Better Communication of Information

Many of us work with data in some way that helps a customer better understand data, use it to make a decision, or support a some conclusion. The way we present data (or help others present data) can impact how well a consumer understands the information represented by the data. There are people whose job it is to design visualizations and ensure the final product communicates well, but often I find a developer or DBA is the person that gets asked for help.

What do we recommend when looking at a set of data and deciding how to format it? A few posts I saw recently help with decisions (when should I use a map) or basic knowledge (what is a square chart). I’ve seen presentations that help me understand the impact of my decisions and how to better design my informative reports for more people. In fact, I hope more people produce content on how and why they have built reports. It’s helpful for many of us that would like to do a better job.

The other side of this is actually producing some report and then getting feedback on it. I’ve been working on a report for the kids I coach and need to write some blogs on the way I’ve built report and how I think others might use it. I certainly could use some feedback and I know someone will have suggestions on how to better structure a report, color it, choose a different style, or something else.

I might even get some better feedback on how I chose to store the data. That certainly isn’t a set or known thing, and I would guess that there are some things I haven’t thought about in building a structure.

Ultimately there is information to be gleaned from the data we capture, store, and manage. While it might not be our job to help convey that information, we are a part of the process and the more we know about it, the more we might do our jobs better, or help others do theirs better. I do hope that I see more posts on not only how to query information and solve problems but how to better present the data from those queries.

I’m looking forward to some blog posts, articles, or maybe even someone hosting a T-SQL Tuesday on this topic.

Steve Jones

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