One of my clients sends a page-view summary every week with nothing but 20 data points from the last month. No analysis. No insight. No commentary. Just a set of dates and numbers. And every week, I think: What am I supposed to do with or think about this? Is there a trend here? Why should I care?

The danger of doing this is that we're wired to interpret anything. So if you want us all to think whatever we want to think (in this case, I usually think, "They're showing off".

Here's how you can fix that:

Data doesn't become information doesn't become knowledge without some additional work. So if you want a bunch of different interpretations, send it on out without any context. But if you want people to be working off the same choir book, tell them so. Most people need specific direction as to what they should do like, "Based on this data, we should..." or "These numbers show us that X, so I'd like some ideas on how to do Y".

Take an extra 15 minutes and tell us why we should care and what we should do. You can even use our trusted People-Information-Goals to do it:

Once you've mapped out the commentary, just start writing with the MAIN IDEA and finish with the GOALS.

Providing some additional commentary will help your readers get more from the data. That might help them be more productive, improve their performance or come up with great ideas. But a set of numbers routed to a bunch of folks with a million other things to do? That's not going to get you much more than a return receipt (assuming you even asked for one).