Today’s audiences need information, they want it fast and they want it visually which is driving an explosion in infographics and data visualizations in investor communications — and all business communications for that matter.
Researchers have found we interpret visual information faster and retain it better. Combining visual information with narrative significantly increases both understanding and retention.
That brings us to financial presentations, factsheets, IR Websites and other staples of Street communication. Infographics and data visualization have always been part of the financial communication repertoire – pie and bar charts and tables are prime examples. Today, the use of infographics in investor communications is exploding.
What's behind the surge?
1) We have much more information to convey now that everyone has upped their data and data analytics game.
2) The information we have access to is more complex and layered.
3) And, last but not least, audiences who need to digest all the information, are looking for all the help they can get.
As a result, we are seeing more infographics and data visualization in communications to investors, Boards and other stakeholder audiences. And, everyone is employing them — IR , Treasury, the financial media and even activist investors.
If you are contemplating including more infographics in your business communications, and we recommend you do, here are four types to consider.
Business model graphics have been employed in financial communications for a long time. If you’re not currently using one to depict your business, it’s a good time to start. The graphic should include the key components and functions of your business that generate revenue and drive profit.
Key business process, program and system graphics
These differ from the business model in that they depict a component of the business or an initiative versus the business model which is more fundamental and less likely to be replaced or retired.
This is a broader category and where we are seeing the biggest increase. Companies are using infographics and icons to depict key stats on the company, KPI’s, market research, management effectiveness, and competitive landscape and consumer trend stories.
In this category we refer to graphing of data that is beyond the scope of Excel or PowerPoint. Nested pie charts and maps are just two examples.
Technology and product solution illustrations
As the name implies these depict technology such as data architectures and product offerings with customer benefits.
Creating effective infographics and data visualization for business audiences takes skill, creative talent and a lot of thought. Too commercial or too amateurish and you turn off investor audiences. Too complex or off the mark and instead of speeding the conversation, you risk derailing it. Need help? Get in touch.