Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Performance reporting from a Dennis Rodman perspective

In a recent blog post, I commented how Dennis Rodman, the NBA Hall of Famer, inspired my formatting for that particular post.

In his autobiography, Bad as I Wanna Be, Dennis utilized some font magic, which I'd never seen before or since. Variable font sizing, bolding, etc., were employed throughout the book. His dramatic use of these tools were, I guess, in line with his own personal style, which through the inking of tattoos around his body, hair color changes, various body piercings, and clothing choices, make him a person who cannot be easily missed.

Well, might it not also be worthwhile to consider introducing a little "Dennis" into your performance reporting?

Why not accentuate certain items by bolding or enlarging the font size a bit? Why not introduce color, since a single color is not just monochromatic, it can also be monotonous!

Add some underlining or italics to set apart certain text.

Words alone convey information, no doubt. But, by taking advantage of the ability to alter font sizes and appearances, you can add dramatics and emphasis; can highlight what needs attention; can direct readers to items you really feel they need to notice.

As you may already know, I am not a fan of the idea of performance reporting standards. Firms often take pride in the custom materials they provide their clients, and don't need to conform to anyone's idea of "best practices." I doubt if we'll see anything regarding what I'm suggesting today in the ultimate standards document that's produced. But consider adding some of these techniques to your reporting. You're sure to get some attention!

BTW, I recommend Dennis' book. I read it when it first appeared, and found it quite enjoyable. Dennis is a unique character, no doubt.


  1. My concern is more that font size receives too much attention. Way too many client reportings still do not contain the relevant information clients are interested in; even worse are ad hoc reportings (the materials "beyond GIPS") requested by prospective clients. My prediction is that any "client reporting" standards will be used against clients, in order to justify why certain information is exactly NOT provided - what you want is not 'best practice', you know...

  2. Andreas, thanks for your comments. As the saying goes, "it goes without saying" that content should be the primary goal, with formatting secondary. "Relevant information" is, of course, a debatable and debated topic, where some of us strongly favor money-weighted returns being included. Too often too much is shown, which "muddies up" the reporting. Interesting prediction; only time will tell!


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