The Most Efficient Reporting & Analysis Tools

This article will highlight essential reporting and analysis features in Corporate Performance Management solutions.

Reporting and analysis, previously a centralized activity for an executive audience, has become an increasingly democratic practice. Today, leading organizations are “democratizing” information by making analysis, reports and dashboards available for rank and file employees. In doing so, companies empower those employees to make world-class decisions. According to the research covered in Enabling World-Class Decisions, companies with accessible data perform better than companies that do not. With that in mind, what tools empower an entire organization with timely, accurate and clear information?

 

Report Writers

Report writers are used to create highly formatted statutory and internal reports such as financial statements or operational reports. Despite decades of evolution, many report writers are still too technical and require IT personnel to design them. This forms a deep dependency on a select few members in the organization. Therefore, leading organizations now generally implement report writers that either are Excel-based or emulate Excel formulas and formatting. They also train designated business users to create and maintain corporate reports. Realizing the value of accessibility to data has allowed organizations greater flexibility in pulling relevant reports, improving efficiency.

 

Ad-Hoc Query Tools

Ad-hoc query reporting allows any type of end user to create reports with simple drag and drop functionality. Companies choose this method because it reduces the need for power users who design and maintain formatted reports. It also addresses common reporting issues like having multiple versions of reports that were created to answer a specific question. With an ad-hoc query tool, users can delete the query or save it for later.  With ad-hoc query reporting, organizations are able to answer questions without crowding their own systems with redundant and outdated information.

 

Scorecards

A number of specialized scorecard applications evolved out of the balanced scorecard wave in the early 2000s. However, organizations in general found these applications too rigid and specialized. With exception, the focus on key performance indicators (KPIs) and targets that emerged from this era remains relevant today. Most companies simply use their report writer or dashboards to calculate and present its KPIs. Scorecards highlight important information at a glance, s opposed to studying lengthy reports that contain only a few relevant figures. Scorecards today enable users to see clear KPIs without having to sift through reports, allowing an organization to find answers faster.

 

Dashboards

Business dashboards have been around a long time. Early on, they were usually stand-alone applications that were very rigid and required experts to be designed and maintained. However, modern dashboard technologies are now fully integrated with CPM suites that also offer reporting, ad-hoc queries, budgeting and forecasting. Furthermore, the dashboards can be designed by business users to achieve desirable customization. A well-designed dashboard makes it easy for a manager to visually analyze and compare KPIs as well as other metrics. The flexibility of today’s dashboards has allowed organizations to spend more time focusing on high-level strategy. In other words, organizations can think about what to do with KPIs versus how to generate them in the first place.

 

Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IOT), Machine Learning and Data Mining

As these technologies evolve, modern CPM solutions are starting to integrate with these technologies, with the goal of improving decision-making.

Accessible and flexible reporting tools not only produce efficient decisions, they also actively engage the entire company. Consider how the reporting tool features described above can make an immediate impact on your organization. If you need assistance or help, Solver has a team of experienced professionals that can help your company.

 

Solver enables world-class decisions with BI360, leading web-based CPM suite made up of budgeting, reporting, dashboards, and data warehousing, delivered through a web portal. Solver is reinventing CPM with its next generation solution. BI360 empowers business users with modern features including innovative use of Excel in the model design process. If you’re interested in learning more, our team is excited to hear about your organizational needs and goals.

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