2012 Goal #2: Create one infograph

Over the past few months I had been working on the 18-month report card for the #hcsmca community. I’m happy to report that the infograph is now posted online, accompanied by a lovely post written by my friend and fellow #hcsmca member Yaser Alyounes.

View the report card here: #hcsmca’s 18-month Report Card

Pulling together this bad boy was an interesting experience. Now that it’s done and online I can say that I’m glad I did this, but at times it was frustrating. Between pulling data several weeks after the fact, designing something that was visually interesting but still meaningful, and dealing with the occasional computer crash, I certainly found myself turning my back on the computer from time to time. The process took longer than I had anticipated, but that’s often the case for the first time you do anything.

There are a few things I’ll do differently for the 2 year report card:

  • Data collection: Nearly all the data on the 18-month report card came from symplur.com’s Healthcare Hashtag project. They offer amazing analytics and the ability to search retroactively, which was a huge help in this instance, since we were collecting info a few weeks following the 18 month mark.
    For the next report card, I’ll source out tools in the weeks leading up to the 2 year anniversary and collect the data on September 29, 2012.
  • Design: It took me a while to settle on a design I liked, and even longer to figure out how to do it in Illustrator.
    Though the design will depend on the data, for the next report card I’ll brainstorm and create some sketches on how to present the data and settle on recurring design elements before graphing the data.
  • Timing: Most importantly, now I know how long it actually takes to get everything together. I didn’t take a count, but I estimate that I spent at least 35 hours to get the infograph done (though, as I mentioned before, part of that was learning how to use Illustrator).
    For the next  report card, I’ll do as much prep work as possible before the 2 year mark, then start pulling it all together in the days afterward.

As for the computer crashing, the only things I can do are to be patient and to save frequently.

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