UniCredit : Supporting data

Interactive charts as a reputation-building tool.

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The feature

UniCredit, an Italy based banking group, reinforces the transparency of its reporting with an interactive performance explorer. UniCredit includes Sustainability as a primary section of its group site, with Reporting & metrics a highlighted sub-section in its dropdown preview and left-hand navigation. The lead element (of six) in the sub-section is Interactive sustainability graphs, which presents a tool for creating customised charts or graphs below a bullet-point summary of its chief features. A set of interrelated tabs allows users progressively to select the issue that they want to view: Category, Topic, KPI. There are five Category options (Our approach, Our people, Our customers, Communities, Environment), each with its tailored menu of topics, each of which in turn has a customised choice of KPIs. Once a KPI has been selected a set of Area options is generated (these are countries and/or Group) from which users can create their graph; for example, _Our approach> Fair business behavior> Training anti corruption_. Data covers up to three years, while from a suite of icons the graph can be switched between one of four views (line or pie chart, for example), printed off or downloaded as a picture or Excel file. An expandable glossary gives explanations of terminology used in the data.

The takeaway

Interactive charting tools in the sustainability/corporate social responsibility (CSR) area are most closely associated with companies, chiefly in the oil industry, that have a high-profile environmental impact and the imperative to collect and report data as assiduously as they do with their finances. UniCredit stands out as a pioneer not just in the banking sector but also for the scope of the data to which its charting tool gives access. Few in any industry cover their anti-corruption training, for example, though it is arguably as appropriate a material issue – especially for a bank – as waste water is for a chemicals company. Such issues, and their prominence in the public mind, are a big reason why CSR reporting can no longer be considered less important or relevant if you don’t have any dirty refineries or leaky tankers to manage – and why charting tools are worth considering if/once you have the breadth and depth of data (three years’ worth is considered valuable) to populate them meaningfully. On the one hand they please analysts who are tracking the company, especially when they can import data directly in Excel. But, equally important, they engage other stakeholders, such as customers, and demonstrate to them a company’s commitment to monitoring and reporting on sensitive issues in an open way. Features such as UniCredit’s glossary reinforce the impression and add to the reputation-enhancing value of the tool.

First published 05 February, 2013
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