If a picture can tell a thousand words, then an infographic can tell 10,000 words.

If you haven’t seen the term before, an infographic is the visual display of numeric information. USA TODAY has been using infographics for years as they show results of polls or sales trends or housing sales and the like.

In the last few months, many businesses on the web have been using infographics to make information come alive.

One of the best examples comes from my client, CreditDonkey, a consumer credit card comparison and education site. Charles Tran, founder of Credit Donkey was nice enough to answer a few questions for me about how they use infographics and I’d like to share that information with you. To see great examples, go to http://www.creditdonkey.com/happy-holidays.html

Dan: Do you do the infographics in house or do outsource it? What tips do you have to manage the process?

Charles Tran: For our infographics in general: we used to outsource it, but for the last 6 months or so, we’ve done it all in-house.

Their team came up with the topic, researched it, crafted the story and designed it.

We’ve decided to bring it all in-house as of late July.  Content is too important for us to outsource and we’re all about brand journalism — a good consistent editorial voice is important to me.  Plus, by having it in-house, we have more control of the research, design, copyedit, writing, etc and feel more comfortable with the data quality.

My personal recommendation, if you want to go down the outsourcing route, is to craft the story and research the data in-house… and outsource the design aspect only.  Then make sure you run the infographic through an in-house attention-to-detail copyeditor, as you’ll be surprised by the number of minor copy-related errors designers often introduce unintentionally (designers aren’t writers!).

My general position is that everybody should do what they do best — and for your case, you’re the storyteller… so it doesn’t make sense for you to outsource the storytelling aspect.  At the same time, you’re not a designer, so it makes no sense for you to draw chicken scratch for 10 hours… as eye candy is equally important — just look at how eye-candy made USA Today into a national powerhouse.