Access isn't typically a tool you would think of when considering a dashboard style reporting tool. The reporting tools in Access, as slick as they are, don't readily lend themselves to data visualizations. That is to say, Access doesn't offer a whole lot in the way of dashboarding graphics. What's so great about visualization?
When you present your data through a visual interface, you can highlight key trends, point out comparisons, and focus in on outliers. Think of how much time it takes your end-users to process the table-driven reports you produce. Now imagine giving your users a visual interface that they can absorb at-a-glance. Adding visual components to your reporting arsenal not only makes you more effective at reporting data, but it helps your end-users become more effective at consuming data.
In this chapter, you explore some of the techniques that will help you go beyond tables filled with numbers. At the end of this chapter, you'll be turning your bland queries and reports into innovative visual interfaces.
Data visualizations don't always refer to fancy graphics. In fact, something as basic as specially formatted font or colored fields can be considered visualizations. In this section, you start with some simple techniques that will help spruce up your reporting.
As a general rule, you should always make your reporting easy to ...