I have an application whose most basic elements are composed of two parts:
Planning: Several screens which users can manipulate several sets of numbers. These screens typically can display between 25-200 rows.
Reporting: Planning data is combined with other sources of data(secondary systems) and the resulting data is combined and compiled to produce reporting data.
The process of converting data from planning to reporting can take between 10-15 minutes. So the data that you see in the planning section can sometimes be a little different than the data that you see in the reporting section.
Currently my application does not visualize this difference, it looks something like this(Status column is not shown in the actual page):
@MichaelLai points out that I need to clarify my states, this was something I didn't provide a clear explanation of in my original question. There are basically three states, with the default one being the "In-Sync" state:
In-Sync, the data in the planning page matches the one in the reporting page. Typically represents > 80% of the data.
Out-of-Sync, the data in the planning page does not match what is in reporting(I have access to both numbers). Typically represents < 5% of the data, but in certain scenario's can be > 50% of the data.
Maybe Out-of-Sync, data originates from a secondary system(Read-only in planning) and the importation of that data occurs when reporting data is complied. Typically represents < 15% of the data.
This can cause a great deal of confusion to a user who has not been properly trained on the product, and even those who do understand it, don't have a good way to visualize these differences. So, I'm currently proposing a change to the product to improve its usability and solve these issues. I would like to represent this delay in the planning pages, as I have control over the format of these pages and this is where all changes will originate from. My proposed change is composed of two parts:
Display data from secondary systems in the planning pages(read only, maybe with a link to those systems)
Indicate when present, the differences between the two data sources.
One way to do this is to use italic's and color to indicate the differences(Status column is not shown in the actual page):
I can also shown the two different numbers in a tool-tip:
Here's my question, is this the best way to visualize this data? It seems overly complicated... I would really like a system that wouldn't require so much training to understand.
How do you visualize a delay?