Case study

Grant Thornton
Data-led Playbook



How do you empower one of the world’s largest accounting and consulting firms to plan and produce consistent, world-leading, data-driven content?

Grant Thornton were early adopters of testing data-led content in the form of infographics. The challenge now was to embed the practice across the organisation, by creating an integrated implementation framework and easy to follow approach with guidance on application across different audiences, channels, formats and devices. This required a consultative approach to tailor the solution to consider internal processes, team structures, roles and responsibilities, alongside existing brand and design guidelines within Grant Thornton.

Multiple business challenges were identified as needing to be solved through this process.

These included:

1)  Build a data-led culture cultivated through a lean, joined up approach of stakeholder skills.

2) Create a strategic framework that ensures the right type of data led content is delivered for the right audience, channels and formats in the right time.

3) Develop a fresh, consistent identity for data-led content and data visualisations to live alongside the new brand identity.



An actionable data led playbook that answered the strategic needs of the business covering culture, planning, style and application across the digital eco-system.

Over a 6 month term infogr8 delivered an effective, cohesive and distinctive guide for all research teams, designers, coders, communicators and project managers to able to deliver against.

The playbook contained useful tools for the team, such as:

  • A planning template outlining who, how, when and what is required for all phases from briefing to delivery of content.
  • How to structure and deliver glance content and narrative as well as deeper dive, data-led content.
  • A ‘chart smart’ companion booklet ensuring teams are producing charts to accuracy and in-line with the Grant Thornton visual identity.
  • A series of new styling for articles, infographics, micro content, and charts, with both static and animation considerations.

How we got there

Through a series of workshops with UK/US teams infogr8 were able to distil requirements and group together use cases to help inform solutions. We then developed the Playbook iteratively through a roster of specialists using the following approach:-

  • Content case mapping
  • Mapping the data led content user journey
  • Process definition (reactive / pro-active)
  • Data visualisation guidelines:
    • Data wrangling – Selective data, simplification, numerical operations.
    • Best charting practices.
    • Storytelling with data
    • Atomisation approaches to data led content.
  • Style guide
  • Channels and formats for connected content.
  • Responsive considerations for accessibility, usability.
  • Interactive content guide

From foundation to completion we had to define the macro and micro systems of practice and rules which could ensure the effective production and distribution of branded omnichannel data-led visuals.

Through a consultative approach we identified some fundamental roles and professional profiles whose collaboration was missing, a multidisciplinary approach was essential to break silos in the existing production and distribution of data-led content.

We systematically built each playbook module, from the key overarching principles that would inform the process of creating data-led content whilst influencing the client’s organisation culture, down to the fine specifications of a fully branded chart design system, with its extensive set of aesthetic, logical and functional rules.



The Data led playbook has recently been published and shared internally across member firms with plans on evolving the playbook into an interactive format containing downloadable assets to further support teams.

“Infographic guidelines are becoming commonplace across major organisations, there’s clear tactical benefit from a design perspective although it only solves one piece of the puzzle. Grant Thornton’s ambition to create a Playbook was a natural progression enabling research, marketing and project management teams to plan and deliver a range of data led content through a strategic approach delivering in today’s fast-moving digital environment.”

– Richard Silvester, Managing Director
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