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.