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The art of the infographic

Making your slides stand out can be a time consuming and costly process but AQR's recent Breakfast Bites gave us the tools to marry design with data ourselves.

First thing to say: what a great course! AQR, and specifically Rachel (from Relish), did us all proud.

It was hugely inspiring and gave us lots of insight into how to come up with a good infographic summary but it also didn’t skimp on the tricks and tools that would help us put those ideasinto practice. So there’s no need to get on the phone, and get out a credit card to pay a graphic designer to do it, we can all do it in our much beloved PowerPoint with the help of this course.

The most important element was to understand the key principles of generating meaningful infographics: to marry design with data and hang that on a relevant story. The initial presentation also gave some great examples of potent and engaging charts along the way and the ‘leave behind’ document was packed full of ‘how to’ guides for graphically generating our infographics. But, most useful of all, was the opportunity to give it a go ourselves and start generating.

In small teams we were given case studies from which to make an infographic summary of the findings. As usual we learnt as much from the journey as we did from the end result. We discovered what the pitfalls are, such as getting so wedded to an idea that we ignore its limitations or diving into PowerPoint too early rather than sticking with pen and paper, and certainly appreciated the value of teamwork in generating and challenging our ideas.

Rachel also encouraged us to consider how we present infographics in an engaging way. We discussed encouraging clients to interact with them more by asking them to guess the findings or to add implications for the business into the infographic as it is presented. Essentially how to springboard from a visually arresting and instantly understandable infographic into a more workshop style debrief.

In short, the course was inspirational, practical and supportive… well worth the early start.


Ruth Preston
Managing Director, Peppermint Research Ltd

This article was first published in InBrief magazine, May 2017
Copyright © Association for Qualitative Research, 2017