Improving the presentation of financial data

In today’s multimedia world, information is no longer just published in texts but much more often using additional visual elements. Presenting financial data graphically increases engagement, entertainment and retention, shows a new study.

Financial data has traditionally been released in text form. In our technology world, presenting and distributing data visually using infographics, charts, videos and many more approaches is much easier. Studies show, that the graphical representation of data increases audience engagement, entertainment and retention.

Edelman Financial Communications & Capital Markets and Business Wire pursued one of those studies. Among institutional investors, sell side analysts, retail investors and financial media, they could confirm those findings for the publication of earnings information. The study investigates how those groups make use of new visual approaches. Key findings include:

  • The earnings release is an essential resource providing a fast and easy access to data.
  • 92 percent of institutional and retail investors believe the publication of earnings data will become more visual and creative. This is perceived as the “right step” for the industry.
  • New visual forms are just an addition and not a substitution for traditionally transmitted data. They are by no means a replacement as multimedia tools are most effective when used along with traditional releases focused on quantitative data.
  • Investors want visual data to be accessible, easy to read, easy to understand, and relevant.

“The conclusion is that visual, creative displays of information are a benefit for investor relations professionals,” says Business Wire. “By supplementing text-only earnings releases with visual assets, a larger audience benefits from the provided information, and the investor community has more options for how to process the information, and present it elsewhere, to other audiences and decision makers.”

At altii, we have already pointed out the advantages of visuals such as pictures and videos when publishing online. Within a flood of information, visual content increases attendance, reach and engagement. While 80 percent of what is seen is remembered, only 20 percent of read information is retained. New platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram profit from the trend towards visual information, say Seval Dogan and Kai Prager, both at Business Wire, in a blog post on altii.