If you’re anything like us, you watched the Oscar presentation last Sunday. And if you’re really like us it got you thinking about what kind of data visualizations have grown up around such an amazing institution over the years.

So we went out looking, and we were not disappointed! We shouldn’t have been surprised though: of course Hollywood’s biggest night would give us some of it’s best data visualizations.

Oscars by the numbers

How many of those little golden statues have gone to actors who played clergy? How about those who played soldiers or cops? How many Oscars have gone to women who were from outside of North America? The answer is all in the data, and in this visualization.


OSCARS INFOGRAPHIC from Delayed Gratification, the Slow Journalism magazine.
Click here for zoomable version.

The thing we love about this visualization is the way it breaks down each winner for best actor or actress into broad categories, making it easy to find similarities or differences between the various groups. From what we can tell the best way to earn an Oscar is to play a fictional character, be from North America, play a soldier for a man (or a performer for a woman), keep it G-rated on camera and choose a role where the character lives to the end. Simple enough, right?

So who out there has the best shot… really?

Movies are big business. And where big business is, big data is usually not too far behind. It makes sense: if a movie is successful others are going to want to copy the formula, and the key to success is often hidden in the data behind the movie.

Finally, an interactive movie database
Finally, an interactive movie database

The Oscar Database seeks to do just that: one of the largest and most interactive collections of movie data we have ever seen, this might not be the flashiest visualization out there but it certainly gets the job done. With options to sort and filter the data any way you like you can make new discoveries on your own. For example, did you know that 1995 saw the biggest spike in female nominees, or that while William Wyler might have had the most Academy nominations in history, Steven Spielberg’s movies have won more awards?

We recommend taking a minute, browsing through some of these collections and finding the perfect movie to stay in this weekend!

Until next time,
The VisualCrew