Aside form my consulting work, I service as the head of corporate design for a large company here in Pennsylvania. I had a discussion with one of my fellow coworkers over a project involving infographics.The “heated discussion” arose when I received stacks of data information and no idea what proper procedures to use to form them into Statistics.  Also,  it’s not my specific duty to analyze the data. After thirty minutes of back and forth with a person who does not know graphic design, I got him to understand the difference between Stats vs Data in relation to creating infographics. Let start by defining each:
  • Statistics:  The practice or science of collecting and analyzing numerical data in large quantities, especially for the purpose of inferring proportions in a whole from those in a representative sample.
  • Data: The quantities, characters, or symbols on which operations are performed by a computer, being stored and transmitted in the form of electrical signals and recorded on magnetic, optical, or mechanical recording media.
To put more easily, Statistics are the results of data analysis. It usually comes in the form of a table or chart, and Data is analyzed and interpreted to answer “why” or “how.” Data is used establish patterns and explain some phenomena. It breaks down specifically for designers into two areas: infographics vs data visualization.
Infographics are subjective. They are usually cherry picked facts used to tell a story of some kind, which is directed at a specific audience. The information is designed and presented in a way that is easily shareable and accessible to that particular audience.  The overall appearance of the info graphic should be instantaneous. the reader knows and understands within seconds of eye contact. The most common things in Infographics are Illustrations, Icons, and Typography used to accent the important content of a fact or statistic.
Data Visualization
Data visualization is objective and unbiased.  It is “set in stone” and doesn’t differ based on the the reader/audience. just the facts. The graphic design of the Data visualization is secondary to the data itself as if it is only to gain your attention. The main purpose of Data Visualizations are to help data sets make more sense, and create in in an easily accessible form.  Data Visualizations are more likely to be created automatically through a generation system of some kind, perhaps a logarithm or other mathematical formula. So what is the difference between an infographic and a data visualization? An infographics can have  data visualizations in it, but not vice versa.  Or put simply,  Infographics are refined data or the sum of a data visualization.