We believe that people that actually enjoy doing data reports are counted on the fingers of their hands, and even fewer are those who enjoy reading and interpreting them, but the reality is that without them, the control of our businesses or companies would be much more difficult task than usual.
Another problem is, if the one interpreting them is not a professional, the task is even harder. This is why we will give you a few tips and some examples of data reporting so you can better create, improve and analyses your reports.
Making them brighter, clearer and more entertaining are some things that will help you a lot. But they are not all. Take some notes and write these really useful tips in order to improve your data processing skills.
How to create a good data report?
First of all, we should make the main reason of the report crystal clear. We can find many reasons to make them, but the most common are these: recommendation, informative, research, compliance, KPIs, feasibility and compliance, just to name a few.
Once this is clear, it’s really important to know the public that will have to read it. It’s not the same to make a report for system engineering business owner, or a law firm. Not to even mention when presenting one to your boss or a government entity. The data and the used language shouldn’t be the same.
The next step is having a good selected KPI and a clear road to follow. This will help you select the necessary information and discard the redundant one, enabling you to summaries and not overfill the document with unnecessary data, saving you and your readers a lot of time.
The Key Performance Indicator (KPI) should also be presented based on the desired reader and your overall objectives. This will help you make a better and easier follow up, focusing on your desired points and factors, the ones more relevant and important for your business, in order to improve performance.
Objectivity as the main tool
It’s actually impossible to be a 100% objective, all humans’ beings have their personal opinions and lived experiences that always influence in some level in our choices and ideas, choosing one side of the isle or the other. But data reports force us to get away from these prejudices as much as we can get. It’s elementary to select the purest data possible, leaving aside as much of our personal opinions as we can get.
These documents’ main objective is to tell the concrete facts, excluding all personal opinions or intakes. But it should be clear that some documents might require a suggestion or opinions section where this objectivity should manifest itself by always basing our suggestions in the data presented.
Numbers aren’t really easy to read if you are not familiar or used to read them and can bore someone really quickly. This is the reason why; it can be a really good idea to add some clear and colorful graphics. This will also improve how easily it understand, making them lighter and more pleasant to read and analyses them.
It’s also really important to choose some good esthetics for our work. We can focus on keeping a good image, taking good care of our business image and personal that will read the document. Try to pick from the business color, add it’s logos, etc.
It should always be clear, easy to read and ordered, regardless of the platform or device it will be shown: be it paper or digital format, for pc or mobile devices.
Never forget the mistakes you already made
Even if it’s hard to do it, we should never forget or erased our past works, mistakes or failures. They will be really useful to find faulty data and change our actions and strategies, in order to improve our experience and works for our next reports.
This point is crucial, lying in a data report won’t help anyone. We should always try to make the most clear, real and condensed work possible. Try to avoid being redundant, the harder the text the harder it’ll be to read it, and the most trustworthy it will be.