Making Survey Results Look Pretty

After you’ve completed a thorough analysis of your survey, make it presentable to the world.  Here are a few thoughts on how to bring the data to life:

Go Beautiful or Stupid Simple
A beautifully designed whitepaper will catch the eye and make you look more professional than you really are.  Budget permitting, hire a designer.  Should you lack the cash for that, go stupid simple and adopt the “eMarketer approach”.  Pick two colors and make everything look the same. Not fancy, but still professional looking.  Here’s how eMarketer “emarketified” our charts.

Stupid Simple Design
Stupid Simple Design

Use the Right Tools
If you don’t have design help and adopt the “stupid simple” approach, use PowerPoint to build your charts and graphs.  If you’ve got the chops for Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, go ahead. Find charts and graphs in other whitepapers and mimic their style.  If you don’t have those chops but aren’t afraid of Github, try the open source Chartbuilder to make fancy charts, or

Convey the key point
The reader must know instantly the key point you wish to convey.  Don’t make the user figure it out.  The ultimate goal isn’t pretty or lots of data.  The goal of each chart is to convey the key point.

People use news apps in the morning!
People use news apps in the morning!

1-2 Charts Per Page Max
The kissing cousin of “convey the key point” is limiting the amount of content on a single page.  Too much on a page will distract the reader from the key points.  Instead, order the pages by the category of results: demographic pages, behavior pages, usage pages.

Create the Whitepaper First
You will be using this content for both a whitepaper and a webinar.  It’s much easier to build the whitepaper first,then use those images in a PPT for a webinar.

Cite Yourself
Include a notation below every chart to make sure companies recognize your work when they’re re-using it.

See the tiny citation at the bottom?
See the tiny citation at the bottom?

Include Your Methodology
Why? Because everyone else does. Just kidding. Because this brings credibility to your study and your startup.

Start With an Executive Summary
We finish this list with the beginning of your whitepaper.  What are the top insights the reader should take away from this survey?  Tidy those up and kick off the data with those key points.

The exec summary and the methodology
The exec summary and the methodology

See?  Just that easy.

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