Data Reporting

What is data reporting?

Data reporting is the process of collecting and formatting raw data and translating it into a digestible format to assess the ongoing performance of your organization.

Your data reports can answer basic questions about the state of your business. They can show you the status of certain information in an Excel file or a simple data visualization tool. Static data reports usually use the same format over a period of time and pull from one source of data.

A data report is nothing more than a recorded list of facts and figures. Take the population census, for example. This is a technical document that transmits basic information on how many and what kind of people live in a certain country. It can be displayed in the text, or in a visual format, such as a graph or chart. But it is static information that can be used to assess current conditions.

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A company’s data reporting often summarizes financial information such as revenues, accounts receivables, and net profits. This provides a timely record of the financial health of the company, or a segment of your finances, such as sales. A sales director might report on KPIs according to location, stage of the funnel, and close rate, to provide an accurate picture of the total sales pipeline.

Why is data reporting important?

Data provides a path that measures progress in every area of our lives. It informs our professional decisions as well as our day-to-day matters. A data report will tell us where to spend the most time and resources, and what needs more organization or attention.

Accurate data reporting plays an important role in every industry. The use of business intelligence in healthcare can help physicians save lives by providing more effective and efficient patient care. In education, data reports can be used to analyze how attendance records relate to seasonal weather patterns, or how acceptance rates intersect neighborhood areas.

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What are data reporting skills

The most effective business analysts master certain skills. An excellent business analyst must be able to prioritize the most relevant information. They must be extremely thorough and detail-oriented; there’s no room for error in data reports. Another useful skill is the ability to process and collate large amounts of information. And finally, being able to arrange the data and display it in an easy-to-read format is key for all data reporters.

Excellence in data reporting doesn’t mean you have to immerse yourself in code or be an expert at analytics. Other important skills include being able to extract essential information from the data, keeping it simple, and avoiding data hoarding.

How to improve your data reporting

Static reporting, while it can be accurate and effective, does have its limits. One example is the lack of real-time insights. If presented with a large amount of data to wrangle into useful and actionable form, a  report helps present to senior management or the sales team, direction on future moves. However, the layout, data, and formulas may be outdated if not presented in a timely manner. Also, each data source must be manually inputted into your spreadsheet, while a BI platform can handle multiple inputs and visualize complex and dynamic data with ease.

BI tools are agile and flexible enough to grow with your company’s needs. Sisense is easy to use and will allow you to mash up your data any way you want to derive actionable insights — without involving the IT department.

Data reporting is key to your company’s business intelligence. Be sure to choose a tool that will help you get the most insights out of your data and make them accessible to all. The more access to data your organization has, the more agile it can be. That can help your organization stay relevant in an increasingly competitive and changing market. An effective data reporting system will inform thoughtful decisions that could lead your company in new directions and to greater revenue sources.

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