Infographics make no difference in web analytics decision-making
Visually appealing infographics make no difference to how digital marketers make decisions with web analytics, according to a new report.
The finding comes from a research study completed by Econsultancy’s Digital Marketing Communications graduate Mark McGee, who surveyed 22 UK-based digital marketing professionals who make strategic decisions based on web analytics data presented to them.
Sample data were presented to these marketers in either tabular or “infoposter” (infographic) form, and they were then asked a series of questions based on how they used this data to make decisions. The research implied that there was no discernible difference in the ability of digital marketing professionals to make a decision using either presentation style.
The report also found that the style in which data was presented had little impact in the amount of time required to make a decision based on the data.
With infographics becoming ever more popular for communicating data within both print-based and digital media, along with the fact that many company executives suffer from what has been described as “non-information overload”, the findings have implications for companies looking at new and differing ways of visually illustrating data, particularly within web analytics.
Report author, Mark McGee, said: “The most important point of this research is that it demonstrates the need for anyone creating web analytics reports to understand who they are creating the report for, their preferences for presentation style as well as the decisions these recipients have to make.”
He added: “Producing a report that focuses on the relevant metrics in a manner that can improve the recipient’s decision-making process should lead to more effective web analytics reporting.”
Commenting on Econsultancy’s MSc in Digital Marketing Communications, Head of Professional Development Vivien Underwood said : ”The beauty of this kind of work-based qualification is that the resulting research is driven by real-world needs and delivers practical insights of value to the industry as a whole.”
She added: “The dissertation process gives delegates the opportunity to investigate those questions which are often asked and rarely answered, often with surprising results leading to new ways of working. With results improving year on year, our MSc programmes are encouraging innovation and thought leadership which will be of benefit to the entire digital industry.”
Other findings from the research include:
Those using raw data were slightly more confident in their decision making abilities than those using an infographic
Those using raw data were able to make their decisions slightly more effectively than those using an infographic
A greater number of marketers preferred using plain tabular data than infographics, although most preferred composite dashboards
A free copy of the report detailing the findings is available for download at: