Looking at and analyzing data just does not excite me like it does for some people. There is something about it that is just boring. I am not sure what it is, but it is not my cup of tea. Needless to say, in my job one of the things that I have to do is prepare charts, graphs, etc. and use them to make presentations. With that being said, I am always trying to find web apps out there that can do this for me so that I don’t have to rely on something like Excel to make this happen.
A little while ago, I was given access to try out Infogr.am, which lets you create graphs and charts on the web. Their whole goal is to give you, the user an easy way to create interactive infographs on the web. There were two things that immediately got me a little excited about trying out their app. One, it looked super easy to use and two, it was web based, which is always a plus in this ever changing world of cloud computing.
Creating Your Graphs and Charts
There are two types of ways you can choose to show your data that you need to, either by using an infograph or a chart. Infogr.am gives you a small handful of templates to choose from to start your project. Once you select the one that you like you can now start to create your infograph or chart.
When starting your project, you are given a wide variety of options on desiging it be your own. You can keep it simple and just use everything that the template provides for you. In this case, all you have to do is click on each part and fill in the data that you need. Depending on the template you pick, each one has a title and a graph of some kind to fill out at the very least.
If you are feeling a little more creative and adventerous, you are can use some of the options that are given to you to make your presentation stand out a little more. First of all, anything within the template can be dragged and dropped into different places. So, if you don’t like where the graph is currently placed, you can drag it to a position to where you do like it. If you want to add more to your template, you can do that as well. There are a handful of things you can add, like a chart, picture, text, title, and a quote.
When it comes to adding in data for your chart or graph, Infogr.am makes it really easy for you to do this. First, they give you an excel spreadsheet like page so that you can enter in your data on to it. If you already have data saved some where else on your computer, you can also upload it to Infogr.am instead of manually entering it on the site. Once your data is entered, if you don’t like the colors of your graph or chart, you can also change those as well.
Publishing and Socializing
Once you are done, you can now publish your project to the web. You are given options to share it to Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest and you are also given a url for your infograph, which you can share with others. If you find that you ever need to unpublish it for whatever reason, you can also do that as well.
Although I don’t have much to say about the social aspect of this app, it looks like this is something they are working on. I say that because when I logged in tonight I saw on my profile that I had 0 followers. There is no mention of being able to follow people, so I am sure this is something that is being built in. I think an app like this should definitely have some kind of social component to it. I would love to see the ability to follow people, as well as given the ability to leave comments on other people’s charts. It would be nice to see social buttons for each infograph we create and maybe a unique url so that people can see all of your infographs and charts in one place.
I Like What I see
What got me hooked on using this was the fact that they made it dead simple to use and didn’t overwhelm you with features. I liked that I could easily spend 5-10 mins creating a great looking chart that looked like it took over an hour to make. I also liked that if I wanted to add a little more detail to make it look better, I could do that as well. It was so easy to take a template and really change it to make it so that it could meet my needs. It honestly made me want to never use something like Excel ever again for infographs and charts.
At the moment Infogr.am is in beta, so feel free to go over to the site to sign up for your account. I have to say though, even though they are in beta, the app works really well, and they are adding features all the time, so you know they are actively working on making it better. They look like they have some great things in store, with the possibilty of social features, and it looks like they are going to also have a store where I am guessing you can buy premium templates.
Right now, you can try this out for free and I am not sure if it is going to stay that way or not. I can see them monetizing this in a variety of ways, and it will be interesting to see what they do. For now, if you are looking for a way to impress your boss with some amazing infograph, go and check out Infogr.am and see if it will help you get that raise you have been looking for!