CNN Magic Wall

Visualizing complex election data in a meaningful way for millions of primetime viewers​: CNN & InterKnowlogy's partnership to reimagine the election and data analytics platform to survive the demands of being on-air 24/7.

Every few years, since 2008, we’ve seen John King deliver exceptional real-time election coverage while utilizing the CNN Magic Wall. The Magic Wall is a complex solution that relies on live data feeds from hundreds of services, aggregates that information, and then visualizes it for millions of primetime broadcast viewers.

Watch election results live on CNN on the Magic Wall OnAir application! Featured on the Inside Politics show throughout the primaries and up through election day, the app uses features such as telestration, points of interest and pop-outs, and various balance of power scenarios that can all be presented as election results are being finalized. A continuous flow of data on election day shows immediate results. In this clip from 2014, John King demonstrates how the U.S. Senate elections played out.

Client Challenges

CNN is a global leader in news and heavily relies on information and technology as key differentiators. This is most evident on Election Night and CNN needed a data visualization solution to handle a nation’s thirst for information that could:

  • Display complex elections data on-air in real-time
  • Aggregate live data feeds from hundreds of services that tabulate results in different ways across different states
  • Normalize and present the data in meaningful way to a primetime audience
  • Visualize data in a simple, dynamic way for a power user – including the ability to create scenarios and compare potential results

CNN Magic Wall, notably used by John King, is an immersive data visualization solution that aggregates live data feeds from hundreds of sources, aggregates the information, and visualizes it in a simple and consumable way.

Widely recognized as one of the most well-known election data visualization apps, it integrated multiple data sources and thousands of data points to allow election information to be presented in a meaningful way to millions of viewers — in real-time on live television.

Discovery & Design

Working in step with CNN, IK leveraged its custom discovery process to define business outcomes, understand requirements, and validate the technologies needed to create a custom architecture and user interface.


IK leveraged its deep expertise across both its backend and frontend engineering capabilities in delivering complex and immersive data visualization to create the CNN Magic Wall.

The Results

Featured on Inside Politics throughout the primaries, through election day and for days after, the application used features such as telestration, points of interest and pop-outs, and various balances of power scenarios that can all be presented as election results are being finalized. The CNN Magic Wall was designed and developed to be a seamless extension of John King and his informed coverage throughout the election cycle and it never skips a beat!

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