4 steps to create an effective infographic and the best apps for data storytelling
How to improve data visualization? Pigro’s team has tested 5 apps for creating an engaging infographic online.
If you deal with analytics, big data and numbers or have ever had to explain data, you will certainly know how important it is to communicate it in a readable and usable way. To convey all the information you get to your interlocutor, you will need to create effective reports. Pigro’s team has gathered for you some tips and tools to make infographics that are both effective and aesthetically beautiful.
The importance of data storytelling
When we are faced with a significant amount of data, it is necessary to make it easy for everyone to understand them. Whether you are addressing your superiors, employees or your target audience, you need to make the numbers “transparent,” that is, tell a story with your data.
Data storytelling is precisely “the ability to effectively communicate insights from a dataset using narratives and visualizations”. After having analyzed the data, the main purpose is that to make decisions.
“Since technology has allowed us to accumulate ever greater amounts of data, there is a growing desire to make sense of it. Being able to visualize the data and tell stories with the data is crucial for turning them into usable information to make better decisions.” (Data Storytelling. Generating Value from Information Representation – Cole Nussbaumer-Knaflic).
As in any story, images play a key role in getting people into the story and understanding it: that is why visual representation of data is essential for getting your message across in a clear, concise way. So charts and infographics help stakeholders understand what the data that we are presenting to them mean.
How to create an infographic in 4 steps
Once we have collected the data, we need to choose how to present it. In addition to the usual excel charts, there are more engaging ways to do data storytelling: creating infographics can be an example of how to capture the audience’s attention.
But how to make an infographic?
1- Create the graphs and simplify the data: this obviously starts with creating the graphs, which should be different depending on the contained information data visualisationand with little data at a time. One must, in addition, get rid of all information that is not essential in the visualization to easily understand the information we want to convey.
2- Always consider the context: Are people in the audience experts or might they not understand some complex information? The language we decide to adopt varies according to this important factor.
3- Pay attention to the graphics: from the choice of colors to the images that will accompany our presentation, nothing must be left to chance. Color scales must be taken into account (a more intense color indicates the progression of data) and color consistency (if we choose a hue to represent a piece of information, it is good to maintain it throughout the presentation). This expedient help us to select a color palette from which to start, which will avoid confusion if we use too many different tones: a useful tool is coolors.co.
4-Storytelling: at this point, it’s time to choose the text that communicates the data most effectively. Titles and labels should be placed in the best position to accompany the number but without distracting attention: no boxes with borders should be present; fonts should be simple and clean. Text boxes can then be useful for explaining what is shown by the images, but again the “less is more” principle should be applied to the text-editing process.
The best apps that help us create infographics online
How to create an infographic for free? It’s easier than you think! Thanks to the following tools, you can create online infographics that will improve the visual representation of data of your business.
Canva: is one of the most popular infographic websites you can use to create infographics online and edit your documents and pictures. You can indeed create graphic designs of all kinds: social media graphs, website covers, brochures, posters, business cards and much more. Canva is very easy to use and has many free features. Once you are logged in, you simply select your content and enter the work area. You can start with a template (there are plenty for all types of communication) or a blank sheet of paper. All you will have to do is drag the elements onto the desired area and then edit them, or import custom images. Saving is automatic and you can download the file in all formats.
Infogram: is yet another “infographic creator”. Not only does Infogram help make your own infographic, but it also allows you to create maps and graphics both static and dynamic. It can be used by anyone, even novices: all you have to do is to log in and start working on the project directly online. Thanks to this tool, creating infographics is really simple and intuitive, as you literally just drag and drop elements into the workspace and click on them to edit the graphics. In these features, it is a lot like Canva, because it allows you to both use elements and templates from the site and import your own. Finally, you can save your design and share it via links.
Venngage: with this tool you can create, download or share your own online presentations and graphics for company reports, CVs, promotional flyers and much more. From the “templates” screen you can view previews of templates; choose one and start customizing it with the elements you want thanks to the convenient drag-and-drop feature. You’ll be able to adjust color, size and orientation and, when finished, save as a PNG or PDF. Venngage is free for students but has limitations on the number of shareable projects.
Easel.ly: quoting their website “the free way to turn boring data into an engaging infographic.” It offers the same actions as the other platforms, like having a workspace that allows the editing of templates and the drag-and-drop feature, even if there is less opportunity for customization in the stylistic elements of templates. Easel.ly enables you to create an infographic online at a ridiculously low price. In addition to the free trial, the individual plan allows unlimited images, templates and high-resolution downloads for $4 per month. And if you were a professor you would also get 30 free accounts for your students.
Visme: an intuitive, free infographics tool, with Visme the user can really create everything from infographics and presentations to graphics for social and Web sites, as well as flowcharts. Visme gives the ability to create your own infographic from scratch or modify templates already in the database; it is therefore a very flexible tool. Another of its strengths is that it is a platform that allows you to create, save and publish any type of content in one platform.
If you are looking for more useful tips and advice on apps and programs to simplify your work as well as your life, check out our article: