A technical report is unimaginable without some form of graphical demonstration that could support the text (Cairo 2016). However, with fast pace of digitalization the reports made are not only attractive but also interesting to understand the complex data. This can be well presented through tables, graphs, charts and pictures. However, evaluation criteria can be developed in various ways depending on the way of comprehension. As a result, this report will be reviewed on valid practices when constructing or developing visualizations based on the annual report of Wesfarmers, a diversified corporation.
Part A: Development of Evaluation Criteria
The content and the format of the report are decided on the needs and abilities to understand by the audiences. The specific visual demonstration helps in analyzing the financial condition, strategic precedence’s as well as performance of the corporation because at times, tables, charts, graphs or pictures simplifies the data and information of the presentation. Conversely, the following can be set as evaluation criteria’s.
- Numbers– Pie charts, line graphs as well as bar charts are essential ways to show the statistical data (Klaus 2016).
- Graphics– The graphics can be mainly of pie charts, column charts, bar charts, histograms, line graphs, area, scatter and surface charts. The idea is to have a clear presentation of the purpose. For example, a pictograph can be able to communicate different languages just through depiction (Marcus 2015).
- Layout– The integration of graphs, tables, color, pictures, charts and other design elements set an important feature for production of information, which is appealing as well as readable for the readers (Kasyanov and Kasyanova 2013).
- Labeling– This criteria provides inference of pointers (chart titles, x and y-axis, words/phrases or trend lines) to the graphs, charts, pictures or tables for the suitability of the audience.
- Reference inGraphs – The graphs need to be properly referenced with plot area, position, y and x axis units, title and gridlines to differentiate between the information through appropriateness (Ferres et al. 2013).
- Effective Variables Used– The graphical representation should have required variables at each axis to analyze the essence of the information that can be applied in report further.
- Specific range of information– The data incorporated should have a particular range of information defining the years, lower or the upper limits or cross sectional/longitudinal nature of the data.
- Design and Background– The design adopted should hold lucidity in the format that is attractive and soothing for the reader in maintaining interest through consistency and relevance.
- Line Graphs– Line graphs should help in examining the trends of equal intervals or for over a period while doing a comparison of various categories and its effect on the basic nature (ntu.edu.sg. 2017).
- Keys – Illustrations convey the information to indicate the special meaning to the colors, line styles of shadings used. It is supposed to be at the right or in the middle of the chart for best depiction (Malamed 2015).
- Positioning– The illustration used in the report should be cross-referenced with proper discussion such that graph in one page and the text on the other page with proper numbering is justified.
- Scaling – The facility provided in the graph is to divide the data in quantitative and qualitative nature or both in a prudent manner that does not look haphazard. Moreover, different data factors can be facilitated in one for comparison.
- Presentation and Fonts– The fonts and the presentation should be with the basic nature of the company. For examples, Wesfarmers deals with varied products. Hence, its font would be colorful, bold and presentable to relate the audience with the company.
- Process of Encoding– The long figure and short data should be depicted through numbers/responses/code to maintain the simplicity of the graphical representation.
- Customization– The data can be customized based on the reports made to focus on the important data, to attain satisfaction.
- Non-Financial and Financial Analysis– The analysis based on visualizations should help in giving assistance to any background of reader to increase the value of presentation largely (ntu.edu.sg. 2017).
- Data Integration– The data integrated in graphs, charts needs to be similar yet interactive to the tables or the facts outlined the report (Evergreen 2016).
- Appropriateness of Graphical representation– The nature of numbers or the complex data should be different in different projects. For example, different stages in a project can be depicted through Gantt chart and population segmentation through pie chart (Hudson 2015).
- Association of information– A graph /chart can have two styles of charts in one presentation as it helps in investigating the nuances of the data used (Rumsey and Unger 2015). For example, ages of population can be depicted through bar charts and the midpoints of the range can be given as midpoints using frequency polygon.
- Geometrical Determinants- The observers have been systematically driven by curvature properties such as contour framework and the way the segmentation of complex shapes can be divided in smaller units through visual properties, like location, size and orientation (Wilder, Feldman and Singh 2016).
Part B: Evaluation of Wesfarmers Annual Report, 2016
Wesfarmers, one of the diversified corporations in providing varied business operations. To start with, the various diversions are supermarkets, hotels, convenience stores, office supplies, etc with industrial diversion in chemicals, coal, energy and fertilizers. Their main objective is “to provide satisfactory return to its shareholders” (Wesfarmers.com.au 2017). However, this aim also stay put for the stakeholders that analyze Wesfarmers annual report visually.
The report shows sophistication in its style, design and background (criteria 8) such that it creates a prevailing impact on the readers/ stakeholders (Lester 2013). However, the cover page creates an interest showing that the nature of the employees in supporting the organization goals.
The Wesfarmers report has sharp and edgy contours (criteria 20) depicting efficiency and acceptability. The sense of humor seen in the report is witty as the reports cover page is simple yet colorful with smiles of different employees working in the corporation.
