The ten guidelines for designing KPI graphs

There is a major problem with reporting. The writers often do not understand enough about the science of reporting. In addition, too many reports have been prepared monthly, which is far too late for prompt action.

The reporting framework used in an organization must accommodate the requirements of the different levels in the organization (board, senior management team, middle management, and the various teams) and the reporting frequency that supports timely decision making.

The ten guidelines for designing graphs are:

  1. Supply adequate context for the data
  2. Avoid displaying excessive detail or precision
  3. Always start the scale at zero
  4. Avoid using pie charts radar graphs 3D graphs
  5. Make one data series the baseline:
  6. Show a minimum of 15 months’ trend analysis
  7. Avoid using a year to date budget line:
  8. Explain turning points
  9. Use up to five gridlines
  10. Use the graph title to say something important

see an extract of my Chapter 10 Reporting Performance measures from Key Performance Indicators 4th edition.

To learn how to implement these suggestions access:

How to implement winning KPIs (180 page Whitepaper + electronic templates)

Finding your Organization’s Critical Success Factors – Toolkit (Whitepaper 115 pages+ electronic templates)

Newly Updated: Database of Measures and Associated Success Factors 4th Edition (Updated August 2019)