Numbers seem to be an enigma for most businesses. Very few truly understand what they mean; most guess and some just do not track. Even when you understand what they mean, communicating them to your employees can be an even bigger challenge, as most people are ‘allergic to numbers’.
In Drive Business Performance, Bruno Aziza and Joey Fitts give an example from Scottrade about communicating numbers—which by the way, I HIGHLY recommend the book! Here is my take on two points they made.
Don’t assume the audience knows everything. You know the age old saying about ASSuming so keep that in mind when conveying numbers to your employees and to the market. Keep the presentation simple, clear, and free of jargon.
Don’t confine the decision to the prescribed action. Always provide the original graph with the interpretation to increase your credibility. The interpretation should not override the analytics conveyed in the original numbers. Allow the viewer to draw their own conclusions.