There are many benefits to incorporating visual communication and illustrative elements into reports, whether they be of the Annual business type or research reports in journals and publications. With Annual Reports, data visualisation can make some quite dry and dull content much more interesting, personalised and captivating, and can really help to get shareholders and employees on board. With Scientific Reports, infographics can add a sense of believability as well as contextualising potentially very data heavy content.
At their core, Annual Reports are a comprehensive analysis of a company’s activities throughout the year. They can be long, dull, dry affairs, often very long and reading intensive. That’s where infographics come in- visual communication as an aid to the main report, or potentially to replace the original concept all together.
Distill Into A Clear Message
One of the main advantages of infographics is to convey an obvious clear message. Many companies will have a main goal or objective that they’ve aimed to, or have reached, throughout the course of the previous year. Using visual communication you can pick up on the theme and run it throughout the design.
The best method to do this would probably be to pick and choose data from the Annual Report. This can also help the content writer to consider what the main important facts are.
2 or 3 essential points are probably the right amount to get the gist of the report while not over-complicating the infographic.
Personalise the Content
You can put a personal touch on an infographic that is not possible with a wall of text. This can be achieved with the use of photography or with illustration. This becomes especially prevalent for charities and non-profit organisations, where you can tell a story of the local communities or worldwide issues in a way that will resonate with your target audience. Infographics don’t need to be just about stats and figures, you can give personal reports, journals or accounts of what’s happened alongside illustrative work or iconography.
Using case studies from the previous year can be an especially interesting way to put across the facts from an individuals perspective.
Convey the Brand
An Annual Report infographic is a great way to further convey a companies branding. Visual communication and consistency is important for any brand identity, so to see the branding alongside a description of what the company has been up to over the past year is a great opportunity.
Something to be Proud of
An infographic Annual Report is a great opportunity to shout the loudest about a companies achievements, and in turn provides something that can end up becoming highly sharable due to their engaging and visual nature. An aesthetically pleasing report highlighting achievements in an articulate and insightful manner is especially likely to go viral.
Other things to consider
- Interactive elements – There is a rise of single-page website infographics to convey Annual reports, these can be great as increased interaction can make the data more compelling. It also makes the report more accessible for sharing through social media.
- Link to products and services – You can tie the report into a companies products which can help improve sales.
Research reports are used to concisely describe a topic of research in a way that is easily understandable and helps to demonstrate the reason for the study as well as the results and conclusions.
Present Reams of Data Compactly and Legibly
Research reports are often required to be relatively short, which means it can be difficult to get across the main topics of interest. Visual communication can succinctly demonstrate the key points, whether they be data points or statistics, charts or graphs.
Better Demonstrate Relationships & Correlations
Data visualisations are excellent for showing relationships between statistics. A variety of graphs and charts are the perfect way to do this, and with the right design, can put across the information cohesively in the right tone of voice:
They Can Help to Reach a Wider Audience
Including an infographic with a research report can help to open up the topic to a wider audience. Infographics are much more accessible and easier to read.
Infographics are also much more useful for teaching and learning. Young people are much more likely to engage with research reports with a visual element, so if this is the target audience, then it’s even more useful for infographics to be considered.
Hopefully, this has helped to convince you that visual communication is the perfect way to enhance your reports. Data visualisations are more compelling, and that extra engagement can convert to more sharing and more interest. For more information on how to design successful infographics take a look at this blog we’ve written.