4 items tagged "reporting "

  • How To Use Competitive Intelligence To Drive Email ROI

    Naamloos

    Marketers who use competitive intelligence tools enjoy an average of three times more email generated revenue than those who don’t, according to a recent report by The Relevancy Group.

    Yet one of the most common questions I'm asked when I present a client with a competitive analysis is: "There's no point in doing this more than once a year, right?"
    Think again. There’s a lot you can -- and should -- do with competitive intelligence tools to drive ROI on a regular basis. Here's a short list to get you started:
    1. Learn from your competitor's tests, not just your own. We all talk about testing, but did you realize that you can double your efforts by gleaning ideas from competitors? If you see what works for them, you can test it for yourself. And if you see something that doesn’t work, you can deprioritize that test, and put more lucrative efforts first.
    2. Identify key subject lines, phrases, creative, etc. Chances are, if it engages your competitors’ audience, it will probably engage yours, too. It’s worth sorting through creative examples to get ideas for what you can test next.
    3. Quickly see what is new in marketing. It can be difficult to find the newest innovations, tools, or techniques that can drive your results and make your job easier. A competitive analysis tool can help you keep tabs on your competitors so you can identify when they are doing something that you can’t. Think about all the technologies we now use that were virtually unknown 10 years ago: real-time suggestion engines, dynamic image generation, and more. Just by asking, “how did they do that?”, you might uncover that your competitors are using a new tool or technique that you could implement to help drive your ROI too.
    4. Prove you need a bigger budget. A competitive tool can help you see exactly how much effort your competitors are putting into their email channel. Based on those competitive insights, you can prove that you need a bigger budget to keep up.
    5. Track benchmarks. It’s helpful to understand how you stack up against competitive benchmarks, such as read rates or share of voice. It can be even more helpful to know how those metrics change in different seasons and during different holidays. This can support your budget requests or even potentially help you restructure your program.
    Clearly there is a lot you can learn from your competitors. Once a year definitely won’t cut it if you want to keep your program fresh and continue to drive ROI. Instead, consider a two-part approach:
     
    Weekly and/or monthly: Make quick dives into the competitive tools you use to see creative changes on a regular basis. This is strictly to generate ideas that you can use to update your own testing grid. It will help you with the top three items above. A frequent check-in will keep this from taking too much time, because you’ll have enough familiarity with the competitive landscape to scroll through quickly.
     
    Bi-monthly or quarterly: Keep your more formal reporting to a less frequent schedule. This type of reporting is important because it will help you with the last two items on the list above. But it is the part that doesn’t change often. Quarterly may work, or you may decide that there are certain timeframes that are so important to your business that you need to adjust your reporting schedule around them. Even with adjustments, a formal reporting schedule shouldn’t be more often than every other month.
     
    Source: mediapost.com, November 16, 2016
  • The top 10 benefits of Business Intelligence reporting

    The top 10 benefits of Business Intelligence reporting

    Big data plays a crucial role in online data analysis, business information, and intelligent reporting. Companies must adjust to the ambiguity of data, and act accordingly. Spreadsheets no longer provide adequate solutions for a serious company looking to accurately analyze and utilize all the business information gathered.

    That’s where business intelligence reporting comes into play and, indeed, is proving pivotal in empowering organizations to collect data effectively and transform insight into action.

    So, what is BI reporting advancing in a business? It provides the possibility to create smart reports with the help of modern BI reporting tools, and develop a comprehensive intelligent reporting practice. As a result, BI can benefit the overall evolution as well as the profitability of a company, regardless of niche or industry.

    To put the business-boosting benefits of BI into perspective, we’ll explore the benefits of business intelligence reports, core BI characteristics, and the fundamental functions companies can leverage to get ahead of the competition while remaining on the top of their game in today’s increasingly competitive digital market.

    Let’s get started by asking the question 'What is business intelligence reporting?'

    What is BI reporting?

    Business intelligence reporting, or BI reporting, is the process of gathering data by utilizing different software and tools to extract relevant insights. Ultimately, it provides suggestions and observations about business trends, empowering decision-makers to act.

    Online business intelligence and reporting are closely connected. If you gather data, you need to analyze and report on it, no matter which industry or sector you operate in.

    Consequently, you can develop a more strategic approach to your business decisions and gather insights that would have otherwise remain overlooked. But let’s see in more detail what the benefits of these kinds of reporting practices are, and how businesses, whether small or enterprises, can develop profitable results.

    Benefits of business intelligence and reporting

    There are a number of advantages a company can gain if they approach their reporting correctly and strategically. The main goal of BI reports is to deliver comprehensive data that can be easily accessed, interpreted, and provide actionable insights.

    Let’s see what the crucial benefits are:

    1. Increasing the workflow speed

    Managers, employees, and important stakeholders often can be stuck by waiting for a comprehensive BI report from the IT department or SQL developers. Especially if a company connects its data from different data sources. The process can take days, which slows down the workflow. Decisions cannot be made, analysis cannot be done, and the whole company is affected.

    Centralizing all the data sources into a single place, with data connectors that can provide one point of access for all non-technical users in a company, is one of the main benefits a company can have. The data-driven world doesn’t have to be overwhelming, and with the right BI tools, the entire process can be easily managed with a few clicks.

    One additional element to consider is visualizing data. Since humans process visual information 60.000 times faster than text, the workflow can be significantly increased by utilizing smart intelligence in the form of interactive, and real-time visual data. Each information can be gathered into a single, live dashboard, that will ultimately secure a fast, clear, simple, and effective workflow. This kind of report will become visual, easily accessed, and steadfast in gathering insights.

    2. Implementation in any industry or department

    Creating a comprehensive BI report can be a daunting task for any department, employee or manager. The goals of writing successful, smart reports include cost reduction and improvement of efficiency. One business report example can focus on finance, another on sales, the third on marketing. It depends on the specific needs of a company or department.

    For example, a sales report can act as a navigational aid to keep the sales team on the right track.

    A sales performance dashboard can give you a complete overview of sales targets and insights on whether the team is completing their individual objectives. Of course, the main goal is to increase customers’ lifetime value while decreasing acquisition costs. 

    Financial analytics can be kept under control with its numerous features that can remove complexities and establish a healthy and holistic overview of all the financial information a company manages.

    It doesn’t stop here. Another business intelligence report sample can be applied to logistics, one of the sectors that can make the most out of business intelligence and analytics, therefore, easily track shipments, returns, sizes or weights, just to name a few.

    Enhancing the recruitment process with HR analytics tools can bring dynamic data under the umbrella of BI reporting, making feedbacks, interviews, applicants’ experience and staffing analysis easier to process and derive solutions. 

    3. Utilization of real-time and historical data

    With traditional means of reporting, it is difficult to utilize and comprehend the vast amount of gathered data. Creating a simple presentation out of voluminous information can challenge even the most experienced managers. Reporting in business intelligence is a seamless process since historical data is also provided within an online reporting tool that can process and generate all the business information needed. Artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms used in those kinds of tools can foresee future values, identify patterns and trends, and automate data alerts.

    Another crucial factor to consider is the possibility to utilize real-time data. The amount of sophistication that reporting in BI projects can achieve cannot be compared with the traditional ones. A report written as a word document will not provide the same amount of information and benefit as real-time data analysis, with implemented alarms that can forewarn about any business anomaly, and that kind of support software will consequently increase business efficiency and decrease costs. It is not crucial to establish a whole department to manage and implement this process, numerous presentation software can help on the way.

    4. