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Information-Design: International Business Communication Standards (IBCS®)

65% of bad business decisions, taken during decision-making phases, stem from incorrect or misinterpreted data.

Secure decision-making thanks to communication standards: it exists, and its name is IBCS.

You need accurate, truthful, recognizable, and comparable data. The key is a “standard” called IBCS. Increase the accuracy of your decisions with the simple rules of IBCS.


"A decision is only a matter of a formality"

By standard we refer to a unified language, graph and presentation that makes business communication as clear as a green traffic light. How often have you asked yourself after a presentation of numbers, graphs and illustrations, “Does it make sense to me?” Actually, it should be that clear that a decision is only a matter of a formality.

One phenomenon of missing standards is that you keep asking yourself: “What is it about? What does it mean?”

If in a large enterprise four people are busy with the preparation of reports and do not use a unified standard, the result is a poor basis for decision-making.

"Successful decisions have a system"

What if your decision did not depend on the skill of the presentation or the courtesy of the graphics? It’s easy to say you only make decisions based on facts. But without standardized facts, it is only an emotional decision.

Every electrician would have sleepless nights if he were constantly confronted with different planning standards.

He would first need to find out what approach the architect has taken and then think about how to implement it. Without these standards, there would be no properly functioning power lines. In contrast to industry, there are established communication standards in almost all areas, on which everyone can rely internationally.

"All data, scales, facts and forecasts on one page"

You can see what it’s all about at a glance. The decision as to whether the investment makes sense or not would not have to come from the gut, but would be based on compelling facts.

Even better, you could have the presented facts checked independently, and thus have double certainty.

Insist on communication standards! These communication norms can tell the difference between success and wrong decision. Success comes to those who can rely on true, correctly presented and easily understandable data.

IBCS has the following standards that make every annual report understandable at a glance. These standards are described in SUCCESS.


SAY - Convey a message
SAY - Convey a message

Business communication is not marketing - people want to know what the outcome is. The image carries the message necessary for making a decision.

UNIFY- Apply semantic notation
UNIFY- Apply semantic notation

A forecast or an actual status is unmistakably recognizable in color and graphic. The presentation is simplified and you don't feel confused or overwhelmed. Things are recognizable at a glance. We are able to see the value because everything is transparent.

CONDENSE - Increase information density
CONDENSE - Increase information density

Information is compressed and condensed in one place so that comparisons can be made at a glance. The result: We can recognize and compare a large quantity of information on a single page.

CHECK - Ensure visual integrity
CHECK - Ensure visual integrity

The correctness is ensured at this point. The periods shown are complete and period-only. The key figures are always calculated using the same method. These values are scaled consistently and show the state of matters at a glance, without having to rely on the interpretations and remarks of others.

EXPRESS - Choose proper visualization
EXPRESS - Choose proper visualization

Only standards that are consistent in all reports, presentations, proposals and investment plans are used. They are as simple as the emergency exit sign.

SIMPLIFY - Avoid clutter
SIMPLIFY - Avoid clutter

It's totally exhausting to look at things and then have to think about their meaning. Yes, maybe you will not get a graphic price for it, but you can give your investor a sense of security because he can see how profitable it is. This is not the place for corporate design - this is where we aim for clarity.

STRUCTURE - Organize content
STRUCTURE - Organize content

Here we make sure that we compare equal with equal. In our analyses, we are always amazed by how things that seemingly have nothing in common are related to each other.

“Imagine you are looking at a business proposition that is simple, clear and unambiguous, full of accurate and applicable data.”

You want to know more about IBCS. Expand your knowledge in one of our IBCS Online-Seminars.


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