Democratization of Data



I have had the opportunity to work with infographics while conducting market research, where I find them helpful to communicate to an audience that doesn’t always share my intense love for data. Data visualization tools make it easy to grab the viewers attention, while organizing multiple numbers, facts, and ideas.  A 2015 Lynda course on this topic pointed out that according to Google Trends, demand for infographics has increased 900%! Considering that 65% of people are visual learners, this increased use makes sense. While this tool can be used in any industry, it can be particularly helpful for librarians who are often tasked with library marketing, as well as teaching and sharing information on a range of topics.

Of course software exists, such as Adobe Illustrator that can be used to create infographics but this post is devoted to free, web-based tools.  On the left is an infographic that summarizes the interface, template, and upgrade options for each. While I was impressed with the diversity of offerings on each site, Canva and Venngage are the most versatile and user-friendly. In training videos for Canva, the chief evangelist, Guy Kawasaki, describes the company’s goal: to democratize design.  I think it does more than that, these sites help to democratize data and information by offering low budget options for the curious and creative among us.


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