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Piktochart: simple infographic creator online for the busy professional

Making data easy to consume is the goal of infographics, but as they have risen in popularity, businesses struggle to keep up and often create embarrassingly ugly visualizations. It doesn’t have to be that way – with Piktochart and 16 other alternatives, any professional can create stunning visualizations.

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Rise of the visualizations

Businesses of all sizes are taking advantage of the increasingly available web tools to better present information visually, be it at a company meeting or in presenting services and products to a client, and there is no shortage of infographics these days. But because the trend for the past few years has been toward visualizing any information possible, you end up with infographics that are more like this:

Even professionally designed infographics come out like the one above, or on the other extreme, professionals present data in the traditional, ugly form that is uninspiring, as below:

You can do better

The two images above are embarrassing for professionals as the information is convoluted or lost in a sea of bad design. Companies typically rely on their in-house or third party designers to create visualizations for them, and are now commissioning them for their own website and blog in a rising number, presenting information to the public about their inner workings, but also for internal use so that information is visually presented, simplified, and easy to overview.

Enter Picktochart.com, the infographic app that allows users to select a theme for their infographic, edit information and customize, then save to various formats. If you are capable of editing a PowerPoint presentation, you will master Picktochart.

In about 10 minutes, we created this infographic below through Piktochart (the information is fictional and is just a sample):

It’s not all about social media though, you can present a variety of information visually. Below are the 24 Picktochart themes, and the company says they will be adding more over time:

Piktochart does not require contracts or setup fees and has a free version which offers 3 themes, a $9.99/mo PRO version that offers 15 themes and customization, and an Annual Pro account for $99/year. It appears these prices are a launch special that ends this month, but compared to commissioning a professional infographic (which is notably more desirable), this is a good alternative for small businesses on a budget.

Alternative infographic makers

While Piktochart is an inexpensive, easy to use option, there are others on the market worth checking out.

  1. Piktochart – Transforms your information into memorable presentations.
  2. Infogr.am – Create interactive charts and infographics.
  3. Gephi – Like Photoshop for data. Graph visualization and manipulation software.
  4. Tableau Public – Free data visualization software.
  5. Free Vector Infographic Kit – Vector infographic elements from MediaLoot.
  6. easel.ly – Create infographics online.
  7. Weave – Web-based analysis and visualization environment.
  8. iCharts – Charts made easy.
  9. ChartsBin – A web-based data visualization tool.
  10. GeoCommons – See your data on a map.
  11. Prefuse – Information visualization software.
  12. StatSilk – Desktop and online software for mapping and visualization.
  13. Gliffy – Online diagram and flowchart software.
  14. Hohli – Online charts builder.
  15. Many Eyes – Lets you upload data and create visualizations.
  16. Google Chart Tools – Display live data on your site.

UPDATE: if you’re looking for hilarious inspiration or want a good laugh based on a Piktochart created by a busy professional, Kris Berg’s San Diego Home Blog has a great example for your perusal.

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. abodograph

    July 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Great, timely story 🙂 I just started using Piktochart yesterday. There are a few rough spots, but it’s a pretty quick way to get an infographic done.

  2. Aron Susman

    July 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    We use this quite a bit and just did an Apple Infographic that scored us a bunch of traffic, all from a few hours on Piktochart

  3. SlinkyAndSnudis

    September 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I would love to see an example as given above of “Your New Healthcare System” created in PiktoChart, since your blog suggests that the PiktoChart could enhance complex information visualisations. This template-approach doesn’t thrill me to be honest, as a designer I would never use it, it might be good for some simple information to be presented, but after a few people start using it, all their infographics will look the same. 

    • animechart

      October 25, 2012 at 6:26 am

      @SlinkyAndSnudis Me too. I’d rather use http://www.infogr.am, it’s simple and doesn’t try to make complex stuff that I can do myself.

  4. Pingback: Create charts on-the-go with this simple chart creation tool - AGBeat

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Business Marketing

How to be the best potential employee in your job hunt [INTERVIEW]

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Struggling in the job hunt? You’re not alone – but Nicole Clark, a Senior Professional in HR, has some advice to help you stand apart from the crowd.

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Interviewer writing on clipboard talking to person across a table during their job hunt.

The job hunt is a journey not often enjoyed by the potential employee. It can take a lot of searching, a lot of resume tweaking, and a lot of interviewing, in order to find a good fit. Sometimes, it takes more than that, and you need a little insight from an expert about how to go about the job search. Luckily, we have Senior Professional in Human Relations (SPHR), Nicole Clark, on tap to give us the inside scoop.

Taylor Leddin: What’s the number one thing a HR specialist looks at when reviewing a candidate?
Nicole Clark: When reviewing a candidate’s resume, it’s always imperative to ensure they have the fundamental skills needed in a position. When I move forward with conducting a phone screen or in person interview, it’s always important to ensure they’re a good fit from a cultural standpoint. Every company has its own unique culture and it’s important for hires to fit that culture otherwise it will eventually lead to issues down the line. With that being said, every candidate has their own personality and unique traits that they will bring to the role. However, the best hires are those that are able to make strong individual contributions while also working well within a team setting, which is why cultural fit ends up playing such an important role.

TL: What’s your biggest pet peeve with the job application process?
NC: My personal pet peeve is when candidates are not honest about their salary expectations during the beginning stages of the interview process. It’s frustrating when a candidate is in the final stages of an offer being made and they suddenly have high earning expectations that are not aligned with the company’s salary structure. I do not at all mind when candidates negotiate and are aware of their worth, but it’s a different story when all of the sudden candidates are asking for way more money than what we initially discussed. It’s important for candidates to be honest throughout the process about their expectations to ensure everyone is on the same page.

