You will remember from school that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. It will come as no surprise, then, to learn that this works with performance information, too. At the basic level, we can use things like graphs and charts to translate numbers into images. But infographics take this to a whole new level.
Look at these, for example, from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Presenting performance information in a visual form like this is an extremely powerful way of getting our message across. It allows people to focus quickly on the information that they need, so that they can use it to make better decisions or to take appropriate action. And let’s be honest, it does so much better than a spreadsheet ever could.
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Incidentally, anyone who wants to learn more about infographics and data visualisation should take a look at David McCandeless’s excellent website and blog at http://www.informationisbeautiful.net.