Sometimes, the easiest way to understand a concept is through data visualization. Imagine if the stock market was not translated into graphs! Imagine trying to understand the daily fluctuations verbally, or by simply reading the data on a piece of paper and not having a visual line to follow. It is not just the stock market that benefits from visualizations, any business might benefit from creating data infographics. If your organization uses complex data, and is looking for a better way to share it, then here are two steps which will help.
Decide on a format to visualize data.
Data infographics can take many forms. Consider these options.
- Interactive, or static?
- Chart, or graph?
- Map, or word cloud?
- Timeline, or projection?
Different sets of data are best represented in different ways. For example, if you want to reference historical data, a timeline might be best, but you could also consider an interactive visualization which shows different information depending on how you manipulate it. One good way to learn about which format work best with which types of data is to look for examples and judge for yourself what seems to be effective.
Consider data visualization tools.
Data infographics are a lot like normal infographics, in that both have had the creation processes simplified with the invention of a variety of online programs and applications. IBM has created a tool called Many Eyes, which allows you to create infographics from matrix charts, tree maps, word trees, and scatter plots to stack graphs and much more in between. A tool called Wordle allows you to easily generate word clouds from a provided text, and ChartsBin can help you create interactive maps. If you need a timeline, then Dipity might serve your needs. The point is that there are many different tools that can help you to visualize the data, and all that you need to do is look for them.
After creating an excellent visualization of your complex company data, you might want to use your data infographics as marketing infographics. They could be a part of a marketing campaign just as easily as they might hold a prominent space in your board room. Remember to think through which data visualization format will do the data the most justice, and use the tools online that are available to you.