Friday, August 17, 2007

Industrial reporting

Making tables and graphs suitable for all ...

"Graphical tables make standard reports suitable for industrial-style production. They are robust enough to cope with changing data and don’t require any additional follow-up work. This helps streamline the production of reports.

In financial controlling there are recurring and ad hoc demands for information. We know that from textbook decision-making theory. Revenues, costs and prices, for example, interest us regularly. But only rarely do we debate if it is a good idea to build a factory in China. I like to refer to these two different scenarios as industrial and consultant reporting.

Consultant reporting stands out with headlines that make a clear statement, such as “X % of German companies with factories in China are confronted with imitations of equal quality within Y years”. Most times, they only address top management. The business analyst becomes a consultant who could just as easily work for McKinsey, Boston Consulting or Roland Berger.

Industrial reporting, however, has the same characteristics as industrial production. Reports are produced for large groups of consumers in mass production. Although everyone does not receive the same reports, the content is basically the same. The whole cycle, which repeats itself in frequent intervals, screams for more efficiency because the past production process was anything but.

This lack of efficiency is caused by the means of production: tables and charts."    (Continued via Bissants Ponders)    [Usability Resources]

Waterfall Chart - Usability, User Interface Design

Waterfall Chart

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