Data behind the data — the value of the digital Annual Report

by Rob Lovegrove, Head of Digital

Published on
July 5, 2017

For many, the writing, collation and production of an Annual Report can be a testing time — checking, double-checking, treble-checking the numbers and data before going to print or more commonly hosting the report online.

As we continue to see a trend towards digital Annual Reports, the opportunity to derive data and insights from web visitors should be top of mind in the design your report, and this should be grounded in how you structure your content.

Placing a pdf of a report online will only get you so far. For many organisations, the Annual Report can become an immersive experience and an opportunity to present key achievements through rich content, carefully segmented and presented. One of my favourite examples is Verizon’s report.

Set up as a microsite with dedicated landing pages and links to certain pieces of content means, with the implementation of Google’s free In-Page Analytics, companies can track what content is of most interest to visitors.

Other benefits of setting up Google Analytics within your digital Annual Report include:

  • knowing how many shareholders or interested parties have accessed the report
  • being able to assess the amount of time spent on specific pieces of content
  • validating/testing key brand messages and terms
  • segmenting audiences by key demographics.

When it comes to data, the real value is in the insights it gives you. Beyond annual reports, there’s no point blindly sharing content without learning about how and what people engage with.

These insights can give you the power to connect to the people who matter most to you — in a more engaging way, whether that be in the digital world or via traditional means.

At the end of the digital rainbow, data is the gold.