One way to communicate a large sum of data and information is to create an infographic -- a visual representation of a group of data points. Because they're composed of images, you can see the information at a glance. In business, they're commonly used to share information collected in a survey but they have many other uses.
Business owners can use an infographic to compare products, map sales or simply entertain your customers. You can use them to show work-flow, financial data or explain employee bonuses -- it's limited only by your imagination.
But without serious graphic skills, isn't creating an infographic a lot of work? Or, wouldn't it cost a ton of money to have someone else make it for you? It doesn't have to. Here are three sites that can help even the most design-challenged person build an infographic, free of charge:
This free tool has six layouts to help you get started. You can insert your data into each of Infogr.am's pre-set boxes, or you can delete or add boxes. Choose from more than a dozen graphic options, add text boxes, photos, maps or even video. Finished infographics can be instantly shared though social media or use the embed code to place it on your own website.
Piktochart starts with only three free themes but don't let that discourage you. Its customizable editor allows you to change color schemes, fonts, add basic shapes, pre-loaded graphics and your own, uploaded images. The template has grid lines to help you line items up evenly and resize images on the fly. For more customization options and 100 templates, you can upgrade to Piktochart Pro for $29 per month.
With Easel.ly you start with one of a dozen free templates or begin with a blank canvas. You can remove any object on a template and replace it with modern graphics from 10 categories including people, transportation, animals and icons. There are also common shapes, connector lines and arrows.
Upload your own graphics, clone and position graphics with a single touch, use the grid for a perfect layout and change the color of any item on the page. Customize the text with a collection of fonts, text styles, sizes and colors. The finished infographic can be downloaded or shared with a link or embed code.