During this week’s Thursday discussions over at diydatadesign we’ll be talking about different strategies for visualizing survey data. Preparing for that call inspired this post.
Surveys are not setup in a narrative format. So after the results roll in and it’s time to sit down in a meeting to go over the results, you could be in for a long and boring meeting.
This is not exactly aided by the set after set of auto-generated pie charts your online survey program produces and calls a report.
But let’s step back a little.
The problem is the usual one. We ask for all sorts of information in a survey. Usually more than we can digest at any single point in time, not to mention that some of the data is going to take a bit of analysis before it makes sense.
Can we make survey data digestible and discussion ready so that we can have meaningful discussions.
I find that infographics work really well for this type of challenge.
Go ahead and print out the full auto-generated visual report from your survey program. But instead of trying to change and adapt that report, create something new. In this way the infographic becomes a pathway between the full set of findings and the audience.
One Solution: Menu it
One way to create a fresh style of infographic is to take something visually familiar to most people that exists in a different context and apply that to your work.
Here’s an example.
Canva has a lot of food/drink menu templates. Menus are incredibly familiar and metaphorically perfect for serving up data.
Just pick a template based on how many questions (the menu item) you want to highlight. Write a quick little summary for each (your menu item description). And then in place of the price, put the page number.
A breakfast menu might be perfect for quick meetings.
Or if you have a little more to go over, put it in a dinner menu. These bigger menus also give you a way to group similar questions.
Try it out and share!
If you take this approach, please share what you come up with. You can drop a comment below or send me a tweet (@clysy).