Have you been in a quandary about how to present data about your school or district? Do you worry that your stakeholders will be overwhelmed with so much data they will not be able to see the big picture? You may want to think about creating an infographic to tell your story.
Communicating the story to your stakeholders may be easier and certainly more engaging if you can do it graphically. Building an infographic is a lot like writing a press release. Once you have all the research and data at your fingertips, determine the most compelling headline for the story you want to tell. Create a hierarchy with your data. What is the main idea and what are the supporting details?
Next, choose a template and build a frame for your story. Each of the online infographic tools has a number of templates that you can use and adapt for telling your story. If your story is a comparison and contrast there are templates that work well for that purpose. Maybe your story is linear and you want to choose a template that follows a timeline. Whichever format you choose, this is the step that will provide the structure for your infographic.
Next, you get to become a graphic designer. Your template will come with a basic layout, colors, and design elements. However you can add, change or remove anything on the template. There are options for adding pictures, graphs, charts, weblinks, or embedding video. In fact, there are so many options you may want to take some time to see what other people have created or watch some video tutorials that most of the online sites have created to support their tool.
Your first one will take awhile.
Be prepared to spend some time planning the layout. On my first attempt, I built the infographic as I went along and I spent a lot of time redoing and moving things around which was a pretty tedious process. The first infographic I created took many hours and I did not think I would ever do another, but once it was done and I began using it, the positive feedback inspired me to try another.
Initially you should take your infographic out for a test drive and share it with only a few individuals who can give you feedback. Allow time for revisions and then make it public to your stakeholders. The beauty is your infographic lives on the web and you can continue to update and make changes.