Reports: data value and brand relevance
Content is one of the most important tests to guarantee that the essence and look of brands are in sync, allowing us to project a consistent and successful image. Creating content is an excellent way to demonstrate our knowledge, build relationships with our audiences, contribute to our industry or ecosystem, and, of course, temper cold sales to possible new clients.
Social networks, mainly, have multiplied the possibilities -and needs- for brands to communicate, leading to an exponential growth in the volume of shared information created by them.
That is why nowadays, the complicated thing is not to create content, but to make it differential and relevant for our audiences and for our brand. In this scenario, in recent years the report format has gained weight. Companies invest in these reports a significant amount of resources, converting their knowledge into high value for very specific target audiences.
The information experience
A report is a very effective tool to support brand authority, but also reciprocity since the lessons learned and conclusions drawn revert directly to the reader. For this, the ability to generate, understand and analyze large amounts of data has always been fundamental. But this is no longer enough. Now it is also important that a report becomes something more: an experience with the brand.
To design an experience aligned with the brand, we once again used one of our favorite sayings: measure twice and cut once. That's why we dedicate part of the process to immerse ourselves in understanding what happens before, during and after reading the report, which people participate in it and in what roles, the circumstances in which they do it, what other similar experiences have been like, what they value, etc.
All this creates a solid base from which to start building and allows us to have clear filters to prioritize concepts, facilitate reading, provide value throughout the process, and decide how to channel our narrative.
Narrative for the complexity of data
Knowing what we want to say and how to communicate it will help us guarantee that the entire report has a purpose that adds to the brand's goals. Narrative not only helps us to tell a better or more impactful story about what we provide with our report, but also serves as a guide for the creation process -helping us to prioritize- and facilitates its comprehension.
The story we tell is the big picture that helps readers to always know where they are, no matter what page, website or social network they are using. In addition, it will allow us to be consistent with the type of language, both visual and written, that we are going to use throughout its multiple pages.
As if that weren't enough, a fact will always work to persuade intellectually, but it is the story that solidifies that concept and makes us unforgettable.
Giving double value to data
In the era of Big Data, giving value to data does not only mean being able to extract analysis and conclusions from it. It is also essential to make it readable, understandable and even attractive. In the case of reports, presenting them through graphics or illustrations is essential to avoid complexity while maintaining the level of quality they offer. Aware of this, we find examples such as RatedPower that works with care on each of the pages and insights of their annual study on renewable and solar energy, which they share with key professionals in the sector.
Data visualization is a very old science that has been used to solve many complex situations. One of the best known historical cases is that of the French engineer Charles Minar who in 1869 published a graph on the data that explained the failure of Napoleon's Russian campaign through the location of the troops, how they were organized, how they reduced their strength over time, the complexity of the terrain and even the effect of temperature on the casualties of the soldiers.
Almost 150 years later, data visualization has found an unbeatable ally in technology. Interactivity helps us and allows us to extend and deepen the possibilities of diagrams to better adjust what is offered to the interest (in detail or global vision) of the reader.
This ability to unite narrative with effective visualization and technology has allowed us to bring out the full value of projects such as Barcelona Activa in the presentation of 1.8 million data on the talent of the city of Barcelona. It was necessary to digest all these records to design a system that not only reflected the reality, but that lived and was fully interactive on the web platform, without sacrificing the visual impact and a 100% differential graphic representation.
In sectors defined by technology and where every year the realities change in a critical way, having this type of data through accessible reports and with a narrative weight of value allows brands to position themselves as an expert reference. This is the case of NTT Data's Insurtech Global Outlook, whose experience we redesigned from the strategy, the visual and verbal identity and a whole Service Design to turn the reading into an infallible companion for any professional in the sector.
Impact and scalability
The effects of working on a report from this brand perspective not only have an impact in the short term, but also allow the different reinterpretations or editions of the report to be built from a scalable base. The design, layout and development systems that are carried out at time 0 are quickly exploitable and scalable in the following editions to be able to focus on new elements or iterations that allow us to continue adding value.
In addition, with this narrative approach we will be able to avoid a new repositioning work every year, but rather we will take advantage of the memorable effect we obtained in previous editions and we will be, at each opportunity, one step closer to the vision with which we want to transcend.