Custom Analytics Report: 10 Tips for Presenting the Right Data
Finding insights from a dataset is one thing, presenting it to drive change in your business is another. As packaging is necessary, presenting actionable insights from data is also crucial. Here’s how to do it flawlessly.
We have seen so many bad examples and sat through hour-long presentations on KPIs and measurement charts with a great set of data pieces and an endless number of slides. So we decided to show you the best way to present and report your data. This process is applicable to all kind of businesses and business cases with any analytics background and data coming from any measurement system. This simple process will help you get the best out from data.
Finding the best structure for your presentation
The first phase of the process is data findings. From any analytics system, you will have huge chunks of data streams that will generate results for you. You spot a correlation between two variables or you spot a trend in a timeframe on one metrics. If you have goals already, they can help you focus on where to look for findings.
Present your findings clear and straightforward. This is what you have found, and you think this pattern means something to your business partners. A simple visual representation can help evaluate the findings.
Highlight what you learn
The second phase of the process is learnings, takeaways or insights. This is where your analytics experts come along, analyse the findings and come up with great learnings. Learnings are explanations of data results: a simple objective explanation of the ‘Why is this happening?’
Learnings have in-depth meanings. Your business and business case gives the context for every learning and drives them to actionable insights. Present your learnings in correlation to your business: what benefits will our business have with these learnings?
Set the process of actions based on learnings
A perfect data presentation is nothing without actionable insights turned into true marketing actions. You’ve got your findings, you’ve put them in context with the learnings, now what will you do to drive the business forward? In this part, a strategic mindset works best, but lots of marketing expertise also won’t hurt.
Going technical: the length and the illustrations
Short is Effective
Keep the length of your presentation simple and quick. Remember, the insights presentations primary goal is to support decisions, so don’t get too complicated. If your presentation is too long, your audience will miss your points. Present as much data on your findings as it’s necessary and supply further data sheets as appendixes or extended content read after the presentation.
Your learnings have to be super short, one statement only. Learnings are summaries of data. Sum up your learnings so they can be easy-to-understand and digest. Don’t fall for definitions and data-speak, use plain English.
Actions should be visual and should highlight a process. Actions lead to a journey; the series of processes to change your business. Actions should be informative and have to detail responsibilities, deliverables and resources.
Illustrations, Infographics and Flowcharts
Presenting data is rarely consumable in raw data sheets. Graphs and tables have to be descriptive and have to highlight certain findings only. Using a graph just for the sake of it can distort the outcomes.
Infographics sometimes are as useful as charts and tables. But don’t make them as your go-to illustration for your presentations, they shouldn’t overflow the whole.
Flowcharts can help you to highlight learnings and actionable insights. Simplify the data presentation process and only focus on just a few learnings and use a diagram to illustrate the super-focused pitch of your learnings.
Remove any clutter from your data sets and only focus on the important issues that tell a story.
Ten tips you need to know before going on a data presentation
- Always remember to put your data into context when reporting. You can’t assume everyone knows what you do and how the data metrics work.
- Supply an appendix after the presentation that highlights your points and serve as evidence
- Don’t go crazy on charts, tables, flowcharts or infographics, find the best balance and the best tool to deliver your message
- Remove any clutter and have a pinpoint focus with your data, only present what’s relevant to your audience
- Findings are charts or tables, learnings are flowcharts, actions are processes
- Keep it simple in language and very short on length
- Usually, people are afraid of numbers – make it easier to digest with colours, animations and pictures or metaphors
- Use timescales or periods to showcase growth and trends
- It rarely works out if you use real-time data, use already analysed datasets
- Always be open for questions