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Quick Summary

Take Action: Do not ship a report unless it can inform decisions and inspire confident action.

When reports are not meaningful there is no action.

Meaningful reports:

Empower & inform decision making
Inspire confidence in taking action

Reporting is going to get harder over time, with more tools to choose from and more KPIs.

Weak reporting has:

Poor choices of data
Poor display of data
Missing data

Great reporting has

Effective choices of data
Effective display of data
Complete data

Follow the three take-aways to make your reports better:

1. Choose right data: You may not know you have the wrong data until you have a lot of it. Short of revenue data, first-time callers is probably the #1 metric you can use to measure the success of a new business.

2. Choose the right display: Display your data in a way that creates a narrative. What’s the shift? How has the market changed as a result of the data? Note: if your reporting is too busy, you’re better off having less data.

3. Always err on the side of simplicity. Because a simple report can be acted on.

Include all relevant context: If you see something that looks out of place, you need to know what’s actually going on. Use annotations when you are using analytics.

Always ask yourself, “Does this report help my audience make a decision?”