Sexy reports – Distilled PRO Seminar London

by oskarokupa on October 26, 2010

Will Crtichlow talks about one of my favourite topics, reports and data visualization.

So, what is the point of reports?

  • To find answers
  • To cause change
  • To build a relationship
  1. Finding answers. Reports to find solutions to problems. Digging into data and showing actionable insight is the sexyest thing in a report.
  2. Ranking reports are good for diagnosing issues not for monthly reporting. Benchmarking is the key for this kind of reporting, search engine visibility as a metric, Richard Baxter’s post.

  3. Causing Change. Will recommends a data visualization source.  Tufte is one of the gurus of data visualization. Tips:
    • Spark links in Excel
    • Small Multiple data points
    • Stacked data is difficult to comprehend
    • Boss reports: Quantitative scale
    • Conclusions: Remove chartjunk, story or analysis, long terms trends, create context with data visualisation (don’t use pie charts)
  4. Build a relationship.


  • Use emails no reports for building relationships
  • Give away the puch line in the title and main paragraph. The rest of the report might not be read
  • Use colour coding to show progress in projects

What would Will like to do?

  • Monitoring, alerts & data warehousing
  • Data presentation skills
  • Getting better at: weekly (actions, blockers, changes), Monthly( summary, efforts, etc)

Q & A

What tool would you have ideally that doesn’t exist yet? New referrers, new keywords.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: