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I working with SQL Reporting Services and I build reports on a weekly or monthly basis. I'd like to present the information to them in the best manner possible, not just a grid of numbers. I've used a variation of graphs, gauges and other visual diagrams tok help present this information concisely. But it's always been what I think looks best, not based on any expert's knowledge.

Where can I read more about how to create better designs specifically for reporting? I generally don't have to create very complex reports, mostly just tables, crosstab summaries, and historical values to see trends.

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The best author I know on reporting is Edward Tufte, but you may find that some of his ideas are not practical for what you are trying to do.

Some of the principles which are important though are to make everything worthwhile - justify everything on the page, and make sure that the data can be clearly seen a glance, and more information can be seen by more investigation.

So it may not give you design patterns, but if you follow the ideas there, and can design reports in line with his ideas, then you will be fine. The other lesson I learnt from him was "don't lie" - make sure that the way that the data is displayed does not mislead. If you highlight figures, this should be clear and consistent, not just that you want these to be noted more. If you want to show trends, make sure that the scales of the trends are clear and unambiguous.

Hope this goes some way towards helping.

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