It doesn’t take a genius to work out that we would all like to be more data driven, to use data to make more informed and accurate decisions. It’s a noble goal to state.
It also goes without saying that all businesses create some type of reporting. Something along the lines of a tabular view, even going as far as an interactive visual or even going the whole hog with a full all bells and whistles dashboard.
So, if we are keen as mustard to use data and already have the means to access it, why aren’t we doing so? The answer might be located in the the user engagement around the reporting. Put in the simplest way, the right data, the right content, the wrong delivery.
So, if that is the case, what is the right delivery for the reports in your business? In our latest blog article, we provide you with 4 things that you need to adjust to increase the levels of reporting engagement in your business.
Don’t add loads of data for the sake of it
It is important to make sure that you highlight the most important KPIs; so we are saying the top four or five numbers that keep your business moving. You should already know what these are, if you don’t, you might need to do a little research around this to get your creative juices flowing.
Don’t just put every number on the planet into your reports. You may find that a metric you used in an earlier role might not work well in this instance. The best medium to achieve this is to have a small number of leading and lagging metrics included based on both your strategic and operational goals.
Don’t offer opinions, just provide the facts
Dive deeper into the data that enables you to extract the KPI figures: sales growth, working capital, stock turnover, customer satisfaction and so on. The most complicated part of this process is to determine whether or not you have all the data that you need. If you don’t, then you may need to look elsewhere. So, the best approach to take is to focus on the metrics where you already have the data.
Don’t go using all the data points, columns or tables you can access, ‘just in case’. By having a reduction of the data you showcase will help to improve the performance of your reports as well as enabling you to highlight the core KPIs over some transactional data that might not be important for this report.
Don’t underestimate the importance of context
Create a simplistic report to deliver this data by using the reporting tool you are most familiar with. For every single KPI, make sure that you showcase the latest value, show how this value has increased over time and provide tabular data to enable users to dive further into this data.
Don’t use single numbers that tell you very little. Is this number good or bad? On target or not meeting it? Is it improved when compared to last week, last month or last year? Context is king here, such as a comparator, giving meaning and supporting the overall understanding for the user. Just give them the facts as well as the context, only provide data that can be used to support user insight without overloading them on it.
Share throughout the business
Make sure that the report is sent to everyone that needs it, regardless of whether they need your figures for their job or not. In order to improve the reporting engagement, you need to start by sharing information across the business thus enabling everyone to understand how the business is performing.
Don’t silo off this reporting data. If you do this, you will find that secrets breed disinformation and once this happens, no amount of data will be to counter it. Ensure that the KPI numbers are actionable by everyone in the business; if something is not performing as it should be? What can be done to turn this around?
If you are business that is currently using reporting in Business Central, Dynamics NAV or Dynamics GP but not getting the data you need from the system then perhaps you should consider talking to our team of reporting experts now to discuss how we can help you build the reports you need when you them through the various reporting solutions that we provide at Advantage.
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