Look at the dashboards in the figure below. Can you identify which one follows proper communication standards? Click the correct option.
Now, let’s look at why communication standards are so important for business communication.
The Need for Communication Standards
Communication standards are rules that specify how communications should be designed. They help us navigate daily life all the time. Consider, for example, traffic signals.
Could you imagine if traffic signals would look different in every city or country? In a case like this, standardization is literally a life saver.
But what about business reporting and analytics? Imagine different teams creating the same report with different designs. Without standardized notation, the consumers may interpret these reports differently. The time spent preparing and deciphering the charts is better spent on using the information to inform decisions.
To tackle this worldwide need, the International Business Standards Association has developed a set of rules to standardize business communications. Following these rules, results and information is higher quality, easier to understand, and more valuable.
The International Business Communication Standards
The International Business Communication Standards (IBCS) rules are broken up into three categories:
These categories apply to the key areas of messaging, structure, visual design, and notation.
Some simple IBCS rules to follow include:
- Have a clear message.
- Identify content with a well-defined title concept.
- Use a horizontal axis for data series over time.
- Use solid columns for actuals, hatched columns for forecast data.
- Use red and green for variances only.
With features like easy-to-build templates and flexible formatting, SAP Analytics Cloud makes it easy to incorporate the IBCS rules into your stories. By adopting IBCS it is easier to gain valuable insights faster, leading to better informed decisions.