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  Semantic rules help to clearly relay content by using a uniform notation (IBCS Notation). They comprise the third part of the IBCS Standards with the SUCCESS rule set UNIFY based on the work of Rolf Hichert and other contributors of the IBCS Association. As they are manifested by convention, semantic rules must first be more widely accepted to become a standard.

UNIFY  Apply semantic notation 

UNIFY covers all aspects of applying semantic notation in reports and presentations.

Applying semantic notation means that reports and presentations follow this governing principle: Similar content should be visualized in a similar manner; what looks the same should also mean the same. On the flip side: If the content is not the same, it should not look the same.

In many specialized disciplines such as engineering, music, and architecture, semantic notation standards are a matter of course. The world of business communication lacks such notation standards, one of the main reasons management reports are sometimes hard to understand. For example, no common agreement on the meaning of various style elements such as titles, line markers, axes, highlighting indicators, etc. used in business charts exists yet.


This chapter covers semantic rules for all important and frequently recurring aspects of meaning in the context of business communication, such as terminology (e.g. words, abbreviations, and number formats), descriptions (e.g. messages, titles, and legends), dimensions (e.g. measures, scenarios, and time periods), analyses (e.g. comparisons and variances), and indicators for highlighting, scaling and other purposes. More...




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