We all absorb information differently – some of us can look at graphs or tables, some prefer more pictorial visuals like infographics, and some even can read binary.

While infographics are often creative masterpieces, the real power of infographics of course is to convey the impact of the data, not just the data itself.  I think too that there is a sense of discovery in a beautifully designed graphic – the more you look, the more you see and absorb.

So, how to get started?  Here are a few free websites that can create something other than a bar or pie chart:

  • Many Eyes From traditional graphs to geographical maps, treemaps, and several more options.
  • GapMinder While you can’t upload your own data, you can create animated graphics that show change over time based on world demographics.  (Here is an example…be sure to click play)
  • Tableau A more complete solution (and in this case, not free, though there is a free trial) that allows more customization of your graphics.

Of course, step 1 is to determine how your audience will best absorb the information and gauge the appropriateness of the medium.  As you get more advanced, consider hiring a professional designer to assist in creating truly unique visuals.

Need some inspiration to get started?  Check out the site Information is Beautiful or one of David McCandless’s books.  Or do a Google Image Search for the term infographic.

What other means have you used to create interesting graphics?  Any exceptional infographics you’ve seen?  Please share in the comments.

(If you recently attended the Content Marketing Conference in Denver, Michael Pranikoff of PRNewswire also spoke to the importance of inforgraphics in crating compelling content.)