A Smart Guide to Configuring the Data Reporting System

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Data and its effective use is the hottest trend in business today. Management, BI specialists and IT teams scramble to figure out how to scale the data into usable reports. Their biggest issue is understanding what types of information to present in a concise and quick way in your Data Reporting System.

Configuring your data reporting system

One functional way of doing this is through data visualization, suggests Edward Tufte, a professor of political science and computer science, known as an expert in the art of visualization. However, presenting data through visualization tools requires your understanding your audience, knowing how you want to present the data, and the proper streamlining of the information. To help you understand the path to follow, Tufte shares a few tips for all reporting system consultants and business management leaders; these offer a guide on how to downsize large amounts of data into visual concepts and reports.

  1. Define the Difference between Exploratory and Explanatory Data

    VisualizationData visualization projects can be either exploratory or explanatory:  The exploratory interactive visualization ask that users interact with the data, play with it, and get their own conclusions.  For instance, a type of web interface that presents data in different ways or invites the viewer to interact with it by changing data requirements, is known as an exploratory method of presenting the information. By contrast, explanatory visualizations tell a story and lead you towards a conclusion derived from the data. In most cases, explanatory information is set out as static or conventional reports and graphical representations. They explain a theory, statistic or idea – and the user can’t work with the data or manipulate the graphics. These include high charts, bar charts and the new infographics which are currently popular.

  2. Devote Time to Building the Representation

    It takes time for a Report consulting company to fine-tune large amounts of data into usable reports. So you should also take the time to plan and sequence the visual elements of this data. Don’t make short shrift of this stage of the process. It is in the planning, that a reporting systems consultant can eventually lay out the information in an easy and efficient way. Sometimes even manually sketching it out gives you a guide before you move the information towards your reporting software tools, can help.

  3. Understand the Needs

    Without the help of a qualified BI analyst, those less experienced with reporting services might gravitate toward the aesthetically pleasing graphics, visuals and reports. Don’t head in this direction if there’s no purpose for your audience.

    As an example, lets take two audience types: a group of IT management professionals, and another group of politicians.

    When directing the information towards the IT group your report information may work very well in an interactive exploratory format. But, when working with politicians, an interactive report with added infographic information may not be the answer – this isn’t the audience. Instead, this group probably prefers a standard static report of the data.

  4. Offer the Right Information

    Regardless of the type of report you use on the type of visualizations, you must offer fresh insight into the reporting service, if possible, offer information not available from other types of information found from other sources.

Bottom Line

Report consulting companies should always keep these points in mind when planning and configuring the reporting services. Not following a guide or plan prevents you from scaling the information correctly.

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