"Data visualization and infographics are powerful ways to communicate data, stats or information that most communications pros never even consider," writes Adam Singer at the Future Buzz blog. "And yet in a world increasingly saturated with data and information, they are a potent way to tell your story, break through the clutter and even persuade people to action."

Many marketers, he argues, haven't figured out the right formula—how to present information in a way that decision-makers can easily grasp. The key is a blend of compelling data and creative imagery. "And not creative in the corporate art department kind of creative," he explains. "Creative as in developed by a true artist who has a unique style to their work."

This means going above and beyond the basic templates in a typical PowerPoint presentation. "[T]o convey a message to your readers effectively, sometimes you need more than just a simple pie chart of your results," writes Vitaly Friedman in Smashing Magazine. "In fact, there are much better, profound, creative and absolutely fascinating ways to visualize data."

To demonstrate this point, Singer highlights five blogs that excel at this task. They range from FlowingData, which communicate complex ideas to nonexperts through visual data, to OkTrends, which uses data visualization to present statistics on millions of OkCupid members. All five websites contain plenty of inspiration for marketers who want to step up the visual presentations of their data.

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