Using Data Visualization to Create Killer Reports: Lesson 4

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 4: Visualizing Your Data. (If you need to catch up, check out Lesson 1: Understanding and Analyzing Your DataLesson 2: Making an Outline Lesson, and Lesson 3: Crafting Your Content.)

A hyper visual report is more impactful and makes content easier to understand. Look for opportunities to visualize the content in your reports, whether through data visualizations, powerful imagery, or clean design. This increases the aesthetic and impact of your report. As you design your report, ensure you are following best design practices.

1) Ensure Charts and Graphs Are Accurately Visualized

Accurate visualization

Misrepresenting data or not presenting it in its most optimal form can hurt or dilute your message.

2) Use No More than 5 Colors

Use no more than 5 colors

With the exception of data visualizations that require colors for multiple categories, use a few on-brand colors for your overall report design.

3) Limit Your Font Types

Font types

Use a max of 3-4—any more than that becomes too distracting, as can over-illustrated fonts. Aim for readability always.

4) Use Appropriate Imagery


Visuals are there to help support your message; they can enhance comprehension, retention and elicit an emotional response, which helps your report make a stronger impact.

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