Data Visualizations vs. Infographics

Christy Walters


April 27, 2022 (Updated: January 23, 2024)

Data visualizations and infographics are very similar. But that can lead to a lot of confusion and debate over which is which, and what graphic businesses should use for their marketing. If you’re feeling a bit flummoxed, you’re not alone. Though related, infographics and data visualizations are not one and the same. It’s important to understand the differences between each option, so you can choose the best approach for your information. We’re exploring this concept with the topics:

What Is a Data Visualization?

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A data visualization is a representation of a specific set of numerical data. It presents objective, quantifiable information. Data visualizations typically focus on a small and specific data set. They make what might otherwise be a complicated collection of numbers into something that’s easily understood at a glance.

Data visualizations are fairly simple, as they focus on a single set of statistics or answer one question with the compiled information. They’re often generated automatically in the form of charts, plots, and graphs using the appropriate computer program. They take a certain set of numbers and translate them into an image. This makes the information more accessible to audiences and makes the communication more effective.

What Is an Infographic?

An infographic is a visual representation of a large collection of information. It tells a more comprehensive story than a single data visualization. It can also cover a range of topics. That includes data-heavy topics, as well as subjective ones, such as the best beach vacations or most effective cleaning methods.

An infographic can contain one or more data visualizations. These are often accompanied by short blurbs, quotes, or other pieces of text that elaborate on the topic. While the infographic will usually offer several pieces of quantifiable and statistical data, it doesn’t always carry the viewer through to a single conclusion. Infographics often broadly educate viewers on a topic so they can learn more about it or come to their own conclusion on the topic.

Where To Use Data Visualizations

Data visualizations are effective in a variety of places. Apps, computer programs, and online portals often rely heavily on a series of data visualizations that present up-to-date information. In a money management app, data visualizations might illustrate what percentage of your paycheck went to gas, groceries, rent, and entertainment. A quick visualization makes it much easier to digest your allocation of funds than simply looking at the numbers would. Data visualizations are also ideal for breaking up long blocks of text and effectively highlighting important statistics.

Where To Use Infographics

Infographics are comprehensive enough to stand on their own. Though they’re often accompanied by a short introduction, it’s not always necessary. The purpose of an infographic is to tell a complete story, so you can share infographics nearly anywhere. They’re commonly used in:

  • Case studies
  • Brochures
  • Flyers
  • Blog posts
  • Website content
  • Social media
  • Posters

Choosing the Right Approach

If you’re still feeling a bit lost as to whether you want a data visualization or infographic, you’re not alone. It’s not always easy to create compelling content that people want to engage with. A great rule of thumb to remember is that content is king. You want to make sure whatever you’re presenting to your audience is helpful, informative, and relevant to them.

If you’re trying to discuss a specific set of data, it’s helpful to use a data visualization. If you can’t boil your topic down to a single image, an infographic might be more helpful. Remember that an infographic can contain multiple data visualizations, but the reverse isn’t true. Any topic that’s subjective, exploratory, or consists of multiple questions is suited to an infographic. Flowcharts, timelines, comparisons, maps, and lists are all examples of infographics that may help illuminate your information.

Both infographics and data visualizations have their place in a well-rounded content marketing strategy. Choosing the right option for your piece will help you communicate your point as effectively as possible to viewers, so that your content has the impact you’re after.

If you’re still having trouble figuring out the best way to compile your content, there are experts who can help. CopyPress has a team of writers, editors, and QA specialists who understand how to write compelling, informative content for your target audience. Schedule a call with us today to see how we can boost your content marketing campaign with high-quality blogs, articles, and white papers.

Author Image - Christy Walters
Christy Walters

CopyPress writer

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