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Solver Global

How to Innovate Your Reporting & Analysis Part 1


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Imagine how difficult reading a book with the chapters out of order would be.  Setting up your business intelligence (BI) solution with folders sometimes referred to as “storyboards,” can help you avoid that and can organize reports and dashboards into a structured analysis.

Putting time and thought into the order and content in your analysis plays an immense role in the company’s ability to make better decisions.  Without an organized structure, an organization with hundreds of reports, often from different report writers with multiple logins and user interfaces have no logical order or flow to analysis. This is a disservice to the average BI user and even worse, the solution often means manual compilation of the most significant data in Excel or PowerPoint presentations, which misses the ability to drill down to detail that would otherwise rapidly answers questions.

Below is a “playlist” that can help organizations enable faster and better decision-making.

A “Corporate Playlist” can be organized with reports and dashboards in this order:

  1. Exception Report

This report quickly presents any business issue as represented by a key performance indicator (KPI) by only showing KPIs where a given threshold is breached.  The BI solution could then instantly distribute this as an “alert report” so that users don’t need to constantly log in to a system in order to find exceptions.

  1. KPI Report

This report gives a list of all the KPIs for a business unit so one can easily monitor these metrics, with the option of diving further into any KPI of interest for further analysis.

  1. Dashboard for KPI 1

This first dashboard follows the KPI report, and the goal is to show graphical analysis with comparative and trend analysis for the first KPI (KPI 1) in the KPI report.

  1. Financial Statement or Operational Report for KPI 1

This would be the first detailed report, such as a financial statement or a sales report, and the goal of the report is to provide numerical analysis for the first KPI 1, with drill down to underlying transactions.

  1. Dashboard for KPI 2

This second dashboard follows the KPI report, and the goal is to show graphical analysis with comparative and trend analysis for KPI 2 in the KPI report.

  1. Financial statement or Operational Report for KPI 2

This would be the second detailed report, such as a financial statement or a sales report, and the goal of the report is to provide numerical analysis for KPI 2, with drill down to the underlying transactions.

  1. Dashboard for KPI 3

This third dashboard follows the KPI report, and the goal is to show graphical analysis with comparative and trend analysis for KPI 3 in the KPI report (see above).

  1. Financial Statement or Operational Report for KPI 3

This would be the third detailed report, and the goal of the report is to provide numerical analysis for KPI 3, with drill down to the underlying transactions. Of course, a user should be able to navigate the portal based on their ad-hoc analysis needs without following the suggested “playlist” above.   If used to its fullest potential, a reporting and analysis tool can automate busy work and present clear information for fast decision-making.

 

To read more about how to better organize your reports and dashboards, click here.

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