Imagine drawing a picture, or graphic, and then creating actions that can be interactive and completely follow the good animation practices developed by Disney studios going back to the 1920’s and thirties, all without a series of drawings, no key frames, no “tweening” (in-between drawings created by hand or digitally)… this is all the long path Autodesk is working on in the Draco project.
The first result of it has been the iPad software Sketchbook Motion, which Apple named as their App of the Year for 2016. It’s a supercharged drawing program, that allows you to turn elements of the drawing into animated actors. The actions are tied to the individual elements, and cycle based on the controls that pop up for the particular element, including different kinds of motion, speed, and direction that the action moves.
This is the first program, but there are more in development, where images that were static can be have interactive motion that can be controlled by data inputs: imagine a weather report that is a drawing, where precipitation or wind activity can be seen that changes when the numbers coming from the weather service changes, in real time.
The application for data visualizations will open up without resorting to using d3.js or other programming languages. You would just draw the visual objects, define the motion, and tie in the data that makes the motion happen.