I also find it disheartening when candidates are only focused on the benefits and perks of the position as opposed to their job responsibilities. I understand that benefits are important, but it’s a red flag when candidates are asking me about how many days off they are going to receive during the initial phone screen. It makes me question candidates’ work ethic and also their priorities. I enjoy taking time off too, but those benefits will be discussed when the timing is appropriate, so it’s best to let the company lead that discussion when the timing is right.

TL: What advice do you have for people currently on the job hunt?
NC: Searching for a job is not easy and it can be a very demoralizing process. I think it’s important to not limit yourself during the initial application process. When I was job searching, I would apply to as many jobs as possible even if they did not appear to be “perfect” on paper. Every interview you have is good practice and allows you to better understand what exactly you are looking for in a position. Also, it’s important to remember that there is no “perfect” job! Every job is going to have downsides, but the best jobs are those where you enjoy both the work and the people who you are working with.

TL: Since you’ve been on both sides of the interview table, what would you say is the most important thing about interviewing?
NC: To me, the most important thing about interviewing is to be yourself and to remember that you’re interviewing the company too. While they are looking for the best person for the role, you’re also looking for the best position for the next step of your career. It’s important to ask questions and really understand the role that you’re going to have in the company. While it’s completely understandable to be nervous during the job hunt, it’s important to remember that they want to find the best person for the position and for them to do so, they need to really meet the real you.

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Business Marketing

How becoming better listeners eliminates our culture’s growing isolation

(BUSINESS MARKETING) We have all be frustrated by someone who doesn’t listen to us; so why not make sure that you are taking the steps to not be them, and be better listeners.

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good listeners breed good listeners

We all want the same thing: to be heard. In this digital age, we’ve created an endless stream of cries for attention via comment sections, forums, and social media feeds—shares, retweets, tags, videos, articles, and photos. Worse, our words echo in our digital bubbles or specific communities, doing nothing but making us lonely and isolated. However, in the midst of a divided political climate, we can all stand to strengthen our ability to listen.

Me? A bad listener? What are you trying to say? I got enough flaws to worry about and don’t wanna hear about another skill to improve. Oh, the irony.

“Bad listeners are not necessarily bad people,” assures Kate Murphy in her new book You’re Not Listening. “Anyone can get good at it. The more people you talk to, the better your gut instinct. You’re able to pick up those little cues. Without them, you’re not going to get the full context and nuance of the conversation,” she says in an interview with The Guardian’s Stephen Moss.

Our bad listening aside, we can all remember a time when we weren’t treated with the attention we craved. Moments where you’d do anything for the person you’re conversing with to give a sign of understanding—of empathy—to validate our feelings, to acknowledge the vulnerable piece of ourselves we’ve entrusted to them is cared for. Nothing is worse when we’re met with blank expressions and dismissive gestures or words. These interactions make us feel small and lonely. And the damage can stay with us.

So what can we do to ensure we’re the listeners we’ve always wanted from others? Being a good listener does take time, energy, and tons of practice. There are easy tips to keep in mind:

  1. Show you care by making eye contact and putting away your phone.
  2. Patience. Everyone opens up on their time.
  3. Ask open-ended questions. Yes/no responses inhibit the flow of conversation.
  4. Repeat what you’ve heard. This clarifies any misunderstanding and validates the speaker.
  5. Give space. Let the conversation breathe—silent pauses are healthy.

By becoming better listeners, we show care. We become curious about and empathetic towards others, leaving our bubbles—we become a little less lonely.

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Business Marketing

Audio branding: Is this the next big boost in brand recognition?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Brands have invested heavily in audio branding in 2021, here’s how that is changing up the branding rankings for businesses.

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Person at audio mixing table, preparing audio branding

Media consumption and engagement with brands across digital platforms is increasing, according to sonic branding agency amp; and companies investing in audio branding are creating a significant competitive advantage. The Best Audio Brands (BAB) index created by amp uses 5 key criteria to measure audio investment performance: Customer recognition, customer trust, customer experience, customer engagement and customer belonging. The agency claims that companies investing in high quality audio assets for their brands have gained ground by establishing a recognizable audio identity.

Michele Arenese, amp CEO said, “Making a brand heard is more important than ever before. The past 18 months have accelerated the importance of sound and voice as vital elements of the brand identity and customer experience toolbox. Meaningful and purposeful brand communication takes advantage from a ownable and authentic sound ecosystem.”

For the second consecutive year, Mastercard ranked highly across all key criteria measured by the BAB and topped the list. Other brands that fared well on this year’s index were Netflix, which moved up 27 places by using it’s famous “ta-dum” more widely and Coca-Cola which collaborated with Tyler the Creator and invested more in bespoke music. In addition, 5 new brands to make the top 10 this year were Audi, Mercedes, Netflix, Hyundai and Siemens. The highest climbing brands were in the financial sector: HSBC, American Express and J.P. Morgan. The highest climbing sector, however, was beverages followed by automotive. Brands that dropped in the rankings this year were Google, Amazon, Colgate, Goldman Sachs, and Danone.

Björn Thorleifsson, Head of Strategy & Research, amp said: “This year has shown that those who were already embarking on their sonic branding journeys have increased their lead on trailing rivals – now clearly falling behind. Given the evolving ability of sound to reach consumers whatever the device or channel they’re on, we expect to see increased investment from brands looking to stand out amongst the online noise. There are already best practice examples from leaders, such as Mastercard, and we’d encourage those who want to improve brand recognition and even performance, to adopt a little less conversation on sonic branding, and a little more action.”

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