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Automating your reporting for rich, timely data

Reporting is an arduous task for any business, but it’s only with the right data that you can clearly measure what is happening, and therefore make informed decisions. So how can a business reduce the time it spends on creating these critical reports?

The challenges:

  • Many businesses use multiple systems with multiple logins – the information they want is available but, it’s just really hard to access. The more segmented your systems are, the more difficult it is to create a holistic view that provides you with useful data.
  • No benchmarks mean no growth. If you don’t have the right historical data, you can’t accurately project what you should be able to achieve moving forward.  For instance, a slump in sales for 2020 may have been due to COVID, but how did you fare in 2019 – where were the dips and highs and how do they compare to the business you did in 2020?
  • Chewing up resources getting reports.  If there is someone in your business who is tasked with clicking buttons to generate scheduled reports, then you are wasting that resource.  Seek the advice of a software developer, or look at existing platforms, that can provide you with the ability to create the reports you actually need – reports that provide the information clearly and that it doesn’t have to be further complicated to provide you with the decision-making information which you need.

The solutions:

  • Multiple systems and logins. Reduce the number of reporting platforms you need to as few as possible.  A platform such as Op Central can collate all your Operating Procedures and Policies reports into one area – doing away with messy Google and One Drive options.  Other platforms such as Whatagraph can collate all your social media and website statistics into one report, so that you can cross-check data and see correlations, without having to log in to each platform. For example, being able to see a spike in your website traffic on the same day a specific social media post; can help outline which content is working best in your campaign.
  • No benchmarks mean no growth. All the reports you generate should have a comparison date so that you can provide context to the information.  Even a short date range like today versus yesterday gives important information on where to improve.  Ensure your reports clearly mark positive and negative results so you can focus on problem areas.
  • Chewing up resources. Once you have set up platforms to manage your business reporting, don’t waste time on a resource, who has to manually create the report and distribute them to key stakeholders.  Set up recurring emails – for example at the start of each month to nominated people, with your key data.  This allows a fast and accurate insight into your business and allows your data analyst to get collated feedback from your team, without the hassle of managing multiple email chains.