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Slide Makeover #85: Showing performance compared to past and budget

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When presenters communicate current performance compared to past and expected performance, it often results in a table of numbers that the audience has to figure out. This slide makeover shows how you can use a particular type of graph that visually shows the comparison.

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Slide Makeover #85: Showing performance compared to past and budget

  1. 1. Slide Makeover #85: Showing performance compared to past and budget Based on Dave Paradi’s ideas at www.ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com
  2. 2. In many areas of organizations, from finance to operations, we often compare current performance to both past performance and what was expected. Here is a typical example …
  3. 3. Direct to consumer revenue 2013 Actual 2014 Budget 2014 Actual Membership sales $1,648,791 $1,783,000 $2,154,708 Retail store sales $116,290 $110,000 $235,757 Web sales $228,384 $282,000 $192,191
  4. 4. While the numbers are accurate, the presenter has forced the audience to compare the numbers in their head in order to figure out how the sales in each channel have done.
  5. 5. Creating a column graph of the numbers is more visual …
  6. 6. Direct to consumer revenue $- $500 $1,000 $1,500 $2,000 $2,500 Membership sales Retail store sales Web sales Thousands 2013 Budget 2014
  7. 7. But the comparison of the third column to the first two isn’t as easy as it could be. By moving the column representing the current values in front of the other two columns, it makes comparing all three values much easier.
  8. 8. Web sales did not meet expectations $- $500 $1,000 $1,500 $2,000 $2,500 Membership sales Retail store sales Web sales Thousands 2013 Budget 2014
  9. 9. We made some other changes as well. We wrote a better headline that summarizes the key message about poor web sales performance. Second, we got rid of the legend and created explanatory text as part of the visual. Third, we cleaned up the horizontal axis. Here is the visual again.
  10. 10. Web sales did not meet expectations $- $500 $1,000 $1,500 $2,000 $2,500 Membership sales Retail store sales Web sales Thousands 2013 Budget 2014
  11. 11. I call this visual a Multiple Width Overlapping Column Graph (MWOCG for short). It is a really long name, but this is a really good visual for this type of message.
  12. 12. You can create this type of visual by moving the current performance column to the secondary vertical axis. That moves it in front of the other two columns. Just make sure the minimum and maximum values of both axes are the same so the comparison is valid.
  13. 13. Here’s another version where the explanatory text is formatted to look more like the columns. Use whichever look appeals most to you and works best for your audience.
  14. 14. Web sales did not meet expectations $- $500 $1,000 $1,500 $2,000 $2,500 Membership sales Retail store sales Web sales Thousands 2013 2014 Budget
  15. 15. I’ve included detailed instructions on creating this type of visual in my Creating Graphs and Visuals for Data Implementation Guide. Here’s where you can get more details on getting a copy of this guide.
  16. 16. When you are comparing current performance to past and expected performance, consider a Multiple Width Overlapping Column Graph.
  17. 17. Before After Lessons: 1. Write a headline that summarizes the message 2. Use overlapping columns to make comparison easy 3. Ensure the comparison is valid by matching the measurement axes 4. Add explanatory text instead of a legend Quick recap: More makeovers available at www.SlideMakeoverVideos.com
  18. 18. If you would like me to help your team create presentations that have a clear message with focused content and effective visuals, get in touch: P: 905-510-4911 E: Dave@ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com W: www.ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com

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