Once you go through the pain of creating a report, least you expect is someone to read it. Be it delivering insights or trying to get support, the information needs to make an impression. To achieve that, you need to present your report in a way that lures (Data Visualization) people and is easy to understand. That’s particularly accurate if your report design contains numbers.
Despite that, we see reports that include data without the visualization. This makes it tough for the reader to comprehend. Data visualization targets the brain’s visual processing centres, helping people absorb, retain and recollect the information efficiently.
In short, if you’re trying to make an impact with your report design, you need strong data and amazing data design to create enticing visuals. Also remember is should contain insights and not just random charts.
How to Use Data Visualization In Your Report Design
Even if you’re not a visualization expert, there are simple, strategic ways to incorporate data visualizations into your reports to depict the numbers. Below are the few pointers:
Find the Story in Your Data
Storytelling using Data is a powerful tool. Finding a story that connects the reader will help you make a strong impact with your report. It’s also not that hard as it seems. In the process of finding the story organize your data, then identify if there exist any missing values and lastly check for outliers. Post this you can visualize your data and check for the relationship between the variables.
NOTE: Don’t lie with your data, i.e. do not manipulate data in a way which can lead to misinterpretation and always depict the whole story. Look at an image below, it depicts two cases first where the complete picture is shown followed by an image which shows only a part. This can skew the perception of the viewer.
Craft a Narrative Around Your Data
When some people hear data storytelling, they assume it’s just a few stats and the work is done. This is a common belief which is wrong . Strong data storytelling includes an interesting narrative which guides the readers through the content and help them in understanding the data. Moreover, an explanation of what those insights mean is important. To craft an effective narrative, you must:
- Engage the viewer with an interesting title and subtitles.
- Provide context for the data.
- Create a logical and consistent flow.
- Highlight notable findings/insights in the data.
Choose the Most Effective Data Visualization
Data Visualization is not about creating a chart or graph. It’s about depicting your data with the right chart to maximize understanding. Applying sound design principles and using elements like shape, size, colour, labelling, etc. can make a huge difference in how people interpret your data. For example, do you know how many slices a pie chart should consist, or what is the ideal distance between bars in a bar graph? Knowing these little tricks will enhance your data visualizations immensely.
In the above image, the first visual is hard to comprehend compared to the image on the right. Thus choosing the most effective visual plays a huge role in making you Report memorable.
Follow Your Visual Language
Your report design could be for public usage or for your internal team. despite that, any content you create should be on the lines of your brand style guide. It’s important to follow guidelines for data visualization in order to achieve both consistency and understanding. A strategic methodology helps to put things in place.
Make the Most of Your Reports
Not all reports are meant for public consumption. But, since they contain so much valuable information, yours may contain content that would be interesting to people or publications outside your organization.
Regardless of what you do with your reports, make sure that the report creates the required impact.
To learn more,
>> Subscribe to our Excel channel for the latest updates and new learning.
>> Check out our Youtube Channel and gain access to the recorded session. To know more Click Here.
>> Learn Excel via fun Puzzle and Trivias.