Do you enjoy the privilege of making and editing data sheets for a living? What fun!
Nothing is much better than inputting data into beautiful, organized sheets that store valuable company information. Of course, creating a data sheet isn’t always a blast.
If you don’t know what you are doing, and don’t know how to make a data sheet in the most effective way, your job is going to be a drag. It’s going to be harder than necessary to store and use information.
Luckily, we’ve compiled some tips for making your data sheet day job way more fulfilling. Ready to learn some life-changing tips for making a data sheet? Keep reading below to uncover the data industry’s best-kept secrets.
1. Understand What a Data Sheet Is
Maybe you don’t specialize in creating data sheets. Maybe your boss just needs someone to create a new data sheet for a new product, and they randomly chose you to make this happen.
As long as you are experienced with the product or component at hand, you’ll be able to make a data sheet. They aren’t too difficult. However, if you’re new to making a data sheet, you need to understand what it is before getting into data sheet tips.
Data sheet are not the same as spreadsheets. So don’t bust out Excel or Google Sheets. Spreadsheets are compilations of data. Each piece of data exists in a single cell and can be manipulated at will.
Spreadsheets can compile lots of different information in one place and are often used as a method of comparing different sets of data.
On the other hand, data sheets are meant to list out the specifications of a single product, or component, or material that your company produces. It will list all of the technical characteristics of the product, how it performs, and how it integrates with other products and components.
For example, say you’re company produces car tires. Each different type of tire will come with its own data sheet. The sheet will list all of the technical aspects of the tire, so that car manufacturers and auto shops know which tires to use on what vehicles.
So having an easy-to-understand data sheet is crucial for selling as many of your products as possible to other businesses, or directly to consumers.
2. Understand the Goals of Your Data Sheet
When creating a data sheet, you need to know why it’s important and who is going to be reading it. You want to write a data sheet for the clients and customers who need the information.
You want to clarify who your target audience is for each data sheet created. And you want to understand the overall goal of the datasheet. Is it to convince other companies to purchase the products? Is it to show them how to install and use the products?
While the data sheet may feel like a boring document, it actually functions as marketing material. So be sure to include a direct or indirect call to action to move readers to the next step in the process.
And when listing out the specifications, don’t stick with just the facts. Of course, you want the facts, the measurements, and all the details. But it also helps to include the benefits associated with each fact.
Readers want to know why a certain size or shape is important on a component they are purchasing. Why is it the best option? How does it make the final product better? How will each factor benefit the longevity of the component?
Don’t be afraid to explain why a product is worth purchasing.
3. Keep It Simple
It’s tempting to jampack data sheets with every possible bit of information. While more information is a good thing, you don’t want to overdo it. You don’t want to create big walls of text that are hard to read.
Keep your documents simple. Make it easy to find and read the most important information. All of the less-important information should be added at the end, for the few readers who will be interested in additional specs.
Keep the document clean and friendly to the eyes, and spread data out over multiple pages rather than cram it onto a single page.
4. Use Data Sheet Management Software
If your company has to create a data sheet, then it likely has to create many data sheets. Most manufacturers produce many different parts and components, and so dozens, if not hundreds of data sheets are common.
But managing and storing all of these can be quite a hassle. Luckily, there are data sheet software services that make it easy to scan data sheets and automatically create a database unique to your business.
For example, this safety data sheet management software will help you manage your data sheets regarding chemicals and hazardous materials. You can run reports and always know about the materials kept on site. Customers can also access your data sheets for any given product online, thanks to the database created.
5. Brand Your Sheets
No matter what industry you are in, data sheets are inherently boring. They aren’t magazines, and they aren’t works of art.
However, that doesn’t mean that they should be ugly. You should invest some time into creating visually appealing data sheets. You can utilize templates, or have a graphic designer create one on your behalf.
Make sure to leave white space on your sheet so you don’t overwhelm the reader. Draw attention to the important information, and make it easy to scan.
Include brandings, such as your business logo, name, and colors throughout the sheet. Include high-quality imagery, but don’t go overboard, lest you distract the reader.
Once you have a clean, effective template that works, make sure all of your subsequent data sheets follow the same format.
Make Your Data Sheets Count
Putting together a data sheet can be a tedious task. And it’s likely that you have many of these to create.
So in order to save time in the long run, it’s important to create a quality sheet the first time around, so you don’t end up redoing a shoddy job later on. Take your time, and make the data easy to find and digest, and you’ll be good to go.
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