Is nobody reading your report?
Have you put tons of work into something then shared it out to the world, only to hear nothing in return?
It might be easy to think that you’re to blame. If only you knew how to design a better report or create better charts, everything would be different…
But there is another possible reason why nobody is reading your report.
Most people don’t actively look for reports to read.
Are you old enough to remember back to the early 2000s when the whole world was switching from CDs to MP3 players?
It’s not because the quality of mp3 music was better. It was just more convenient.
In 2001 when the first iPod was released, Apple boasted that you could put 1,000 songs on it. That’s 100 times more than your standard CD. Which was great, because you could fill it with all that music you illegally downloaded off of Napster.
Even the most well designed reports with the best charts and the nicest formatting are kind of annoying to read on a smartphone. You can do it, but chances are you won’t.
It’s not because all reports are bad, plenty have gotten better. But there are way more convenient media channels you can use to learn about the organizations you are interested in learning about.
Here are just a few:
- Blog posts
- Social media threads
- Youtube videos
- Email newsletters
Every single one of those you can consume just as easily on a smart phone as you can on any other device. They are way more convenient compared to your standard PDF report (or even fancy HTML reports and dashboards).
It’s not what you report but how you report.
This is my biggest gripe with many data visualization courses.
They will help you improve the quality of your charts and reports. But having the ability to create nice looking reports offers no guarantee that anyone will read them.
You don’t just need to be more creative in what you report, you need to be more creative in how you report. In other words you need to change your mindset from the noun report to the verb report.
It’s why I teach information design and run the academy.
Because while it’s good that the quality of reports are getting better, what our field needs is more people who can successfully inform, engage, inspire, and convince.
Resource Library Updates
Just as any FYI, my free resource library is going to be updated regularly. I will be adding more free resources, but also taking resources I currently offer away.
For instance, I just added my You can do creative things eBook. And 80 of you have downloaded it this last week. This will stay up for at least a few months, so you can wait a little if you don’t feel like downloading it now.
About 144 of you have taken my 10 part free email course on micrographics over the last 5 months. At the end of this month it will become an exclusive just for members of my information design academy.
So if you want to take the free course while it’s still free, I’d suggest doing that now!
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