2 Minutes Read | Communications

Infographic reports: Your data can look both cool and business-serious

Natalija Snapkauskaite

Growth Marketer

Sometimes we ask business people around us and randomly in the web whether they use infographics and, if not, why?

Some say that infographics are not the most optimal content format for them, some say they lack time or tools (“How could I create graphs like in economist.com? I am not an information designer, I don’t have time! I can just throw my hands up, to add some drama.“), and some voice out that “infographics aren’t serious to be used for business“, citing numerous examples of infauxgraphics (if you don’t know what infauxgraphics are, check this blog post by Timo Elliott) that include memes and lolcats.

Can I create something good?

So there was a challenge for me: create an economist.com-like data report with limited time (and budget).

Theme in piktochart.wpengine.com: Presenta board
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cups of tea consumed: 2
Money spent: $0 (free account in piktochart.wpengine.com)

On September 14th, The Economist published a data report on the global banking industry, comparing the year 2007 (before the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis) and 2012 (5 years after). I tried to replicate it (Note to economist.com: it’s just for demonstrative purposes) and see the results! What do you think?

If you don’t fancy the style or the colors, you can choose a different template and freely adjust the content, fonts, colors, etc. so that the infographic report matches your presentation color scheme and/or company branding.  The Lehman anniversary Five years in charts. Source: economist.com

 The Lehman anniversary Five years in charts. Made in Piktochart.com

If you feel you need some help with infographics and the editor, check our “Resourses” webpage.
Hope it helps!

Infographics as business reports

Properly designed infographic reports can enhance company image and improve a report’s readability (and thus readers’ involvement in the company issues).

The most famous infographic reports were created by Nicholas Felton who recorded his activities during a year and “weaved numerous measurements into a tapestry of graphs, maps and statistics” in a yearly report (read more about his on his website). An example from his report:

Felton Annual Report 2010

Following the make-it-visual trend, corporations also jumped on the bandwagon and started experimenting with visualizations and infographical elements in their reports and other corporate material. An example from General Mills, an American Fortune 500 corporation, primarily concerned with food products, PR release on results for the first quarter of fiscal 2014.


Another example from Ernst & Young, the third largest professional services firm in the world and one of the “Big Four” accounting firms, that also harnesses the power of visual representation of information in its text heavy insight reports.

Credit: Ernst & Young 2013 RECAI

The last example comes from UNICEF, an international humanitarian organization, that uses short bits of infographic to report its results and achievements. UNICEF Six months after East Africa infographic

So are you convinced?

  • Joshua

    I think that the everyday vlitasisauion idea is a real goer, actually I’m quite inspired by it. Not on the level of monitoring my personal information (heart rate sugar levels etc), although I think this is a great idea but I’m inspired because I want to get the data from my house into a vlitasisauion. I see this displaying things like, water and power consumption (you could even link it into you car). If it was hooked up correctly (and that shouldn’t be to hard) then you could compare this to last month/week/year, which would mean that it should be a lot easier to understand and work with. You could even show usage by hour or by show for example, this would open up a lot of ways to reduce our impact on the planet and also to reduce our cost of living. I know that here in NZ over the last winter some people have had 600$ power bills (per month) and they struggled to pay them, with a read out like this then estimations could be done (easily) and they would get into this problem, could probably even be notified. I’ll have to do some more research 🙂 thanks for the inspiration.