Figure 1: Cover page of Wesfarmers Annual Report
Source: (Wesfarmers.com.au 2016)
The second and third figure of a doughnut chart is based on “performance review” that adds value and creates wealth. The color, fonts, graphics and layout (criteria 2, 3 and 13) used in the doughnut chart is mixed with different colors (Jones 2013). The outside doughnut is in hue of black and white illustrating the important areas of wealth creation followed by another doughnut with hues of green in further sub division for the year 2016. However, the doughnut charts are also symbolic of scaling (criteria 12) that differentiates the qualitative categories with the quantitative numerical data achieved for each category (Holzinger 2014). Hence, in this case the percentage of wealth that the stakeholders of Wesfarmers have received in 2016 is well represented in the figures 2 and 3 below.
Source: (Wesfarmers.com.au 2016)
The Figure 4 is a flamboyant way of depicting information through a circle of values, strategies and their primary objective. The report ensures to provide a specific range of information (criteria 7) with proper customization of non-financial data (criteria 15 and 16). Moreover, the primary objective is governed with Wesfarmers performance measures that not only provide growth but also consistence. The hues of green are one of the benchmark properties of the eco-friendly nature of the corporation. The darker shade to lighter shade of green is the existence of importance of broad objectives circling to one primary objective in black. The figure can be shown below.
Figure 4: Objectives, strategies of Wesfarmers Annual Report
Source: Source: (Wesfarmers.com.au 2016)
The reports are a storytelling machine of its origin and functions of working until today. However, a proper communication can only be possible through visual depiction of necessary data. The set of four figures for the analysis in the annual report has been given below.
Source: (Wesfarmers.com.au 2016)
The above figures illustrate the importance of color green (connected with nature) for Wesfarmers (criteria 13). The figure 5 shows the importance of numbers (criteria 1) with use of graphics (criteria 2), the layout used is stacked yet representative (criteria 3) of broad highlights of the corporation. The effective variables have been used to design the analogy of the graphs that are significant for the stakeholder view (criteria 6). On the other hand, there is proper positioning of the tables with relation to the bar/ column charts (criteria 11 and 17) such that one can analyze the figures from the tables. However, the variations can be checked from the charts listed.
The figure 6 has proper labels for each depiction through a picture (criteria 4). Conversely, figure 7 is not only a pictorial representation of different departments in Wesfarmers but also highlights the how each department can help in attaining satisfaction for the readers/ stakeholders (criteria 2 and 15).
On the contrary, figure 8 is a depiction of table examining the key variables in the year 2015-2016 with proper numbers and the changes (criteria 1) that the corporation has faced in the years. Moreover, the effectiveness of variables with numbers has given a proper form of layout (criteria 3 and 6) (Evergreen 2016).
To analyze further the intricacies of graphs and charts, four figures have been taken in consideration for evaluation based on criteria.
Source: (Wesfarmers.com.au 2016)
As per representation of different graphs and charts, the corporation is well equipped with the use of doughnut and bar/column charts. Figure 9 involve a combination of graphics and numbers that is tables, doughnut charts, bar charts, line charts and association of charts using two ways of depiction (criteria 1 and 2). Moreover, all the charts have labeling as the idea depicting the use but the only y and x axis have not been labeled leaving vagueness in the mind of readers/ stakeholders (criteria 4 not met). On the other hand, bar charts and line graphs have proper keys, for example “debt maturity profile” hold true for the “grey color” being representative of capital markets being representative of capital markets as reference followed by “green color” as bank bilateral and so on (criteria 5 and 10). The line chart with markets here depicts the trends of the stock prices listed yearly (2012-2016) on ASX (criteria 9).
Conversely, figure 10 as doughnut chart is again symbolic of scaling and keys as each color represents different label (criteria 4, 10 and 12). The process of coding has been applied to the doughnut chart with the table to simplify the data such that it is attention grabbing and complete in a certain way (Muzner 2014).
The figure 11 primarily highlights the association of information with keys and labels using a line graph with a bar chart portraying cash flow generation. The association of information defines appropriateness (criteria 18) in one chart as a way of investigating the fine distinction. In this figure, line chart symbolizes “cash realization ratio” and bar chart signifies “cumulative operating cash flow” in the following years against million dollars (criteria 4, 10 and 19).
Lastly, the figure 12 is association of contrasting information using bar charts (through colors) in the years for different countries. It not only has an affluent way of presentation and font styling but also is likable and engaging in examining the design and background of financial information demonstrated (criteria 13, 16 and 19). However, further depiction of charts are given as:
Source: (Wesfarmers.com.au 2016)
The graphs and charts can be further explained through Figure 13 and 14. In figure 13, the idea of using bar chart with different association of information has been used for two years that are 2015 and 2016 (criteria 2 and 18). On the other hand, black and green color has been sued to demark between the two years which not only is presentable but as well as attractive to look at it (criteria 3 and 7). As a result, chart can be criticized as reference of graphs has been missing as x and y axis has not been defined properly leading to confusion in the mind of the readers (criteria 5).
In figure 14, an amalgamation of shareholder’s distribution has been illustrated using colors in the stacked chart with specific range of information for over years (criteria 3 and 7). On the other hand, here, reference of graphs and keys have been provided that not only illustrates the information using colors but also helps the reader to attain proper information (criteria 5, 10 and 15).
The discussion can be concluded based on the annual report presentation that had been evaluated on the different criteria set. The criteria’s drawn has been the key components that the readers/ stakeholders observe in any kind of report made. Moreover, the use of different graphs, charts, tables and pictorial representations has helped to study the foundation skills. However, these skills can be further empowered with further investigation with new norms and conditions.
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