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Stop Boring Your Customers by Sharing Too Much Data

by Gavin McMahon  |  
July 22, 2014

You've accumulated so much data that it is flowing through your eyes and coming out your ears. Meanwhile, your brain crunches all the details, analyzing them from every possible angle. Your mouth chomps at the bit, anxious to tell your story.

But hold on, data dictator! Before you succumb to the power of your own research, first you have to check your data.

You see data one way. However, will your audience interpret it the same way? That's a critical consideration before extracting it all from Excel and popping it into PowerPoint.

Will your customers and clients be looking for what you're actually trying to sell them? There are points you want—and need—to get across. However, have you pondered all the points from their perspective in ways they expect you to dissect data trends, anomalies, and correlations while tracking targets? Did you provide convincing proof?

Let's delve into each of these five data differentiators.

1. Trend spotting

Data trends are a leader's friend. They're one way to tell whether your company is heading in the right direction. But trends are two-way street, and they sometimes have to be reversed. Does your analysis call for immediate action... or a wait-and-watch approach?

Trends can highlight areas that lack effective execution or clog productivity pipelines. Following trends over weeks, months, quarters, and years can also provide clues to the future.

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Gavin McMahon is a founding partner at fassforward Consulting Group. He blogs about PowerPoint, presenting, communication, and message discipline at Make a Powerful Point.

LinkedIn: Gavin McMahon

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