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Displaying Data in Articles

Noreplyz September 27, 2016 User blog:Noreplyz

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Providing a valuable experience for people discovering data is powerful – here are a few tips and ways to display your precious data.
~ Noreplyz

Data is at the base of many gaming and entertainment wikis, and showing data in a useful and effective way is important for both visitors and editors. In gaming, users want the details on a particular class or skill, the health points of a particular minion or the effects of a potion or item. In TV shows and movies, actors have different details like age, awards and occupation, and other information like revenue or popularity are of interest to visitors. Providing a valuable experience for people discovering data is powerful – here are a few tips and ways to display your precious data.


An infobox is a panel on the top right of an article that lists valuable summary data regarding the article’s subject. They should complement the article’s information by providing just the key features of a subject. They are also reusable on other pages in a similar category, so that data is displayed in a uniform and consistent manner. Portable Infoboxes are also nicely displayed on mobile.

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Warframe Wiki uses a wide infobox to show skill details.

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From left to right: Game of Thrones Wiki provides key facts about an actor, Overwatch Wiki presents a class with its traits and affiliations and YouTube Wiki shows important data on a YouTube channel.

Infoboxes are beneficial as they let users skim through content and pick out quick details like a person’s birthday, the type of food or a place of origin. They also promote search engine optimisation, with data often placed highly when users search for keywords like birthdays, birthplaces and time lengths. Be aware that too much information in an infobox can make it less effective – the contents of an infobox should be short and key.


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Rick and Morty Wiki's episode guide table.

As we go deeper into data, more variables appear and readers may want more specific numbers and results. Tables prove to be very helpful in organising large amount of numbers, from damage values of weapons and monsters to TV episode popularity and results of a competition.
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Fallout Wiki's mini table detailing radiation effects.

Special classes allow you to customise these tables more easily. Sortable tables can be instantly created by adding class="sortable" to the start of the table. For specific applications, see these examples and documentation. Having tables collapse may also be helpful for large amounts of data that overflow too much, and can be added by using class="mw-collapsible mw-collapsed". Again, more documentation can be found at Help:Collapsing.


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Yogscast Wiki's timeline for a collection of Minecraft series'.

Timelines are a graphical approach to displaying data and is often useful for displaying episodes or characters over time.

They require a bit more technical knowledge, but are pretty easy to copy and adjust to your own data. The MediaWiki extension page explains how to write one up yourself. They are very flexible and can allow for very unique timelines.

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