Tech-Talk: Converting Your Numbers into Works of Art

Just in case you haven’t noticed, everything is becoming more and more visual. If you read outlets like USA Today or Forbes, you’ll see more videos, more image slideshows and more pictures in general. The average person spends less than a minute, and often only 10-20 seconds on a webpage, so it’s important that information comes across in a clear concise way, and can be understood in less time that it takes to refresh your Twitter feed.

The world of PR is no different. Finding ways to convey thought leadership, data and messaging in a colorful, impactful way is more than important, it’s vital. Presentation is one way to ensure your work stands out from everyone else’s vying for the same reporters and limited media real estate. One tool that we’ve seen work time and time again is the recently popular infographic.

Infographics can take something that on the surface appears opaque and turn it into a vibrant piece of work, transforming already dynamic information into a viral sensation when done right. The question then becomes how do you do it right?

Creating an infographic may seem daunting at first. Your graphic team is already over worked, or maybe you don’t have one. And paying a freelancer is out of your budget. But once you have the “info” portion figured out, there are a variety of tools available to help with the “graphic” part.

Here’s a list of four infographic tools that won’t break the bank and will help you get the coverage your data deserves:

  • Creatly is a an easy to use online diagramming tool that provides one click styling, pretty shapes, and curvy connectors that draw as you type the data in. Creatly has an easy to use interface that will leave you stress-free and on your way to a great infographic. Most importantly, Creatly can be used for free and starts at just $5 a month for one of their premium packages.
  • StatPlanet is a great program that has a myriad of user-friendly features that allows you to make interactive maps, animated graphs, and customizable visual experiences. StatPlanet comes in three versions, regular for the average user, Plus for the user who needs a broader range of feature and Lite for the person who wants to get it done quick and willing to pass on a few choices. All three versions are downloadable for free on StatPlanet’s website.
  • Tableau is a service that lets anyone publish interactive data. All you have to do is download the program to your desktop and get started. No programming skills are needed at all, and the company offers a plethora of visual content that you can use with your data. Tableau offers a public version that is completely free and includes 50 megabytes of free storage on the Tableau server, so you don’t have to save the large files to your computer.
  • Wordle is a tool for words, not data. But it provides a great visual representation of almost anything. It’s fast, simple and free. All you do is type in the words you want to their website, and poof, an amazing word cloud is created. You can also provide whole webpages or blogs and the tool will take the most prominent words from that site.

All of the services mentioned above, except Wordle, also come with their own data that you’re able to utilize.

For more in-depth information on making your infographic check out MakeUsOf’s guide and FastCompany’s list of top tools it recommends.

Posted on January 19, 2012, in The Hit Board and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Great information! Thanks!

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