HelloHow? Using infographics for qualitative data visualization

by | May 9, 2022

At some point in our professional or academic lives we have all sat through a presentation where the speaker shows a PowerPoint deck with nothing but block text on every slide. By the time the speaker reaches the third slide, most of the audiences’ attention spans have waned and their minds have drifted to the groceries they need to pick up after work.

Research suggests that up to 80% to 90% of the information that our brains process is visual, meaning we are hardwired to think and remember information in pictures. Infographics are one of the many analytical models available to better connect with an audience when embarking on qualitative data visualization.  

What is an Infographic?

An infographic is a graphic visual representation of information, data, or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly. They can be presented in many different formats depending on their intended purposes. For example, they can be used in long form written reports to break up text, or in PowerPoint slides to demonstrate key messages. Most importantly, regardless of format, infographics can improve cognition by using graphics to enhance our ability to see patterns and trends. 

What are the benefits of using infographics?

There are many benefits of using infographics. First and foremost, they are proven, useful tools. Eighty-four percent of people who have used an infographic consider them to be useful. They are also helpful for content retention and sales engagement.

Content retention:

  • According to HubSpot, 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual.
  • On average, people will remember 65% of the information they see in a visual. Whereas they will only remember 10% of the information that they hear out loud.

Sales engagement:

  • According to Xerox, infographics and other colorful visuals can increase sales by up to 80%.
  • Presentations with visual aids are 43% more persuasive to potential buyers.

How do I know what information can be made into an infographic?

Infographics can be created from all types of information. They can be created from both quantitative and qualitative data and are often prepared using a mix of both data types. Let’s look at a few examples:

Survey results:  If you are looking to visualize survey results, a statistical infographic is a great medium for presenting the data. A statistical infographic puts the focus on the data, while the layout and visuals help to tell the story behind the data. Storytelling devices can include charts, icons, images, and quotation boxes.

Timeline: When visualizing the history of a particular concept, product, or company, a timeline infographic can highlight important dates and milestones. Visuals aids like lines, arrows, icons, and labels help to highlight and explain points in time.

Process: If, for example, you were to conduct interviews with engineers who explained their in-depth workflow for a certain task, a great way to visualize this type of data is a process infographic. In this type of infographic, each step of a process is highlighted in relation to the overarching process. Most process infographics follow a straightforward top-to-bottom or left-to-right flow. Numbering the steps makes the process easy to follow.

Best practices for creating infographics

Here are a few tips and tricks for ensuring your infographic concisely conveys your data:

  • Write a descriptive infographic title that contextualizes the data for your audience.
  • Look for the story behind your data and reflect that in your design; for example, use a central line to connect different points in time if your data flows in chronological order.
  • Utilize different types of data visualizations like charts, icons, and text to keep your audience engaged.
  • Illustrate each point with a simple icon or image along with a few bolded key words.
  • Number each step in a process to make it easy for your audience to follow.
  • If space is tight, use an S-shape layout to fit many steps onto one page.
  • Use visual cues like arrows to indicate where the eye should look next.

Interested in learning more about infographics and how HelloInfo can help you visualize your data in a way that will keep your audience engaged? Schedule a call with us.

Here at HelloInfo, we help our clients answer questions so they can make strategic decisions. Our HelloHow? blog series outlines different frameworks and approaches to carrying out strategic intelligence research. For other HelloHow? articles, see our blog, Spotlight.

Keep reading…