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How to Design an Effective Editorial Report: Part 2
By: Jason Roberts & Sherrie Hill
In our last post, we discussed things to consider when designing your editorial report, such as keeping in mind your audience’s expectations and selecting the best chart to highlight the trends in your data. These items are what many journal professionals focus on; however, there are other visual aspects that you should take time to consider.
Be sure to try various sort options so that you can see which way makes the data points easiest to compare. Additionally, think about how people logically read data (e.g., left to right, top to bottom, largest to smallest, or oldest to newest).
It is important to add labels to show data totals so that your reader can readily interpret the data. For three variable charts, you should also add segment labels to facilitate direct comparisons between the groups.
Choose a variety of chart types
To reduce reader fatigue, you should reasonably vary the types of charts used in your report. That said, perhaps use the same chart types when reporting out across a certain type of data (such as bar charts for submission totals, line charts for turnaround times, and maps for countries). This will ensure your reader stays focused on the data being presented rather than on trying to get to the end of the report.
Choose a color scheme and unified font
Though you hope to create an editorial report that is interesting, as well as informative, it is best not to create a report that is distracting. The use of a unified color scheme helps create a uniform look. Be sure to keep the same text font throughout the report and standardize the font size as much as possible.
Spending time working on the visual aspects of your report can help your reader more easily understand the data you are presenting and retain the key data points for decision making.