Use colors with care in your reports
I am personally against large printed reports. Obviously nobody reads them all, in a lot of cases the paper ends up in the trash. But in most cases a few report pages are printed. Readability is important, so we have to enhance the visibility of the important figures. The reader has to focus quick on important figures rather then parsing them all. This can be achieved in several ways.
- Highlighting text font using colors. Use no more then one-two colors for different highlights and only for important figures (either good or bad)
- Use micro drawings. Horizontal bars, bullet graphs, shapes can be quickly added to the numbers to improve the readability.
- Use very light colors grids (light gray) to let the reader to focus on figures not on drawn lines.
- Avoid using gradient labels or fancy images in the Report Layout which usually just distract the reader attention.
Using scripts to automate the information flow process
Using right formatting for figures
In Hyper Analyzer, by default the numbers are formatted with 2 optional decimals. For visual comparison replace the default formatting #############0.## with ###########,##0.00 (add thousand separator and force 2 decimals, even if they are not necessary) and use a good font for numbers. Tahoma seems very good for this, each figure 0..9 having the same character width. Data is more readable and less difficult to compare. Default number width space in analysis is 75 pixels which is ideal in most of cases. These spaces are to be adjusted by the analyst during the design process. By adjusting the width of the measure, the analyse will remember the size and in case new data has larger figures, there is a chance that the whole number cannot fit in the designed space. Make a good estimation of the space to avoid such of surprises.