Data and enterprise reporting form a foundation to base the efficient running of any business. Whenever business data is organized and presented through customized reports, business management can make informed decisions, resulting in better performance and increased productivity for their business.
Generally, all businesses benefit from data reporting and a data-driven business approach. Small companies, mid-level businesses, or enterprise-level organization, all of these organizations may have different data needs and use different reporting approaches, but data insights generated from business intelligence software help them to run their business activities smoothly. As Senator Ted Cruz says “If you’re going to decide to run a data-driven campaign, decision-making has to follow it. “
Today, we will explore the benefits of data reporting and analytics in a large organization and reporting methods for increased productivity.
Enterprise reporting at a Glance
Enterprise reporting is a term that generally defines a reporting method in place that caters to a large number of employees at different levels in an organization. It provides options to create ad hoc reports and customized data visualizations for a better understanding of business operations like employee performance, product popularity, and customer relations, etc.
Enterprise reporting comes under the umbrella of business intelligence (BI), but it offers more directed reporting needs of business individuals and groups at different levels across all departments. It usually means identifying data needs of different level employees and presenting data in a way suitable to their understanding.
How to cater to enterprise reporting?
When financial managers and data analysts sit down to set up an enterprise reporting system for their business, there are many factors that they must ponder on before finalizing their choice.
They must understand the working processes of their business and data needs at each level of hierarchy. For example, some reports are informational to keep everyone in the loop but other reports may be data insights that highlight the internal condition of business products as they stand now. Once they identify the business needs they can choose from the enterprise reporting tools available.
Before we proceed further, let us understand the basic types of enterprise reporting and how they are used.
Diagnostic reporting came into play with full force when data analysts began to realize that business data can help them understand the current market trends and the direction where the business is headed. Data mining when done properly and data reporting skills can help find areas where the business isn’t performing well.
Once problem areas are identified, new business strategies can be applied to improve the situation and data can be constantly monitored to see which strategies are working best to increase revenue and conversions.
Diagnostic reporting involves identifying factors that might be hindering the company in its progress and the focus areas to work on. Usually, the data teams run the diagnostic reports, and management teams use these reports to take managerial decisions for improvement.
As the name implies, these are regular detail reports that give details of different departments and work performance reports of employees and different projects. They let the finance people understand what is going on in their business and they can compare performance over some time to monitor and observe improvements or dips in productivity.
Detail reports are part of every organizations’ day-to-day business operation and give insight into the functioning of different departments in an organization. Some examples are employee performance reports, customer-related reports, product, and services details, etc.
Predictive reporting is an enterprise reporting strategy that has become very popular in recent years with the success of Artificial Intelligence and data processing techniques. Using predictive reporting, end users can give a forecast about the future performance of the business based on the current data trends of the organization.
Many enterprise reporting software tends to perform predictive reporting based on machine learning algorithms and different statistical and inferential models. This prediction is not completely accurate but does give a direction for the high-level managerial team to give them goals and targets to work on.
Choosing suitable Reporting Methods
Another set of choices when learning enterprise reporting is to choose the best reporting method for every situation. It may vary according to the level of employee that needs the report, the time requirement, and also many other factors that might come into play.
Following are some guidelines about the different reporting methods that are commonly available and which method is best in which situation.
Data dashboard is an intuitive way to monitor many reports together in real-time. This is essentially helpful if the data that the end-user is monitoring is time-critical and the end-user needs to make decisions based on data coming from many different reports in different layouts. In this scenario, designing a customized data dashboard is the best solution.
Data dashboards have made life easier as the end-users do not need to constantly switch between reports for required figures. The important factors are its ease of design and monitoring of live data on a single screen.
Researches have proved time and again that visuals are better in understanding when summarizing data and giving data presentations instead of regular tabular reports. Many latest data analytics and reporting software are available in the market that creates beautiful data visualizations and presents data in a way that is more understandable by end-users.
Data visualization can also present data from the same data source in different layouts and through a separate reporting portal to improve the clarity of the situation. These different layouts can be charts, graphs, or other visuals resulting in a visual experience more apt in understanding.
Ad hoc reports
Ad hoc is a Latin word meaning ‘For this’. Typically, it means a solution designed for a specific task. Ad hoc reporting needs data in a specific format that is different from the traditional way that the data team has been viewing data.
An ad hoc report is usually designed on the fly to get desired data report. The ad hoc design feature of the reporting software helps the data team to customize the result according to their needs.
Many ad hoc reporting solutions are available in the market that helps end-users to manipulate data and generate a customized report to get data in the layout they specifically want for their understanding.
The ad hoc reporting application manipulates data by applying filters or other conditions to present data in a manner required by the data team. The same data set may be used according to user access controls, but requirements vary from user to user or the type of requests made.
Performance management is a process that has to be done continuously in an organization to ensure the growth of the business. Targets and vision need to be set at all levels and in all departments for the smooth running of the business.
Target setting and monitoring the employees for achieving their targets are essential parts of performance management. Regular surveys and appraisals can be conducted to measure the performance of individuals or groups. These performance metrics and reports would help the management to pinpoint areas that need their focus to improve performance.
“The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” – By Carly Fiorina, ex CEO of Hewlett-Packard
In the end, it boils down to each organization that which path they take in choosing a reporting method. It is the job of data analysts and financial advisors in the enterprise organization to analyze and identify the data needs of their organization. Using this information, they would select the enterprise reporting methods suitable for their specific needs.
In this article, we have tried to give the readers essential information to help them understand enterprise reporting and lookout for the best solution to help them in their data analytics and reporting strategy.
What are some reporting methods that your organization has adopted for their enterprise data reporting?