For your business to be more successful, you must effectively identify, measure, and manage your critical business data through deep, detailed analysis and reporting.
But today, most corporate reports look unsightly, chaotic, and generally incomprehensible. They dump information on the reader, after which he only has to guess how he should interpret what he read and important fragments he should highlight.
This is the reason why you should improve your business reporting. And here are the 6 proven ways to do that!
1. Leverage reporting software advantages
Reporting tools help you organize and thoroughly analyze data from many different sources by conveniently structuring and visualizing it using tables or charts. This helps you gain valuable insight into your business and create a solid foundation for making future business decisions.
Zoho Analytics, ClicData, Holistics.io, AnswerRocket, Looker, Tableau, FineReport, and Salesforce reports are all good modern reporting tools. For example, the well-known Salesforce reports tool helps improve important components of business performance, helping your business to scale and grow.
Another tool you might have heard about, Salesforce dashboards, collects data from databases, tables, and analytics services, visualizes and structures it in the form of custom graphs and charts. This helps to correctly assess the effectiveness of individual elements of the business and improve the accuracy of forecasts.
While Salesforce reports and dashboards are powerful enough to help your organization reach its full potential and even broaden it, your company may need more advanced cloud-based software tools with a richer functionality that offers an extra layer of data insight.
One of such tools is Revenue Inbox, the best Salesforce reporting alternative, which also successfully replaces Salesforce Inbox (and thereby improves your results), offering its fullest Sales Management Dashboards functionality. It allows working with your Salesforce Reports right in the Revenue Inbox’s Sidebar or via Salesforce’s Widgets.
Revenue Inbox allows you to bring Salesforce’s power into your mailbox and gradually increase your revenue. The tool automatically syncs your contacts, calendar events, tasks, and other objects with Salesforce; the best part is that you can easily customize what type of customer data to capture.
Sales Management Dashboards allow creating team activity reports, instantly view how well your team is engaging with the key deals, view and jump-start stalled opportunities, and more, helping you to build customized reports using trustworthy and complete data!
2. Centralize your data
By centralizing your data, you’ll create a “single source of truth” and avoid wasting many hours required for working with multiple source systems to get critical data. Given that today the largest companies use the most cutting-edge technologies to track every bit of data, there is simply not physically enough time for pulling data from multiple separate sources.
A core set of financial and operational data, that is common across the whole organization, provides a high level of transparency and consistency in the communication process, all of which improve productivity. A single source of reliable data can help departments save time on reporting and free up resources for other tasks.
3. Embrace automation
Once you have consolidated your data sources, start using automation to create and automatically update your reports, automatically schedule running and emailing them, which will save you a lot of time. Dashboards will help you automatically extract real-time data into a single repository.
4. Implement dynamic reporting practices
The company’s senior management must take on the challenge of implementing effective dynamic reporting by investing in modern business intelligence technologies that provide instant access to key information needed to make important business decisions. This way, top management will be able to identify problems from the top level before systematically delving into the source of that problem.
Also, senior management’s responsibilities should include some input to establishing correct reporting processes and overseeing their correct implementation.
5. Present the data correctly
Even the most perfectly collected and reliable data will be of no use if it is not presented in a correct way: the visualization should be simple, easily analyzed, unambiguous and understandable.
The business intelligence dashboards are a key component of any modern BI software, they are designed to create an accurate visualization of the most important data and metrics on one screen.
This will eliminate the potential for misinterpretation of data, reduce the time it takes to make decisions, and help improve productivity.
6. Collaborate across the company
Many companies know that incorrect communication and collaboration become the main challenge in the reporting process. For example, a report detects variance and is sent for review, then it is followed by a series of variance queries and correction requests. And only then the report goes to those people who are closest to the business in order to get the necessary answers. But, variance explanations should be included in the initial reporting!
You can take the following steps to resolve the issue:
- create a single, secure financial reporting environment for all involved users to work simultaneously;
- try to avoid processes that involve checkout systems, shared drives, and other typical workflow bottlenecks;
- instead of resaving and renaming files many times, create a single document with an audit trail into changes.