Narrow the Focus to Your Infographics Thesis

By Justin Beegel, MBA, The Infographic World Team

The amount of information available to you when doing research for your infographics can seem nearly unlimited. Not all of it, of course, is relevant to your project. You may find some surprising statistics that rock your world while you’re researching; if those numbers aren’t directly pertinent to the topic at hand, get rid of them.

When evaluating what information to include and what to exclude from your infographic, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my thesis? In other words, what point are you trying to make with this information? Hopefully, you’ve kept this in mind as you’ve collected data, but it doesn’t hurt to reiterate it as you consider what should make it into your infographic.

  • Is this information directly relevant to my thesis? Keep the data that supports the point you’re making, and jettison the rest. If your thesis is that child mortality rates are higher in the developing world, including a chart on malaria rates among adults might not make sense.

  • Does this information help explain my thesis? Statistics that don’t necessarily prove your point but help explain it may be worth including. For instance, if your thesis is that child mortality is higher in the developing world, it would help to include information showing the top causes of child mortality.

    If one of those causes is the unavailability of clean drinking water, it may even make sense to include a chart on what percentage of the population has access to clean water.

  • Does the information bear out my thesis? If in the process of gathering data you find statistics that contradict your thesis, you may need to revise or qualify your thesis. Keep in mind that you’re acting as a journalist, and your commitment is to accuracy — not necessarily proving a foregone conclusion.