Tag: Charts & Graphs

Valentine’s Day By the Numbers (Infographic)


Valentine’s Day, Saint Valentine’s Day, Hallmark Day, Singles Awareness Day (SAD) . . . whatever you wish to call it, February 14th is almost upon us. It’s a day of love and frustration, of first dates and heartaches, of proposals and breakups. An evening of cocktails and dinner, jewelry and candy, and unmet expectations. Celebrated by some, while loathed by others . . . it is inevitable to all.   How will you celebrate this year?


According to the Perry-Castaneda Library, University of Texas, Valentine’s Day was first romanticized in both Chaucer’s poetry and Shakespeare’s work, as a result it gained popularity throughout Britain and the rest of the Europe.  At the time, handmade paper cards became the tokens-du-jour in the Middle Ages.  Eventually, the tradition of Valentine’s Day made its way to the New World.  In the 19th century, the industrial revolution ushered in factory-made cards. In 1913, Hallmark Cards of Kansas City, Missouri, first offered Valentine’s Day cards and began mass producing them in 1916. February has not been the same ever since.


In 1849 Esther A. Howland of Worcester, Massachusetts, began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures.  She is also known as the Mother of the Valentine. Here is a verse from one of Howland’s valentines:

Oh, could I hear thee once declare
That fond affection lives for me,
Oh, could I once delighted share,
The sweet return of love from thee. 

Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 180 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year.


Let’s break down the mystique of Valentine’s Day with the most romantic way – with cold, hard facts and figures.


Write Better Reports, Faster

https://pixabay.com/en/blogging-blogger-office-business-336375/Reports, whether oral or written, are part of life for many busy professionals. But there is a surefire way to make them work better for your audience while saving everyone valuable time.  That way is with graphics.

Why? Because graphics condense text, clarify relationships, and highlight patterns. They allow you to easily show your data to the reader in a clear and concise way.

What’s more, creating graphics can save you time in preparing your report because they can efficiently replace substantial amounts of text.

Graphics Condense Text

Graphics are useful for reducing complex text into a picture. Visuals such as this are far easier for the reader to follow than a narrative explanation.

For example, this diagram of an accident scene makes it very easy for anyone to understand the facts of the incident very quickly.

Graphics 01-1

Graphics Clarify Relationships

A table of data can be useful for presenting information that needs to be displayed factually. But converting the data into a graphic, such as this bar chart, makes the relationships between the data very clear.

Graphics 01-2

Graphics Highlight Patterns

Sometimes, data produce patterns that can be more dramatically displayed in a graphic. The line chart below, showing trends in worldwide population, is a good example of this.

Graphics 01-3

Graphics Save You Time and Effort

Creating smart, compelling graphics like these is a win-win. You save time creating a report while also giving your readers or audience a result they’ll appreciate and enjoy.

Survey Says: Most Execs Doodle Visuals by Hand

Purchased Image iStock_000008721394MediumA recent survey of business owners, executives, and managers revealed some startling facts.

Perhaps the most surprising is this: Nearly two-thirds of upper-management business people who took the survey say they use a pencil and paper to convey visuals in their business. We aren’t talking about doodles on a note pad for their own amusement during a meeting. This is to visually communicate ideas to others.


Creating Visuals is Extremely Important in Executive and Management Roles

Interestingly, the vast majority of respondents said that it’s either “somewhat” or “extremely” important that they create visuals as part of their job function.

This raises an interesting question. Given the importance of the activity, do most high-level execs use a pencil and paper to create visuals because they are freakishly gifted artistically? Because why else would they use such a rudimentary way to present information of such importance, right?

Unfortunately, the survey didn’t ask this question. Let’s go out on a limb and venture a guess. Based on my own anecdotal evidence watching the suits (me included) at a whiteboard trying to draw a decent stick figure, I’ll say probably not.

So why are they doing something they consider so important by hand (assuming they don’t have the hand of Leonardo da Vinci)?

Business Execs Want Ease of Use and a Professional Look

Digging a bit further into the survey, we find another interesting bit of data. The survey group was asked, “How important is it to you personally that software used to create visuals has each of these attributes?” The overwhelming winner, at 73%, was “Easy to Use.”


In second place was “Simple,” which seems to me to overlap with ease of use, so I didn’t put it on my chart. But clearly, the message is there: most diagramming software is just too complicated (or at least that’s the perception) for higher-level executives to want to mess with.

Other strongly desirable attributes are “Creates Visuals that Look Professional” and “Allows Me to Create Visuals for Complex Concepts/Ideas/Processes/Data Etc.” Of less importance are the ability to collaborate with two people at once and availability of a “modern app” such as SaaS or a net-native platform.

Our New Video Explains the Combination of Ease-of-Use and Professional Results You Get with SmartDraw

It’s sort of a maniacal focus of ours. Among all of the attributes of our diagramming software, it must meet these two criteria: It has to be easy for anyone, regardless of skill level, to use. And, despite its simplicity, it must produce a beautiful, professional-quality output.

Check out our new video. It’s only a couple of minutes long, but I think it does a very nice job of conveying this message. What do you think?

Game of Thrones Headcount – Charting the Many Deaths of the Epic Fantasy Series

https://pixabay.com/en/harnisch-armor-knight-weapons-211540/“Valar morghulis”, or “All men must die” is a phrase known well by Game of Thrones fans and it’s an apt mantra for a TV show that kills off many and often – even leading characters and fan favorites. It seems like bleak fare for Sunday night entertainment but the millions of fans around the world who tune in each week don’t seem to mind. In fact, they can’t get enough of it.

With the fourth season on the verge of premiering on HBO on April 6th, we here at House SmartDraw thought it would be fun to break down the many deaths that have happened thus far the best way we know how – with a Game of Thrones Headcount infographic. Keep in mind that the doomed in question are characters whose demise we see on screen and are often characters known by name. Deaths that occur on the periphery, battles and killings that are alluded to but happen off screen, are not included as they would be nearly impossible to measure and are surely in the hundreds or thousands. Still, the headcount is high. We even speculate as to the fate of Westeros’ most cowardly yet endearing baker boy with a Hot Pie Chart. But “words are wind”… I’ll let the charts tell the story:

Game of Thrones infographic