Data analytics self-service reporting

Self-service reporting as part of a company-wide data analytics solution

In today’s fast-paced business environment, it can be difficult to predict and prepare for the future. This is why many companies are arming themselves with on-demand reporting. Self-service reporting allows users to produce reports and visualizations on-the-go.

Whether you want to stay ahead of your competition, increase profits or improve performance, a quality data analytics solution is a must. The following three indicators strongly suggest that you are ready to implement a data analytics solution that provides self-service reporting:

1. Reports lead to more reports

Traditional reporting is often frustrating and time-consuming. Waiting multiple days for IT to generate a report frequently results in outdated information, further delaying decision-making. In addition, IT reports are static. They may answer some high-summary questions but lack the ability to answer additional questions on a granular level. When more information is needed, you find it necessary to go back to IT and request additional reports.

Self-service data analytics enables anyone, even non-technical users, to access, query, and generate reports on demand, such as during business meetings. The nature of dynamic reporting means that if more information is needed, users can quickly drill down for more detail.

2. Desire for visual charts

Would visualizations help you present complex data with better clarity and efficiency? A graphical depiction of numbers presents your data in a way that people can easily digest, retain, and recall. Like a well-told story, a visualization allows you to set the scene and explain what happened, why it matters and how users can turn it into something actionable.

With clear visualizations, it is easier to guide stakeholders from a broad overview down to the granular details. Graphic representations of data make it easy to see existing patterns and project future trends, which can help drive decision-making. Depending on your needs, visualizations might be simple such as bar charts, pie charts, and maps. Or they may be more complex models such as waterfalls, funnels, gauges, and many other components. Whatever the case, users should be able to build a customized dashboard to fit any scenario.

3. People in the company are already doing it

You may know some colleagues who are already using analytics at work. Many department heads and top employees understand that the IT department is stretched, yet they have important projects to deliver. As such, they may have already adopted and easy-to-use analytics solution for their personal use. Ask around or take notice at your next business meeting and you are likely to find resourceful employees who are already using self-service analytics to quickly make informed decisions.

A study by the Harvard Business Review revealed that 'high-performing, customer-oriented workforces' have a high prevalence of employees using the 'bring your own technology' idea. For instance, American-based big box store Walmart realized that employees were using their phones to help them at work. Consequently, Walmart has embraced this trend by creating an employee app so they can help customers locate items within the store. So implementing a company-wide data analytics solution may not be difficult at all, perhaps you already have many users and advocates.

Source: Phocas Software