In academic and corporate life, we are sometimes are tasked at creating presentations. Presentations can be time consuming and often end up bland and uninteresting. No matter how exciting the data may seem to you, it is sometimes hard to get pthers excited.
Today we are going to focus on infographs.
Infographs are graphic visual representations of data. They display complex information in an easily digestible way. They focus the viewer on larger trends and methodology. With a little bit of color, shape, and an interactive element, these graphic images can spice up your data and require zero design training.
Say you conducted a peer-survey and would like to share the results and trends. One type of chart, for example, can display the location of survey respondents on a world map.
Say you want to break down respondents by gender. Well, there is an infographic for that! You can create a chart that uses male and female symbols to convey gender breakdowns.
These are two examples where it is easier to digest data through an infograph (instead of just a simple bar or pie graph).
With interactive tools, you can also create dynamic charts that instantly segment data.
Infographs are not always appropriate. Keep the audience in mind as well as the type of data. Infographs display data trends. They do not focus on tiny numerical details.
Here are some sites to check out:
Many sites require subscriptions and each site may work differently. So take a tour and browse through instructions and frequently asked questions. If you find value in data visualizations, these tools could be easily integrated into presentations. Some people even use sites like Vizualize.me to create dynamic, visual resumes.
- Mashable posted a how-to infographic for creating Infographics.
- Wiley Exchanges on how to use infographs
- RazorSocial on making your own infographs.
- The Best American… series released a book all about infographs. The forward is by David Byrne of the Talking Heads. Here is an article from BrainPickings about the book, including some example graphics.
[edited by wileyauthor2 12/1]
Use an infograph tool to create more than 30 chart types. Anything from bubble charts and treemaps to simple pie charts.
Do you have to present reams of data using Microsoft tools and want to create something that stands out? Or perhaps you want to create an info graph of your own work experience – to append to your CV?
http://infogr.am/ is an online tool that allows you to create graphs and present data in a much more attractive way. There’s a suit of free templates to use and you can publish your creations online.
Here’s an example created for Internet Penetration Trends: http://infogr.am/Internet-penetration-2012—Global-trends/
Hints and tips:
If you are copy and pasting data from excel, copy and paste it in to ‘notepad’ first. This will strip out any special characters and ensure that you don’t have any upload issues with the data.
Sometimes the graphs don’t configure correctly –this is normally because they prefer % over #s.
Like most online tools – infogr.am works better in browsers such as Chrome, Mozilla or Safari. Internet Explorer causes temperamental behaviour and lots of frustration!