The 4 point report writing guide
Although a report within ICM systems can be one of the most powerful and useful tools, if you don’t use it correctly, it will be useless. I have outlined below several key points to include when considering a report build.
When building a report, having a detailed knowledge of your business processes is key to ensuring it is useful and informative. The following points outline effective report requirements:
- Decide which data is most relevant to your end user.
- Understand the key metrics required in your reports.
- Prioritise your top five most important measures.
- Aim to achieve an uncluttered and to-the-point report.
- Secondary information can be contained elsewhere or on a drilldown of the main report.
By prioritising you ensure that your report is both concise and pertinent.
Before building a report it is essential to study the business data in order to determine which information gives the best sense of progress towards a payee’s goal.
- Understand which data best represents progress and success in your business.
- Determine which data sets need presenting in the report.
- Prioritise your data into essentials and nice to haves.
- Remember that too much information can often intimidate users, so make it relevant.
Businesses often mistakenly believe lavish reports to be effective. A complex design with gauges, charts, images and 3D displays can misrepresent the data displayed in it, and so distract the user from the information being displayed. Instead, aim for a report that uses some of these aspects, but try to design the simplest possible representation of the data.
Make sure that you have a single scheme across all reports e.g. colour, fonts, logos and alignments. Use a single layout scheme to make the customer familiar with the reports. A changing scheme can create confusion.
- Try to stick to only a few different colours on the report.
- Use a single font across the board. Often companies have business specific fonts.
- Keep the basic layout of the reports the same; content can change, but try to create a sense of uniformity with your reports.
Reporting is a very effective tool, and is at the end of the day how your end users will see the system. Sticking to my points above; Prioritise, Analyse Efficiency and Uniformed will help to make your reports as successful as possible.
- On March 14, 2016