Robust reporting software can be crucial to operations and enable stakeholders at all levels to make sense of progress. It can improve productivity and efficiency and support more effective decision making as well as creating an early warning system, giving your organisation time to react before issues escalate. Key to this is finding software that can keep pace with the changing needs of your enterprise, is responsive and scalable whether your business is a start-up or established across multiple sites. So, what does that software look like?
Features to look for in reporting software
Not all reporting software is made equal today and it’s essential to find the right option for your business. Essentially, this type of software should give your team the tools to generate a wide range of different reports, whether that’s one simple spreadsheet or complex documents that span an entire organisation and a broad spectrum of data. Key features to look out for include:
- Ease of use. Reporting software should be a tool for all those who need to use it, regardless of technical ability or position within the business. It should give users options for gaining new insights simply and effectively without the need for extensive training. The best software puts monitoring and analysis of business data in the hands of anyone within the organisation who can use it, which can generate benefits at many levels.
- Self-service. Queries should be capable of being run on a self-service basis across a wide range of sources using relational or multidimensional data. The right type of reporting software will give users access to key insights and data as and when required so that these can be more effectively integrated into forecasting and decision making within the business.
- An integrated, effective framework. The best reporting software will act as an integrated framework for reporting, viewing, querying, analysing and running a business’ BI and CPM applications.
- Options to customise. Not every organisation is the same when it comes to reporting – your software choice should enable you to make tweaks and customise elements so that you can create the right experience for you.
- An unlimited approach. The most supportive software will provide an unlimited range of options when it comes to report authors and consumers.
- One single, central data point. It’s essential that reporting software has the capability to manage data from different sources, whether that’s coming from sales, marketing, HR, distribution or logistics.
- Flexibility is key. It should also be possible to adapt the software that you choose so that it can accommodate any new data source.
- High security standards. Given the increase in regulation surrounding data protection in recent years – and the potential reputational consequences of a breach – it’s essential that security is a priority.
Reporting software can have a huge impact right across the business, from enabling more effective communication to increasing forecasting accuracy. It’s essential to find the right software choice for you if you want to reap the benefits.