Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly.They can improve cognition by utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends.
There are so many different ways to visualize data and I really love the way people (and companies) are trying to get the meaning of the numbers into the viewer’s brain by making the statistics compelling and beautiful.
Why not PowerPoint?
A lot of websites are dedicated to create Infographics (see box), and most are very easy to use and also powerful. I wanted to give a tool a try, that I am quite familiar and that works pretty well with my data: PowerPoint. Because all the online-infographics-designer has to be filled with data and if this data changes from time to time you have to edit this. So my aim was to create a infographic that can be updated just by a mouseclick or even automatically.
As I started to collect data of my bow-hunting skills on 3D-targets and analyze it with Excel, I wanted to visualize all my efforts (and development) for my newest hobby. The mathematics behind Excel is pretty easy and I managed to develop a pretty powerful Excel-file with many sheets for the different 3D-parcours. In fact I am pretty proud of the capabilities to analyze my shootings and as the data can be added „on the go“, when I am actually using my Windows Phone to notate the points for each shoot! With the inbuilt options you can create visually powerful daigramms, but only one by one.
But – call me crazy – I wanted to add some „icing“ to this. So I decided to have a look on PowerPoint, my favorite presentation tool and use it just for one single slide – and create an infographic.
Use the power of PowerPoint!
First of all I set up a different slide size. Not many people are familiar with this option and think, that you can only set up two different slide sizes depending on your screen-resolution (4:3 or 16:9). I’ve change the ratio to 16:10 of my presentations very early, just to have the perfect balance between space and „visual convienience“.
I’ve created a bigger portrait size, cause I found lots of infographics on the internet that are using this aspect ratio.
Then I created the diagrams in Excel and copied it to the clipboard.
You can import the diagrams just like any other content, but be sure to do this by „right-click – insert with linked data“. Then everytime you get new data in Excel it auto-updates the data in PowerPoint (cool feature, uh?).
Then of course, you got the full palette of PowerPoint tools – and they are very powerful to create great visual content! I’ve added a picture, rearranged the titles and made a dark background and: Voilá, here it is! My first infographic made with PowerPoint.
I forgot to mention, that you can easily export your PowerPoint-Slide to a image (png or jpg) and use it everywhere you want. It is very basic and there are little graphics in it, so maybe I will add some more in another version, but right now I like it very much! It took me some time to get all the small things like I wanted them, but I love the details and therefore it took my some time (45min) to get the final product. But from now on, I can get a quick overview on my performance!
I am dreaming of a dedicated Windows (Phone) App that will created beautiful outputs of Excel-data that auto-updates. Anybody knows some good Apps?
What do you think of my first try? I would be very glad to get some feedback!