Graphs, charts, tables and other data visualizations can be inserted in your financial statement disclosures to improve transparency and draw attention to key accomplishments. As your organization prepares its year-end or quarterly financials, consider presenting some information in a more user-friendly, visual format.
In business, the use of so-called “infographics” started with product marketing. By combining images with written text, these data visualizations can draw readers in and evoke emotion. They can breathe life into content that could otherwise be considered boring or dry.
Annual reports are traditionally lengthy and heavy with numbers and text. Some organizations are now using visual aids to disclose critical financial information to investors and other stakeholders. In this context, infographics help stakeholders digest complex information and retain key points.
Examples of formats that might be appropriate in financial reporting include:
Effective visualizations avoid “chart junk.” That is, unnecessary elements — such as excessive use of color, icons or text — that detract from the value of the data presentation. Ideally, each graphic should present one or two ideas, simply and concisely. The information also should be timely and relevant. Too many pictures can become just as overwhelming to a reader as too much text.
In addition to using infographics in financial statements, management may decide to create data visualizations for other financial purposes. For example, they could be given to lenders when applying for loans or to prospective buyers in M&A discussions. An infographic could also be used in-house to help the management team make strategic decisions.
Additionally, nonprofits often use infographics to create an emotional connection with donors. If effective, this outreach may encourage additional contributions for the nonprofit’s cause.
By supplementing text and numeric presentations with visual elements, your organization can communicate more effectively with investors, lenders, donors and other stakeholders. Contact us to decide how visual aids can help you drive home key points and clarify complex matters.
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