Given the current environment of content marketing, the attractiveness of data visualization is often summarized in wild infographics. The instant gratification trend has reached every imaginable industry, “telling data stories visually, in one page!”.
But are infographics helpful?
Yes, we’ve used them in the past, and like it or not, they help drive folks to our community. While we try to use well-formatted and well-researched graphs, consuming that data through vertical scrolling is often not the best way to go about it.
Tufte and Less is More
Cool infographs are considered art, and as such do more than just share data. The design aspect itself is enough to draw attention, and for most marketers that is enough. But when you’re presenting to your boss or to investors, you want the data to take the lead. In that case, less is always more.
Edward Tufte is arguably the most famous statistician on the planet, and the author of some of the best books on data visualization (highly recommended!). He continuously hammers on the fact that concise, straight-forward information is the most effective way to convey a message.
Example from Dark Horse Analytics
Also available in an awesome .GIF:
And here’s to powerpoints less full of text, to graphs less full of captions/3d/drop shadows, and to PDF reports smaller than 1MB!