September 2, 2013
CALGARY, AB, Sep 2, 2013/ Troy Media/ – Effective business communication requires solid facts and reliable figures. Unfortunately, many promotional materials don’t quite work to “hook” their target market. But with infographics engaging readers because of their visual appeal, businesses are leaning towards using them to help market their brand.
Bringing information to employees, customers, shareholders, and the general public is a complex process that has received a surge of interest in the past 10 years. Infographics, or data visualizations, make use of modern graphic design techniques to communication complex sets of data in a manner that is easy to understand and easy to apply to real world circumstances.
It is important to realize that infographics are not simply graphs or charts. Infographics are similar to traditional visualizations: Complex information is being conveyed in a visual manner. However, infographics are able to show more complex relationships between the information being shared and the world that data exists in.
This principle can be understood by referring to a popular online infographic illustrating the method of creating popular espresso and coffee drinks. The graphic represents types of beverages as cups and illustrates the ingredients – coffee, espresso, hot water, milk, cream, and so forth – in relation to each drink. A person can see at a glance what ingredients are used to make each type of drink and how one drink (a cup of espresso, for instance) can be transformed into derivative drinks (through the addition of hot water for an Americano or steamed milk for a latte). A standard pie chart might show what percentage of a coffee shop’s beverage sales were made up of each drink and a bar graph might show how many drinks were sold over a period of time but only an infographic can show how all the drinks are related to each other.
According to an article on infographic marketing and messaging as a visualization, the creation of an infographic is something of an art and not all sets of data are suitable for sharing in infographic form. Graphs and charts may be used within a larger infographic, but one should not be confused for the other.
Businesses gather data in many ways. Direct customer polling in the form of marketing surveys and product satisfaction reports are a good way of collecting information about rates of satisfaction, frequency of product purchase, and similar information that can be represented numerically or on a sliding scale. This information is often transformed into traditional line graphs, bar graphs, pie charts, and so forth.
Businesses also gather data in indirect ways. In a retail environment, traffic flow monitoring, paired purchase analyses, and behavioural studies can be done without directly asking the customers for their input. This indirect data collection allows for the observation of the relationship between customers and the retail environment. This is the kind of information that can be conveyed with the help of an infographic.
The best and most informative data visualizations are usually made by professional graphic designers who work closely with the people who gathered and analyzed the initial data. The perspective of an experienced graphic designer will bring a new way of looking at the information; they will select the design elements that will most effectively communicate the findings of your research.
Though graphic artists have a firm grounding in the principles of art and design, they also know that good design communicates with an audience. They want to convey data to their audience through well-chosen design elements and so will work closely with you to create a cutting-edge infographic.
The new science of business intelligence, or BI, is breaking ground in the fields of communication and design. Complex, relational sets of data can be cleverly communicated to others with the help of graphic artists and infographics – and this is exactly why businesses are jumping on the infographic bandwagon.
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