If you’re the creative type but work with data it can sometimes seem like a complete mismatch. Beyond the occasional whizzy excel document, or snazzy PowerPoint presentation, there seems little scope for ‘sexing’ up large amounts of information in a way that appeals to the ‘data wary’ or to the new techno-savvy generations. Of all the organisations I’ve worked in (e.g. private ltd, local government, national health) the key preoccupation is increasingly how to communicate with stakeholders who aren’t necessarily experts in your field but have an interest in what you provide (media, external agencies, customers, communities).
There are countless corporate friendly tools out there that attempt to create visually appealing outputs that stray from the bog standard tables, charts and graphs but none seem to be able to match the dynamic capability of the Infograph. Speed dials and traffic lights are [almost] acceptable, when explaining performance output to a board of directors, but your ordinary wo/man on the street is unlikely to be turned on by pages of data. We live in a visual age where information is plentiful so trying to communicate with an audience that knows more about Kim Kardashian’s bedroom antics than they do about the world at large is always going to be tough.
If Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have taught us anything it’s this;
1) People are not shy about sharing information (transparency to you and I)
2) Less is more (140 characters might be pushing it but 1 side of A4 is ideal)
3) A picture speaks a thousand words (why do in 10 paragraphs what 1 picture can capture in an instant?)
Working with complex statistics on a daily basis I pine for tools like that offered by Visual.ly. A newsletter from my hosting provider brought them to my attention and I was immediately sucked into the brightly coloured, insightful and amusing infographs. The impressive thing is the amount of information you’re able to absorb in a shorter frame of time because the delivery is so innovative and engaging. An invaluable lesson for any business that struggles to draw [then hold] the attention of key stakeholders!
Here are some I couldn’t resist;