Many businesses nowadays rely on the analysis and interpretation of data collected from the market. Not only that, but business data also has to be properly analyzed, in order to portray the overall performance of a company. Data organization and presentation is a mundane and daunting task, but it’s also very important. Whether you’re presenting data to your stakeholders, upper management or clients, it’s important that you present viable information with actionable results.
That way, all parties can easily understand the information you’re providing them with. Needless to say, when data is collected, there’s an abundance of information that’s too complex or perhaps even irrelevant for specific business goals. It’s up to your to simplify the information extracted from that data and streamline the entire process. Therefore, here are a few tips on organizing and presenting data.
Make a first impression
When organizing and presenting data to your superiors or clients, it’s important to make a good first impression. That means you shouldn’t be a show off in presenting your Excel skills or whichever software you use to present your data. You don’t want to confuse everyone in the conference room with too much complexity. Instead, you want to present them with the information they can understand right away.
That’s why you should simplify your data presentation, in order to showcase data that portrays actionable results, if any. For instance, if your stakeholders want to see how the company’s organic search is performing against paid search, then present them with clear information about both methods. Focus on which one is better and why, while avoiding additional features, such as which factors influence which search method and so on.
Focus on the results
Presenting data to clients is more challenging than presenting data to managers or stakeholders. The main reason is that clients procure your services so that you can deliver value to their business. In most cases, they want to question you about what, where and why you are doing what you’re doing and how does it affect their business. For instance, if your company provides search engine optimization services (SEO), you’ll undoubtedly need to draft SEO reports for your clients.
Now, SEO has plenty of information and a wide variety of metrics that are measurable. This is especially true since SEO takes time to start producing viable results. However, presenting all that information to clients will simply overwhelm them, even if they specifically ask for it.
That’s why you must focus on results when organizing data. Show clients how different strategies influence their business goals and show them metrics as proof of the result. That way, they’ll better understand the tactics you’re using and why you’ve chosen to use them.
Emphasize the problem
One of the crucial elements of organizing and presenting data is focusing on the problem if there is one in the first place. If a certain problem is the center of your presentation, it will be easier for your audience to understand its importance. That way, you can engage in strategic discussions about how that particular problem can be solved.
For example, presenting data about latest analytic reports that you’ve gathered from various metrics you’ve been tracking, shows that the bounce rate on the company website is higher than it’s supposed to be.
As you may already know, a bounce rate of 40% or lower is actually considered good. In any event, when presenting your findings to your audience, make sure you emphasize the problem at hand. Show them how high bounce rate impacts other efforts and what are the negative implications of it remaining high. That way, the company will understand that the problem lies in the landing pages or website optimization and not in marketing efforts that generate leads.
Focus on visuals
When organizing and presenting data, it’s best that you focus on the visuals. The main reason is that the visual representation of information is best suited for any audience, be that your superiors or clients. Visuals help bring words together into a single example, which helps people understand progress and results, whereas complex words and numbers would only create confusion. Don’t hesitate to use charts, pie charts, graphs, lines, bars and other visual elements in your presentation.
However, just make sure you use appropriate visual elements for specific data analysis. For instance, don’t use a pie chart if a dashboard will prove better at explaining a certain statistic. The more visual elements you use in your data presentation, the easier it will be to understand both the information and the message you’re trying to deliver to your audience.
Don’t neglect the words
As mentioned before, visuals are crucial for helping people understand the data you present to them and that it’s also crucial when you organize data in the first place. However, you shouldn’t neglect the importance of words. The main reason is that you won’t always present data in person. Sometimes you’ll send your presentation to your audience so that they can individually review it later on. In such cases, good storytelling will greatly come in handy.
Again, it’s imperative that you don’t complicate things too much. For instance, avoid jargon and technical terms that will cause confusion. Instead, use simple sentences that will best describe the situation in your data presentation. That way, your audience will be able to understand what your data findings are showing, without you having to be physically present, in order to explain the findings.
Don’t hesitate to make predictions
One of the most important aspects of organizing and presenting data is actionable results. Everyone wants to see progress and development in the making. However, the reality isn’t always as positive as it should be. If the data doesn’t show positive results, don’t hesitate to make predictions. For instance, if this strategy continues to decline, you can expect this or that to happen.
Moreover, don’t hesitate to make recommendations as well. Presenting data means you understand the data and its implications. When presenting the findings to your audience that aren’t really good, make sure you offer a solution that can improve the situation, such as suggesting a different approach or necessary improvements to the existing strategy. After all, it’s best to offer a solution if you’re about to deliver some bad news.
Many businesses rely on the efficiency of the data they’ve collected. Organizing and presenting data may not be the most glorious business task, but it’s highly relevant for business success. That’s why it’s important to organize data the best way possible and present it in a way that will help everyone understand its context.
Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-Acceptance, Appreciation, and Personal Achievement. We ask that every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have written. In that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiring you to Get All A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.
I’m sure many can relate…the challenges of being a single working mom—an entrepreneur.
2. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrast, are there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating?
I really appreciate the freedom my work allows me. Being able to stay at home when necessary, travel and communicate with people from different backgrounds.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.
Definitely building my career and raising my kids.
4. Of course, we all have imperfections, or so we think. In truth, we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? Likewise, what imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?
My Perfectionism and stubbornness for sure.
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to appreciate and express all the positive traits that make you…well…YOU! In fact, sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (We assure you!) Therefore, Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I’m lucky and I Love my life as a mom and an entrepreneur.