Nothing bothers me more than watching important information decay inside of Dusty Shelf Reports. Most "professional" reports are long, dense, unused, and forgotten about.
I used to write hundred-page reports for everyday people that had that were filled with statistical jargon that only a college professor could understand. I was trained to write formal academic reports in college and graduate school. But I wasn't sure how to transition my reporting skills in the real world. I needed to transform technical information for non-technical audiences.
Now, I design briefs, summaries, slideshows, dashboards, and infographics instead of Dusty Shelf Reports. My audience can read and understand the information, which means my data actually gets used.
In this jumpstart, you’ll see before/after makeovers from real projects. Whether you’re revamping an entire report or starting small with a single graph, there’s only one way to eat that elephant--one bite at a time! I selected my favorite seven tips. These are the strategies I wish I knew sooner. You'll learn about data visualization, dashboards, and designing rockstar reports inside of software programs that you already have.
I selected a a variety of topic areas for this free email course: public health, accounting, zoos (!), human services, satisfaction surveys, and juvenile justice. You can apply these techniques to any topic area that you're working in.
You'll be on your way from Dusty Shelf stress to superstardom in no time. And you’ll never look at reports the same way again.
Soar Beyond the Dusty Shelf Report is the why-to course. Simple Spreadsheets, Great Graphs, and Dashboard Design are the how-to courses. I hope you gain new ideas here and then join me for a fuller course to dive in deeper.
"So after completing all of these lessons, I was asked by my manager to provide a super quick one pager of data for a specific funder of ours who wanted to see some differences between two of our five locations. I had all of the data already pulled and made into tables for our Annual Report - nothing pretty at all - just table after table as someone else would be making the graphics and deciding which data points to use.
I used the document with the tables to pull out areas that are key components to the work that we do and demographics that showed differences between the locations. Attached is what I came up with in about 10 minutes to provide to the funder. It was my first time creating a report in Powerpoint as well. Even though I didn't have sections or headings - I used color to combine items that typically fall within the same topic or outcome. One thing my department did a while back was to create a color chart to match the rings of our agency logo so we have also been working to ensure that colors used within our reports fall in line with our agency's color scheme.
For a super quick report - everyone was super impressed with how this turned out. Thank you!!! I am excited to start Great Graphs in a few hours."
- Danci Greene, Data & Reporting Specialist at Emerge Community Development
Your data deserves to be out in the world--actionable, talked about, used--not gathering dust in spreadsheets. Let me transform your technical information for non-technical audiences. I've consulted to clients like the United Nations, State Department, and Centers for Disease Control, plus dozens more foundations, nonprofits, film companies, banks, hospitals, and universities worldwide. Each year, I lead dozens of in-person workshops for thousands of people. My online courses bring those skills to you, too.