Data Visualization: Four Steps to Better Communicating Financial Data

Andy Morris, Principal Product Marketing Specialist

April 17, 2024

Data visualization, done correctly, can make everyday metrics as well as complicated analysis more consumable.  Done incorrectly, data visualization can misrepresent analysis or confuse the audience. There are four key steps to consider when thinking through a data visualization plan.

  • Select the right systems – Selecting an ERP system that brings together disparate data from across your organization and creates a single source of information is key.  Look for systems that incorporate embedded business intelligence and data visualization tools into their solution.  Features that give your team search tools, reporting functionality and automatic data visualizations in charts and graphs make it possible for anyone to succeed in creating understandable data representations.
  • Know your audience – The level of detail within your data visualization will depend entirely on your audience.  Department managers or line-of-business leaders may need details on daily operations, while your C-suite desires to see only the high-level information to inform strategic decisions.
  • Know your message – Before determining a data visualization strategy, it is crucial to understand what message you want to communicate to your audience. Is your purpose to state quantitative sales information, like the previous quarter’s sales vs targets, or more qualitative financial information, like wondering whether your revenue uptick correlates with your marketing spend?  Will the data be displayed on dashboards for on-demand access or sent in weekly reporting?  Understanding these details ensure your data visualizations communicate insight effectively.  
  • Invest in your team’s skills – Even if you believe your team's data visualization skillset to be excellent, take a survey or ask them about their confidence levels and invest in training where necessary.  Most data visualization solutions offer robust online or in-person training options to boost your finance team’s skillset.


NetSuite Data Visualization  

NetSuite help companies of all sizes achieve real-time transparency into company performance across all business functions, from summary level to transaction level, by breaking down data silos and bringing all data under one roof. SuiteAnalytics, NetSuite’s embedded business intelligence solution, can give finance teams access to the powerful analysis and visualization functionality they need to transform insights into meaningful data-fueled stories, all with easy-to-use tools and without requiring programming or technical resources.  At no added cost, SuiteAnalytics provides companies with –
 

  • Saved Search – Provides real-time results based on criteria and filters you create, searching through hundreds, thousands or millions of records to pinpoint exactly what you need.
  • Reports – Easily customizable, standard and out-of-the box reports to meet your business requirements.
  • Workbook – Analytical capabilities designed for business users to explore data, create sophisticated filters and analyze data using pivots and charts.
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Dashboarding – A powerful way to tie Saved Search(opens in new tab), Reports and Workbooks together into compelling data visualizations right at your fingertips.  Have real-time, business-critical information available at a glance by leveraging a single system of record across all areas of your business.

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.