Decision making can feel black-and-white: One option will be right and the other wrong. The problem is we don’t know which one was actually correct until after the decision is made. The fear of making a bad decision is real, and the negative effects can be huge. But using a decision tree infographic for your next big business move could help you overcome your fears and make a better choice.
Even before the Big Data age, a phenomenon called “analysis paralysis,” in which decision-makers overthought the problem and never came to an actionable outcome, had long been observed in business. And with a bottomless well of data available today, the chances of overanalyzing decisions is likely even higher.
Decision trees are one of a handful of similar decision-making tools that can help businesses, organizations and individuals visualize and weigh the choices necessary to come to a final decision. Let’s explore some examples that may inspire you, then you can start bringing your decision tree to life with Venngage’s Infographic Maker.
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Want to learn more about other types of infographics? Read our blog on the 9 main types of infographics or watch the video below:
Click to jump ahead:
- Decision tree examples
- Decision tree infographic template
- Decision tree infographic examples
- Decision-making process infographics
- Decision-making infographic examples
- Decision tree infographic design tips
Decision tree examples
The basic structure of the decision tree has its roots in science. Today, it’s used to build models to guide machine learning applications, but it has wide-ranging uses in organizational decision-making as well.
Similar in structure and purpose to infographics like family trees, flow charts, mind maps, organizational charts and site maps, decision trees can be used to visualize decisions and their outcomes for internal purposes, and they are effective and engaging infographics used in content marketing.
Together with other types of business infographics, decision tree infographics are strong visual tools to help guide businesses and individuals to analyze their problems and make better decisions.
So named because they represent an upside-down tree, most decision trees consist of three fundamental elements:
- Root: This is the objective or choice you’re trying to make. This often appears as a question at or near the top of a decision tree infographic.
- Branch: As in an actual tree, these branch out from the root, representing the various options or courses of action.
- Leaf: These are the outcomes available depending on which journey you’ve taken to that point.
Not all decision tree infographics are structured in this way, and decision trees used in the machine learning and science space are extremely utilitarian. But it’s easy to see how the simple diagram above could become more engaging, even if the topic isn’t all that serious, such as the below example.
Decision tree infographic template
Let’s explore some decision tree infographic templates that can be used internally to help you make better business decisions, and externally to engage your audience.
This simple decision tree infographic template is applicable for choices that have just a couple of possible outcomes. In this case, it’s a choice between renting or buying, but it could be translated into a product guide or an employee development tool, helping staff members decide on a career path.
In most cases, the choice isn’t down to just two options, and decision trees are most helpful when they take you on a journey. Think of it as playing a game of “20 Questions.” At each step, you narrow down the possible choices until you reach the only logical conclusion.
Decision tree-style infographics aren’t applicable only for decision-making or organizational strategy. They can be used to organize information, like this family tree example.
Some decision tree infographics are better conveyed in a horizontal rather than vertical format, and they can also be populated with data relevant to each of the choices. These are especially helpful for justifying decisions to ensure buy-in from all parties.
Decision tree infographic examples
Now that we’ve explored some of the basic layouts that are possible with decision tree infographics, let’s look at the nuanced differences that can help you decide which type of decision tree infographic is right for you.
Decision tree infographics can be used to spruce up your FAQ sections as they can be customized to provide answers to issues your site visitors, employees or customers routinely have.
This simple infographic begins with a basic task, and depending on the outcome, the reader moves to the relevant next step. A flow chart-style decision tree like this would be ideal for creating troubleshooting content.
A simplified decision tree analysis like this one is excellent for helping readers visualize side-by-side the projected impact of each possible decision. This type of layout is most applicable in fields like finance, marketing or construction, where data is plentiful.
Decision-making process infographics
The decision-making process lends itself naturally to creating infographics, and the act of creating the decision tree can often be instructive to making your decision because it forces you to organize information clearly.
Decision-making is fraught not just because the choice you make will be consequential to your company but because you could be dealing with ethically thorny issues. Before you set about to create a decision tree, a flow chart or other decision-making infographics, be sure you’re considering all possible outcomes in an ethical manner.
A decision tree infographic can help you decide whether to even begin a project, as this one does, based on budgetary factors. Any potential wrinkle could be the central focus, though, including personnel, timing and more.
An analysis-based decision tree infographic is an excellent method of wrangling projections of each potential choice, though it’s necessary to have some real-world data or create estimates of the choices being compared.
Decision-making infographic examples
Let’s take a look at some more applications for decision-making infographics that you could use to ensure your next big project ends in success.
Doing something new isn’t always the best option, and decision tree infographics are perfect for companies that are deciding whether to update an existing product, create a new one—or neither.
It’s tempting to add a lot of visual flourish to your decision tree infographics, and Venngage’s Infographic Maker makes that very easy. But in some cases, that confuses your brain into thinking the choice is more complex than it is, which is why a minimalist approach can be right depending on your needs.
Decision tree infographic design tips
Before you get started making your next great decision tree infographic, let’s check out a few tips that will help you get the most out of the format.
1. Keep them simple
There’s a reason people have been making things like family trees for centuries; the format is immediately recognizable. Whenever possible, keep your decision tree infographic brief and simple.
2. Get focused
Boil the issue down to just a few major decisions and branch off from there. A good rule of thumb is that if the reader has to scroll to get to the next spot or might lose their place, the decision tree format may not be right for the story.
3. Revise, revise, revise
If your decision tree infographic is going to be really helpful, you’ll need to game through lots of possible outcomes. That probably means making some notes on paper and reconsidering your layout. If it’s easy to make the decision tree, you probably didn’t need one in the first place.
Let’s take a look at some similar infographic types that might apply to your needs and could be a better fit than a decision tree infographic.
Organizational charts have a similar basic shape to decision trees, but their purpose is more akin to a family tree, and that’s keeping relationships between individuals organized and clear. A template like this is easily customizable for your company.
With nodes and branches of their own, mind maps are also excellent tools in decision-making. They can help you visualize the decision-making process and brainstorm ideas for your business strategies.
Site maps are critical tools for keeping complex content systems organized and visualizing gaps in content or pages on your company’s website.
Flow chart infographics are probably the most similar to decision tree infographics. The biggest difference is that flow charts are better for creating new processes or helping new hires commit procedures to memory.
In summary: Using decision trees can help cut through the noise and prevent your organization from failing to act
As ancient Roman statesman Cicero said, “More is lost through indecision than wrong decision.” Overcome your analysis paralysis and start making good decisions with a decision tree infographic.
You can start creating a decision tree infographic to assist your decision-making process with Venngage’s Infographic Maker. It’s free to get started.