The goal of successful business reports and presentations is to convey valuable business insights and successes to inform decisions and strategies. Unfortunately, corporate reports can have a reputation for being complex and far from ideal. Some reports are often so complex and detailed that they can be chaotic and subject to being ill interpreted. They often provide a host of generic information rather than explaining key insights.
Your report’s goal should be to give the senior management team information to aid informed decision-making. When it comes to company processes and understanding strategies, an effective report utilizes information from business intelligence tools and big data. Let’s take a look at some ways to improve your reports to senior management.
Without a central data system to help prepare a report, you could waste countless hours manipulating multiple systems to pull and analyze information. As big data inevitably expands, the overwhelming amount of information companies collect will only increase in the future. A core set of operational and institutional data that are common across the company can enable greater visibility and facilitate consistent understanding to manage these data sources. Master data management (MDM) is a complete system to define and manage an organization’s critical data.
Data management software provides a single, organized view of data. MDM can also provide agile self-service access, analytical graph-based exploration, data governance, and a user-friendly dashboard. Integrating a data management tool will allow you to harness business intelligence’s power to maximize the impact of data collection. This information from data managers will also significantly affect your reports and provide the data analytics needed to make your case to senior management.
When crafting business reports, it’s important to remember that not everyone is an analytical accountant. More than likely, your reports will be read by professionals with a multitude of backgrounds. It would help if you tried to understand the needs of your audience and create reports appropriately. Allow the data intelligence in your report to tell a story. A data storyteller can be like an illustrator painting a complete picture of the data models and business practices.
The analytics provided by data managers will allow you to weave a complete story while presenting facts and figures in a digestible manner. This will allow your keynote presentation to become a strategic conversation instead of just a rollcall of numbers. It will also give you the ability to include summary data, detailed metrics, and even higher-level datasets in your slideshow. The more you can provide relevant analytics in a way that speaks to your audience, the more valuable your reports will be.
As a rule, stories are usually better with pictures. It’s no different in the world of business reporting. Data visualization, like charts and graphs, can be a crucial tool to aid with good analysis. It is said that a picture can be worth a thousand words, but in this instance, an infographic can help you understand the worth of a thousand numbers. Visually compelling dashboards can give a data center the power to tell the full story. A good data illustrator can avoid the trap of overly detailed reports with information overload. Instead, a report with visual aids can clearly show data in formats that provide context and clarity. When data is presented in a visual format, challenges and opportunities that might have been missed become clearer.
Rather than rely on weekly or monthly data reports, business intelligence tools and software solutions can generate dashboards that provide fast feedback of results and analysis. This will allow your reports to highlight summarized data outcomes better and show them trends and moving averages. Incorporating visual elements has become one of the best practices for business reporting and can steer your presentation in the right direction.
You can overcome business reporting challenges and bring greater insight into your business by following these few simple tips. Creating reports that use data management with a tailored message that incorporates visualization will enable quicker comprehension and better reporting.