Data and statistics play a crucial role in establishing the credibility of your White Paper. They provide evidence to support your claims and add weight to your recommendations. They will determine whether your reader believes you have supported your claims in the paper or are just trying to blind them with numbers.
Getting this right will give you all the benefits we describe in our Leader’s Guide to White Papers, which you can find here.
However, it is important to use data and statistics effectively to ensure they are impactful and meaningful. If the paper does not effectively set up the company’s offering as a solution before the charts and graphs take the stage, the reader will not care about your numbers.
Here are five considerations to bear in mind when preparing and using data and statistics in your next white paper.
Use credible sources
Ensure that the data and statistics you include in your white paper are from reputable and reliable sources. This adds credibility to your content and reassures readers that the information is accurate and trustworthy.
Simply presenting raw data without context can be overwhelming and confusing for readers. Provide clear explanations and interpretations of the data to help readers understand its significance and relevance to the problem at hand.
As mentioned earlier, using visuals such as charts, graphs, and infographics can make data more accessible and easier to understand. Choose the most appropriate visual representation for your data and ensure that it is clear and visually appealing.
Use comparisons and benchmarks
Comparing data to industry benchmarks or previous years’ data can provide valuable insights and context. It helps readers understand how the current situation compares to the norm or previous trends, making the data more relevant and relatable.
Interpret the data
Don’t assume that readers will automatically understand the implications of the data you present. Take the time to interpret the data, explain its implications, and highlight any trends or patterns that emerge. This will add depth and meaning to the data and help readers make informed decisions.
Like everything else in a well-written white paper, your data must support what you have defined as an effective solution to the problem you have fully identified in the first half of the paper. Find the problem, prove you understand it, describe an ideal solution and then use your data to demonstrate that you can provide it.