This article focuses on the most efficient reporting and analysis tools as described in the e-book “Enabling World-Class Decisions”
Reporting and analysis have evolved into a flourishing democratic practice. A research study was mentioned in Chapter 1 of
Report writers are used to building highly formatted statutory and internal reports such as operational reports and financial statements. It is common for premier organizations to implement report writers that either are Excel-based or emulate Excel formulas and formatting. Realizing the value of accessibility to data has allowed organizations greater flexibility in pulling reports. This has helped companies become more efficient in reporting.
Ad-Hoc Query Tools
Ad-Hoc query reporting technology, also known as data discovery tools, is designed to let virtually any end user create reports on the fly with simple drag and drop functionality. Ad-hoc query reporting is not ideal for creating highly rigid, formatted reports. Many companies choose this method because it decreases the need for power users who design and maintain large numbers of formatted reports. With ad-hoc query reporting, companies are able to both answer its own questions without crowding their own systems with repetitive and outdated information.
Several specialized scorecard applications evolved out of the balanced scorecard wave in the early 2000s. However, companies found these applications too inflexible and specialized, just like the balanced scorecard methodology itself. With exception, key performance indicators (KPIs) and targets that emerged from this era remain relevant today. Scorecards allow users to see clear KPIs without sifting through financial and operations reports, allowing a company to find answers faster and waste less time in general.
Modern dashboards are now fully integrated with business intelligence (BI) suites that also offer reporting, ad-hoc queries, budgeting and forecasting. In addition, the dashboards can be customized to the needs of the business user. A well-designed dashboard makes it easy for any end user to visually analyze and compare KPIs as well as other metrics, usually with charts and other visuals.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IOT), Machine Learning and Data Mining
While most of these technologies continue to change and grow, modern BI solutions are starting to integrate with these technologies, with the ultimate goal of improving decision-making based upon improved automated analysis of internal and external financial, operational and statistical information.
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