This week is the start of bank earnings week, and the best bankers on earth will be presenting their results. It doesn’t matter if you are in front of your shareholders, equity analysts, or boss. Sooner or later, you will need to present data to showcase your results. When making a data presentation, there is a boring way and an unforgettable way to do it. This article will detail the simple, four-step framework with a catchy acronym that will make you stand out the next time you need to highlight an achievement using data.

The “What Change How Care?” Data Presentation Framework

The framework is called the “What change how care?” methodology. It is a style of data presentation that follows this simple structure:

What – What is the value, metrics, key performance indicator (KPI), or achievement you influenced.

Change – What was the rate of change or absolute change of that data

How – How did you achieve that success

Care? – What was the impact, or why should anyone care about the data or achievement?

Data Presentation Methedology

The guardrail that prevents you from looking like an amateur banker is built into this methodology. The structure starts by asking what number or activity you INFLUENCED and HOW you achieved that result. If you didn’t affect the data or achievement or don’t know how you did it, you should not highlight the data. If this is the case, leave the data in the table and move on. Boring data is not worth highlighting – it is just another fact.

Where data becomes interesting is when you combine it with insight to drive action. Part of the beauty of this methodology is that it trains you to be more proactive in influencing the data and becoming more sensitive to how changes to the data occurred.

How NOT to Present Data

Example 1: “We had loan growth of 6% last quarter, double the same quarter last year.”

You are probably already asleep.

Sure, you presented data, but you included very little insight, and the audience is unsure both on how you achieved it and how the achievement makes the bank or project better.

And yet, you will see the above structure in tons of bank quarterly earnings reports or monthly project updates. It is data without insight or meaning.

Data Presentation the World Class Way

Example 2: “Our team produced loan growth of 6% last quarter, doubling the same quarter last year by increasing in-footprint marketing. This will generate an additional $2mm to profit and get us ahead of budget.”

Example 3: “We reduced commercial customer defections by 10% by instituting a personalization model on our mobile banking app, allowing us to increase customer satisfaction by 17% and jump lifetime value by 20%.”

These examples nail it. Your boss, your shareholders, or your board will get excited. The way the presented data is active instead of passive and ties the achievement to something concrete. It places the data in context and ties the achievement to action. The delivery exudes confidence.

One Midwest bank CEO we know takes this methodology a step farther. His theme is people, so every achievement gets highlighted not just as revenue or profit but as the number of resources that can be invested into human capital. As in, “This will allow us to hire three more bankers,” “this money will allow us to expand our year-end bonus pool,” or “we will use some of this revenue to expand training.” If you are a privately held bank and talking internally, nothing catches your attention more than hearing that your bonus pool will be expanded.

Similarly, bankers should consider funneling their insights and impact into a theme. It might be financial growth, but it also might be customer retention, digital marketing reach, lead generation, customer experience, product market share, or something else. In this manner, this gives your data and insights another layer of context.

Putting This into Action

Data is like an impressionist painting. A single dot not only doesn’t mean anything, but it can also be confusing. However, taking a step back and looking at an aggregation of dots allows a picture to emerge. Knowing the picture gives context, and the combination of the dots, vision, and context can help move you or drive action.

The next time you give a quarterly review, project update, or for a bullet point on your resume, put the achievement in the What Change How Care? structure to stand out. When reviewing a presentation, you might want to type “WCHC?” in the margin to alert the creator to build out the achievement details.

Use the data and turn it into a masterpiece of action. As prominent bank CEOs talk about their earnings this quarter, watch how the good ones use the What Change How Care? Format for data presentation.

Published: 04/14/22 Author: Chris Nichols