Infographics have taken social media, marketing and the Internet at large by storm in recent years. Why? Because they combine and present different types of information exceptionally well.
Infographics provide a uniquely compelling and captivating method of communicating and distilling information effectively and efficiently. And, on top of all that, they’re fun. Oh, and if you’ve been living under a large rock, here’s a good working definition of an infographic: The visual representation of detailed or complex information and data in a format that supports fast and accurate understanding.
It’s for these reasons that, despite appearing like strange bedfellows at first, infographics have an important role to play in modern Business Intelligence (BI) deployments. That’s exactly why we’re introducing the ability to deliver powerful analytics via intuitive infographic-style visualizations.
BI infographics help solve two prevalent challenges. Firstly, industry studies repeatedly demonstrate that BI and analytics user adoption rates, on average, have languished between 10 – 20 percent over the last decade – despite the efforts of many to make it more accessible. Clearly there’s a rethink that’s required here, and infographics can play a role in bolstering those lowly usage figures. Secondly, BI has transitioned out of the IT-dominated era, with other business functions often playing bigger roles in purchasing BI and analytics software, while also making-up larger proportions of the user demographic. Presenting analytical content and data analysis to business users in a familiar and engaging infographic-style format reduces the learning curve required to understand and accurately act on analytics.
So here are the top eight ways that infographics – as a highly impactful method of data visualization – boost user adoption within a modern BI deployment (below):
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1. Infographics democratize your data
Non-technical users often struggle with the foreignness of reporting and analytics. Even quickly and correctly interpreting reasonably intuitive visual outputs can be a challenge – especially at first. The familiar infographic format gives new and business users the confidence to comfortably and independently understand and act on data-driven insights. Infographic-style visualizations increase the accessibility of analytics and therefore the value of your BI program.
2. Infographics support sustained user adoption
Well-constructed infographics are an inherently engaging, intuitive and entertaining way of conveying the significance of facts and figures. This distinctive mix of fun and function generates a unique sense of gratification, which builds a connection between information and audience. It’s this type of connection that will keep people coming back for more.
3. Infographics promote information sharing and collaborative decision-making
Since 2010, infographic search volumes have exploded.
Why? Because they’re fun and visually stimulating – people want to consume them and share them with other people. Everybody loves a good statistic, and infographics provide the perfect vessel for powerfully and memorably communicating and contextualizing data points and associated learnings. Promoting sharing and discussion around data-based insights improves organizational IQ and drives smarter collective decision-making.
4. Infographics communicate insights fast
Time-to-value is critical to BI success – whether it’s the time it takes to roll out a BI program, build a chart or perform a query. Likewise, the visual outputs of BI need to be easy to decipher and use to ensure that the right people can act on the right information at the right time. If users can’t quickly find the answers they’re looking for, they’ll go elsewhere. The control and flexibility of design an Infographic offers enables information to be structured and ordered in a very precise manner. This specificity of design assists the consumer of that information to absorb key points and interrelationships fast, quickly moving through the content in a logical, guided order.
5. Infographics combine different types of information uniquely well
One of the key benefits of BI is the ability to identify previously unseen connections and interrelationships between different types of data. Infographics have a near peerless ability to combine a variety of information and communications mediums – such as images, icons, charts, maps, text, numbers and color – into one highly effective communications device. But it’s not just the ability to easily identify associations, and make comparisons between different data, that make infographics such a powerful method of presenting analytics. Research shows that information is remembered far more clearly, and in much greater detail, if delivered via multiple avenues. For example, the Picture Superiority Effect demonstrates that if people hear information, they remember about 10 percent of that content three days later. When that same information is paired with a relevant image, people retain 65 percent of what they learnt when quizzed after 72 hours. If BI users can derive deeper insights, and recall the significance of those insights when required, they’ll keep logging into your BI platform.
6. Infographics facilitate Data Storytelling
The flexibility to include a range of elements in an infographic, as well as pixel-perfect positioning of those elements, also means they’re an excellent mechanism for Data Storytelling. Data Storytelling is what it sounds like – the concept of weaving data points into a narrative to improve audience understanding and retention. Not only is conveying information in a story format more persuasive, it’s more memorable. For example, a study called Made to Stick found that 63 percent of attendees at a presentation could remember the stories told, while only five percent could remember statistics that were cited in isolation. Communicate data points within a storyline, and you have a winning combination. Neurological research indicates that disseminating information as part of a narrative engages more areas of our brain, leading to more detailed recall capabilities and long-term memory storage. The short story? Infographics have the ability to build an effective story, that connects more people to data in a meaningful and memorable way, which instils a culture of data-driven decision-making.
For more, checkout our on-demand Data-Driven Storytelling Best Practices Webinar HERE >
7. Infographics help us sift through the data avalanche
In the age of Big Data – as we collect and analyze more data and data types from more sources than ever before – it’s vital to separate the gold from the garbage. If your analytics software can’t deliver the pertinent points to your users quickly, they’ll walk away. Enter Infographics. Infographics – with a unique blend of visual, textual and numeric types of information – have an uncanny ability to efficiently organize, condense and distil large and potentially complex data into a format that’s fast to absorb and highly actionable. Successfully guiding users through the analytics journey – from information, to insight and then action – is critical to BI adoption.
8. Infographics suit our increasingly time-poor work environment
Increasing demands on our time in the workplace have led to habitual multitasking and short attention spans, meaning that analyzing stats in-depth is often unachievable. Moreover, neurological research also reveals that the sheer volume of information we’re now expected to consume, in both our private and professional lives, means our brains have been re-engineered in a way that actually reduces our ability to pay attention to one thing for a significant amount of time. Well-designed infographics provide an ideal solution. Infographics are highly ‘scannable’, quickly drawing our gaze towards the key facts in a way that reveals insights and helps us ‘join the dots’ like few other modes of data delivery. Infographics cut through the clutter and grab your attention – in the right way.
Be a BI hero: Deliver beautiful infographics your users will love
Are you sick of persistently low BI user adoption rates? Looking for new methods of engaging your user base? Want to build a gratifying analytics experience that will keep people coming back for more? Sounds like it’s time to set your data free with Yellowfin 7.3.
Here’s your three-step failsafe guide to infographic enlightenment: