With the amount of data generated by Finance and Accounting, it’s easy for non-financial folks to slip into information overload.
Which means tapping chart best practices can be the key to getting your message across and changing behavior.
Charts and graphs will do just that. But most people aren’t using them in the most effective and impactful ways.
You can make sure your finance charts are the exception.
Setting finance charts up for success
Encourage your finance team to keep these chart best practices in mind:
- Stick to a single message. Unlike text, where people read left to right, with a visual representation people’s eyes will zoom to the most stand-out feature. So pick a single point you want to highlight and make sure that’s emphasized.
- Limit your data points. Even if you have a year’s worth of financial data, you probably don’t want to show every one. Limiting variables to no more than five-10 will keep people from lumping everything into a whole.
- Help folks find the meaning. People’s minds try to look for connections to find the meaning in data. Why not make that as easy as possible for them? So if the color of your graph’s title is the same as a data point in the chart, people will automatically assume that’s the most critical. Choose your colors carefully.
- Don’t go “counter-culture.” In our culture, a pyramid signals a hierarchy and scales represent comparisons. So don’t tap these visual metaphors if it’s not what you’re trying to convey.
Want more information?
Premier Learning Solutions is offering a workshop, Communicating Financial Information to Non-Financial Stakeholders: Present with Power and Clarity.
- Reports and presentation tools and techniques that clearly display your message
- Dashboards and other visuals that clearly display trends and that anyone can read and understand
- How to tell a story with financial information
- How to make the numbers clear to people who might not be “good with numbers.”
The speaker is Carl Young, an author, speaker, trainer and consultant. He has over 25 years of senior level business management experience and training experience in finance, accounting and business management.
Click here for registration and more information.