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Why Data Providers Should Love the Infographic

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Finding the story within data is sometimes challenging because of something we all have in common: our brains. In his article Why Abraham Lincoln Loved Infographics, author Gareth Cook explains that because our brains are adept at making sense of our surroundings through visual cues, it’s difficult to find the stories or patterns within data without accompanying images.

 

Infographics Tell Stories

Enter infographics - which, though the Internet has popularized them recently, are nothing new. Cook says the first infographics, which were really line graphs, were created by Scotsman William Playfair near the end of the eighteenth century. One of Playfair's graphs showed Britain's import-export industry:

 

Cook writes,

"Playfair took information that is not easy for us to absorb (columns of British import-export figures) and put it into a form (a landscape of peaks and valleys) that the brain can interpret with speed. This is the idea behind all infographics."

Infographics are one tool that enables our brains to translate row upon row of numbers into meaning. The meaning can be edifying, entertaining, or galvanizing - or, in the B2B space, it can be actionable.

How Businesses Use Stories

Stories are more than books read at bedtime or shared around a campfire. Stories can also be about...

  • a real-life geography, such as the culture of a particular neighborhood
  • a group of people connected by certain characteristics, such as home owners with enough disposable income to invest in household improvements
  • a gathering of sports fans at the big football game

 

Infographics in the Real Estate Industry

The real estate industry makes excellent use of infographics. Here are a couple of our favorites:

 

 

Infographics for Location-Based Data Providers

Because Maponics data happens to be location based, our products naturally lend themselves to visual display on maps. (Take a look at our Neighborhood Boundaries, School Boundaries and ZIP Code Boundaries, to name just a few.) The need for infographics arises when projecting Context™ data onto those boundaries. Our Context analytics add details about the people and places within particular areas - details like Demographics, School Rankings and Crime Scores (which could be used to create an infographic similar to the one above). Below is a Maponics infographic that shows the Context Walkability™ rankings for Los Angeles neighborhoods.