I’ve just finished reading Stephen Few’s excellent book Information Dashboard Design.
It makes for very interesting reading. Stephen points out many of the visual failings of existing ‘dashboard’ products from most if not all dashboard product vendors. He goes on to create a version of a dashboard which will surprise you in how simple and clear information can be presented. I certainly will be taking much of his thinking on board when designing reports.
This book is well worth the investment, particularly if you work with dashboard products or develop graphical reports.