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You can extract the most insightfully, insightful insights from your data 🧐. But if the structure of your report is all over the place, it can be hard for the reader to absorb what you’re trying to say.

Following my previous post about tips for identifying insights, this post offers up suggestions for presenting your findings more effectively.

  1. Does the reader have all the context they need? A good rule of thumb is to assume they have no prior knowledge
  2. Are there multiple “key” observations squeezed onto one page? If yes, split them out – it’s better to present three (concise) slides which the reader actually absorbs
  3. Use a sub-header to deliver the key point you want to make (e.g. “Facebook activity continues to outperform our other social platforms by over 20%”) and the footer to present the ‘so what’ (e.g. “Switching a proportion of budget from other social platforms to Facebook can drive further success”)
  4. Avoid sweeping statements that don’t have benchmarks or relative data points to back them up (e.g. “the campaign performed brilliantly, driving 500 clicks”)
  5. Are the scales and labels on any chart axis correct and accurate? They’re easily missed.
  6. Do chart titles accurately explain what they’re showing? Step back and re-read.
  7. Do any charts require five supporting footnotes to explain it to the reader? If so, perhaps it’s too complex and needs a re-think?
  8. Has the correct type of visualisation been used? Would that pie chart be better represented as a line graph?
  9. Have any ‘industry terms’ been defined. Engagement rate is the classic example. That might mean something very different to different readers.
  10. Reduce unnecessary words. Get to the point. Avoid jargon.
  11. Connect your recommendations directly to observations; innovative ideas are what we want, but they must be grounded in something
  12. Using a common, consistent template – take a look at our social media monthly reporting template

What other tips and tricks do you use?

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