With the overflow of information consumers have reduced the amount of time they want to dedicate to understand any communication. Infographics have come to save the day for them, and to save the day for Marketers that want to deliver their message in an efficient way, that will guarantee retention.
Simplifying complicated information could be a double edge sword if not handled appropriately. Simplifying a message might result into the elimination of relevant data that could change the meaning and intention of a story. Understanding the data we have at hand is key to avoid any simplification that could backfire on us. It is no surprise that certain publishing organizations manipulate the data they want to share in order to influence opinion. When working with numbers to present data it is very advisable to be in the outlook for those organizations that love to squeeze numbers in order to report the result that favors their bias message.
The other big concern when working with numbers is the sourcing. Those creating the Infographics, those that used them to communicate a message of any given topic, and the audience that is consuming content through them, need to learn to be skeptic. The graphic should clearly state the sources used to collect the numbers. Data, such as the unemployment rates tend to be reported like the holy grail of the economy, but a lot of people do not understand the process being used to collect that data, and the information the data doesn’t tell you. For example: The unemployment counts those people that are actively seeking for a job, but it doesn’t mention those that just stop trying, or that decided to freelance because they couldn’t get a full time job. Other information that the unemployment number doesn’t mention is the growth in the quality of salaries, or the type of jobs being created. When governments, and think tanks with clear political tendencies get into the polling business, is because they want to generate buzz. They know the general public won’t question their methodologies, or run a background check to see who is funding those studies. Everyday you will find a new study of the advantages of drinking wine, or eating chocolate, the next day you could find a study saying the opposite. Who’s funding the study? Who do you believe?
The UN congratulated and awarded Venezuela with some kind of recognition for reducing hunger in 2013. Just type “Hunger” or “Food shortages” in Venezuela in any search engine, and you will see the reality. Who do you think reports tha data to the UN? You guessed it.
Next time you run into an Infographic, or have the opportunity to create one to communicate a message. Double, and triple check your sources, and make sure your numbers are telling the real story, and not being biased. Trust is not something you can win twice.
STATUS: BEING SKEPTIC, AVOIDING HEADACHES