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dashboard readabilityOften, the people closest to the data are the ones who are most technical. Engineers, data scientists, analysts. Without a doubt, these folks are brilliant. However, they may tend to craft intelligence reports that are a tad over-the-top on the technical lingo. Now, while they may be able to easily absorb information in reports jammed with technical jargon and complexities, there’s a lot to be said about putting the reports in a friendlier, readable format. After all, it’s only when everyone can understand and leverage the takeaways within these reports that the real magic happens.

Introducing readability scores.

What’s a readability score (and why should I care?)

We’ll put it plainly: overly technical, or overly complex, writing can be a big turn-off for readers. It’s a fast way to tune people out. One way to gauge your writing is the Flesch-Kincaid grade level index . This formula will tell you what grade level your content is best suited for. It’s easy: the lower the score, your content is easier to read. As the numbers creep up, your content is increasingly difficult to read and understand. Scores range from 0 to 120.

Readability matters. For one thing, Google cares about it—and any business with a digital presence cares what Google thinks. While it’s tough to know for sure, there tends to be a correlation between readability and search rank. In fact, one software firm, Searchmetrics, released a white paper that shows top search results tend to offer content around grade levels seven or eight.

If you’re interested in checking your content’s readability, you can do so immediately, by using Microsoft Word’s proofing tools or free online tools like readability-score.com .

Where readability and business intelligence collide

The point isn’t to dumb down your content in an inauthentic manner. It’s your brand—and if you’re wicked smart, and want to sound wicked smart, you should! The real importance of readability scores is reader engagement. Can you engage your audience—and get them to understand what you’re trying to communicate? Because if they’re zoning out or skimming over your big, fancy, scientific words, then you’ve lost that battle.

Imagine if technical people and writers—trained communicators—could partner together to effectively communicate. This is the true value of technical writers: taking deep, technical concepts and communicating it in a conversational way.

Now, think of this as it relates to your business intelligence efforts. How can you take your massive amount of data, and all its resulting insights, and share it with your business in a way that everyone can understand? How can you enable your workers to get the most out of your data? Isn’t that the point of business intelligence in the first place?

This is where data really transforms into business insight.