Re-envisioning a University’s Monthly Report: Two Reports with Two Different Purposes

Oct 20th, 2020 / Dashboards
“How can I show my audience that 24,000 is a big number??” an evaluator asked me. She’s right; this is challenging. A single number on its own doesn’t tell us anything. Have you heard those (un)professional recommendations like, “Just type the 24,000 in large font so it grabs attention!” or “Add an icon next to the 24,000 to bring it to life!” Sigh. Want to bring numbers to life? We need to compare numbers to something. Here are two suggestions.
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Consolidate Redundant Tables and Graphs

We’ve all encountered redundant tables and graphs: You see a table. And then you see a graph nearby. You scan the table, and then you scan the graph, and then you scan the table again, zig-zagging your eyes around the screen and trying to figure out whether the table and graph are telling you the same information or whether they’re about two different topics entirely. Redundancies steal precious time from our days and force us to read two visuals instead of one—the table and the graph—when all we need is a single well-designed graph.
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How to Declutter Your Cluttered Stacked Bars

I have a love-hate relationship with stacked bars charts. They’re a great way to show part-to-whole patterns (like an easier-to-read pie chart). But, like pie charts, they feel overwhelming once we add a bunch of different categories. Are they the worst chart of all time? Perhaps. Here’s how to make stacked bar charts more bearable.
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