How to Visualize Survey Results


What is a survey infographic?

One of the most commonly used types of information in infographic design is survey/poll data. That’s because survey data is easily translated into graphs and charts, making it ideal for visual content like infographics. While you will likely want to present your survey results in a comprehensive report or informative article, an infographic is an excellent medium for summarizing your findings in a visual and impactful way. Survey infographics present survey data using a combination of graphs, charts and descriptive text.

How to make a survey infographic

There are several different ways you can approach your survey infographic design and your choice should depend on the story you are trying to tell with your data. To decide which design template to follow, give some thought to the story you want to tell through your infographic.


1. Pose a Question That Your Data Answers

Return to the reason why you conducted your survey in the first place. What is the central question you were looking to answer?

Make your question the title of your infographic and use that to turn your data into charts that answer the question from different angles. A straightforward way to organize your data is to ask a question for each point and then answer it with a graph or chart.


2. Show the Before and After of Your Data

You may want to compare your survey results for one year with results from another year (like in the case of an Annual Report). To do this, you can split your infographic down the middle to compare data points. This design is most effective when the survey follows the same or a very similar format from year to year.



3. Break Your Data It Into Sections

Sectional infographics walk the reader through different informational points or aspects of one topic. This layout if good for connecting points if there isn’t a clear narrative storyline to follow. Annual report infographics and educational infographics often use this layout, as they can fit a number of different informational points into one thematic page.

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How to visualize survey results

How you choose to visualize survey data depends on the type of question that was asked. There are five types of survey questions that you are most likely to come across.

For a more in-depth guide to choosing charts and graphs for your survey results, read this article on our blog.


1. Multiple Choice Questions

Survey takers are able to select one or more answers from a list of possible answers. It’s best to use this type of question when you have a fixed number of answers.

If you offer two binary options (for example, “Yes” or “No”), a standard pie chart is an effective visual to use.


A bar graph is also an effective chart type, as you can place large quantities of data beside each other.

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2. Rating Scales

Survey takers are offered a spectrum of possible answers and are asked to select one within that spectrum. This type of question is commonly found on customer satisfaction surveys, in one of two forms: the STAR scale (1-5) and the matrix or “likert” scale (“Strongly Disagree,” “Disagree,” Neutral, “Agree” and “Strongly Agree” or some similar continuum).

Find the average score and visualize the average using a pie chart.

3. Comment/Essay Box Questions

Open-ended questions requiring survey takers to write out their own answer, rather than selecting a pre-set answer, are a bit trickier to visualize. In order to quantify them, the answers need to be grouped in some way, either through keywords, sentiments or some other connecting factor.

Although there is software you can use to analyze and sort these answers, the best way to sort them is to manually go through the open-ended responses and to create categories (provided your sample isn’t too big). Once you’ve quantified your answers and turned them into a percentage, you can create a bar graph.



4. Demographic Questions

Questions that gather information about survey takers’ demographic, such as background or income level, for example.

There are several different ways you can visualize demographic questions.

To break down populations by categories, you can use a pie chart.


Pictograms are another way to visualize demographic data. Because the units are simplified representations of concepts, they present data in a fun and thematic way.   

You can also use a data map to visualize large sets of data from across a far-reaching area. They also allow readers to analyze the data in many different ways–in terms of overall patterns and region by region.

Survey Data Best Practices

Clearly label your charts.

The goal if for readers to be able to understand your charts in only a few seconds’ glance. Use descriptive titles and captions, and make sure the values of your charts are labeled.


Don’t round off percentages until the end of the creation process.

Rounding off number too early in the process can lead to skewed data. Percentages with too many digits appear cluttered on an infographic, so you do want to round them off, but wait until you are finishing up your design.


Point readers to where they can get further information.

Including an url to the source and any other vital resources at the bottom of the infographic. Doing this will help your credibility and allow readers to glean a better understanding of the information.


Don’t overstuff your infographic with extraneous information.

Your copy should be focused and relevant. Cut out the clutter and save extra or outlying information for another infographic.


Don’t overburden your infographic with too many embellishments.

Too many icons, crazy fonts, or glaring colors, and chartjunk. Those will only distract from the information you want to communicate. The focus of your infographic should be A) the charts and B) their titles.



Further Reading

How To Make An Infographic From Your Poll And Survey Data In 4 Steps

How to Use Infographics to Tell Your Survey Story

How to Create Online Surveys People Will Actually Take [Infographic]

Visualise and distribute survey results with infographics

How To Summarize & Display Survey Data


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