summary of your insights, AI will talk about your data and chart, I personally find the summary is a must to have for most storytelling.
These features free us from learning so many different settings to beautify a story, as time goes on, we will keep improving them based on your feedback, as we hope Columns will be your true co-pilot for data storytelling. Check them out and share your feedback!
For users who have a team plan on Columns, this is a step further for team customization and white labeling. On your team page, you can find your own sub-domain on Columns, you can set up your own domain to host all your stories. We will enable your own LOGO and styles in the near future, but please let us know what matters to you.
We have open-sourced our core graph model, so if you are a developer, or you have an IT team, now you can access, build and host all your data stories in a programming interface, all through a simple API with an API key obtained from your Columns profile.
Check out this open-source project started from the Columns API landing page.
Last but not least, we keep improving Columns user experiences, to list a few that were added in April below, you may want to sign in to Columns and play with it to discover more updates lively:
Axis ticks line hide/show.
The trend line on Bar/Column chart.
Easier navigation between “item” settings.
Social preview of a visual story when sharing on social networks, eg. Twitter, and Facebook.
Thank you for being with Columns so far, many great things happen in Columns day by day, and we’re glad to have you ride with us. As we put the full force investing on AI, we wish Columns AI to be the ultimate place for you to build and share your data stories.
Let’s make Columns to be “Your co-pilot for data storytelling.”.
As a blog writer, do you dream about embedding a live data graph in your article? It shines your content to be more attractive and makes it much more digestible for your readers, also it makes it more worthwhile for your readers to share with others.
More importantly, what about if the data graph automatically updated, and you don't do anything to get the magic?
For example, current blog embeds a live interactive graph, as shown below (hover mouse over for tooltip):
If this is interesting, please read on…
By the way, prefer watching a video? This video is an explainer of this blog post!
Today, let’s lay out the process of how you can achieve this easily using Columns, you can also follow the 5 simple steps to practice it right away...
Believe it or not, there are tons of data out there await to be analyzed and visualized. When you write about a topic, you need some data points to support it, you either can search open public data or manually create your own data. Public data can usually be found in government departments or various organizations. Data is usually available for download as CSV files.
No matter whether you get data from external sources or manually input it on your own, putting them in a Google Spreadsheet is the best way to have your scenario fully automated.
To get live data to be analyzed as a live graph, you need to keep it as a clean table, a clean table has its first row containing all the column names, and each column has either a text value or number value.
As demo, the data for the above live graph can be found here: Product-Users-Days. From the table, you can see it has each column is named and consistent format of values for each column. Keep it as raw as it is, you don’t need to do any analysis at all, since data analysis and summarization is the job to be done by Columns later.
Connecting a google spreadsheet is very straightforward, you just need to paste your spreadsheet URL or copy its unique ID, and follow the 2 steps connection wizard. Your live connection shall be established on Columns from which you can generate as many beautiful graphs as you want. A simple doc describing the Google Spreadsheet connection can be found here.
Once a data connection is created, you can find it in the data tab of your workspace.
Just to mention, Columns don’t store or copy your data, a live connection is only used to read your data when it needs to be.
Now, it’s time to build something visually. Just open a new visual creator, and start by choosing the data connection we just created. Upon data selection, Columns loads it in our cloud computing cluster, making it ready for a super fast exploration.
A few things to get you started:
Inspect Data: get familiar with your data with a summary of stats, “Inspect Data” gives you the overview of the data you’re working with, including fields and data samples.
Quick Queries: Columns generate some quick queries for you to 1-click to start with some graph ideas, after that, you can continue modifying it to get what you want. You also get a “natural language” input box to type a question, Columns try to understand your question based on your data schema and stats.
Now, after a few clicks - this is what I got using the sample data mentioned earlier, need more polish or not, it is ready to show up lively in your blog post!
Saving a graph into your gallery only requires a name. Once it’s sitting on your board, you can set any level of visibility of it:
Visible to list of invitees
For blog post purposes, it’s most likely to be public viewable. Once the setting is turned on, we get a unique URL to this visual story. Also, you got an embeddable code that you can copy/paste into your blog post in HTML format.
From the sharing dialog, you can copy the embed code, it will look like this example:
This is the last step, after we publish and embed a visual story into my blog post, how can I make it automatically updated if my data changes?
Absolutely, Columns covers that, the only option you need to look at is “Schedule”, from this option, you can set up a scheduler for every individual visual graph, frequency from 1 hour to 30 days, whatever suits your need. We have a doc page on how schedule works.
The only thing you need to do is to just simply update your Google Spreadsheet data and your readers shall see all the fresh live graphs, and you need to do nothing to make this “magic” happen.
Columns is a data storytelling platform, we have continued building storytelling technology for you to do better communication using your data. It is designed to meet these goals, if any of these fails for you, we owe more work to you:
Easy to discover and generate visual insights by data analysis.
Handy design tools to customize and style a data story.
Worry-free sharing with multiple communication methods.
In the last few months, we have received many user requests on building a dashboard.
Columns is powered by its own big data computing infrastructure which serves large data set analysis, this distributed system is actually open-sourced, you can find it on GitHub if interested. With the advantage of this infrastructure, we can keep your visual stories in sync with your data.
So today, we introduce you Columns Live Dashboard.