If you’re like most accountants and consultants who are conditioned to submit performance numbers using the historical accounting format, you might need to rethink how you present your data.
Granted the average professional can decipher these numbers with ease, but the presentation of these numbers to the untrained is akin to most of us looking at the fine print in legal documentation.
It’s time to stop presenting information in a form most people fail to understand. Let your key performance indicators (KPIs) tell a story.
"A picture is worth a thousand words"
The information that you want to convey is important. They need to be interpreted. They have to be communicated. They must be actionable.
So how can you interpret, communicate and relay actionable information with ease? Translate text and numbers into easy-to-understand graphs, charts or other visuals.
Trends, issues, opportunities come alive with the simple use of a graphic.
Graphical representation of numbers can tell a story that pure numbers cannot. Comparisons, trends and actionable results can be readily understood and send a message that prompts decision-making and discussion. They can form part of the reporting process or replace the reporting process altogether. And the beauty of it is that most readers will understand the message you're trying to sell.
Why Use Graphics, Instead of ABC and 123
By using relevant graphics to present important information, you can:
1. Impress your clients, your management and your peers with the simplicity of the information you are presenting.
2. Engage them with the information that they can relate to.
3. Achieve a new level of interaction, greater discussion outcomes and an increased chance of client longevity.
Clearly, the thought of digesting financial information in historical format is a task most of us dread. Our lack of understanding and its lack of interpretability add to the burden of the exercise. Why would we bother looking at something we just don't get, in the first place? The next time you are asked to present important information, you know what to do:
Don’t make us think.
Tell a story with interesting graphics. Let your KPIs tell a story worth listening to and acting upon.
Use graphics to impress, engage and get the right response from your colleagues, clients and the management!