Using Data Visualization to Create Killer Reports: Lesson 3

Reports help your business in every way. The information—especially data—communicated shows what you’re doing right, what you’re doing wrong, and how you could do things better. But the story and insights are only effective if they are properly presented. In this series, we show you the 4 steps to crafting a killer report that makes an impact.

Today, we continue with Lesson 3: Crafting Your Content. (If you need to catch up, check out Lesson 1: Understanding and Analyzing Your Data and Lesson 2: Making an Outline.)

As you create your report, make sure that the information is presented to help your viewer come to your desired conclusion. Here’s how:

1) Order content around narrative: Follow your outline and map data in its most logical order. Each data visualization should help build the story as you go. As you craft your report, consider how well your copy is supporting the story.

2) Provide Context for the Data: Data can communicate a lot—but only if your audience completely understands what they are looking at. If there are important insights, trends, outliers, or correlations that are significant, make sure you provide enough information and call attention to it.

Order content

3) Trim where necessary: Don’t overwhelm the viewer with data. Only include what is necessary and relevant to draw your audience toward the desired conclusion.

Trim where necessary

Remember: Double check your data! It’s easy for a number to be transposed or a category to be deleted. Make sure everything you want is present.

Stay tuned for lesson 4—the final lesson in our series.

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