Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Think about it. A properly designed spreadsheet report could show
trends in sales, headcounts, customer complaints, economic
trends, interest rates, and manufacturing rework…all on the same
printed page. And a figure about any of these topics could be
replaced with another figure in minutes.
Excel is the only software I know that allows companies to present
data from many different sources in one report, and do so quickly.
In the pages ahead, I’ll explain the techniques for doing this.
Graphic Design
Ideally, benchmark reports should look like they came from a
magazine or newspaper. This makes the reports both interesting
and easy to read.
As a rule, however, bean counters aren’t qualified to design
magazine-quality reports, just as graphic artists aren’t qualified to
design cost accounting systems. But bean counters can copy
graphic designs they find in magazines and newspapers.
To illustrate, the
graphic design for
this item came
from a similar
display that I
clipped from the
Wall Street Journal
more than ten
years ago. If the
row and column
headings weren’t
included with the figure, it never would look like it came from Excel.
AB
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
KL
4
5
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10
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Head to Head
Boeing vs EADS
The Profit Picture:
Boeing and EADS
Annual net income in billions
The Fundamentals
Boeing
2001
2002
4
Revenues ($ billion)
58.2
$
54.1
$
Gross Profit ($ billion)
11.2
$
10.1
$
3
Gross Profit Margin
19%
19%
Net Income ($ billion)
2.8
$
0.5
$
2
Net Profit Margin
4.9%
0.9%
1
0
EADS
2001
2002
Revenues ($ billion)
27.3
$
31.3
$
-1
Gross Profit ($ billion)
4.9
$
4.7
$
Gross Profit Margin
18%
15%
-2
Net Income ($ million)
1.2
$
0.3
-$
2000
2001
2002
Net Profit Margin
4.5%
-1.0%
You can find good-looking and data-rich report designs in nearly
every business magazine and newspaper. Business Week, Forbes,
Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times all print
 
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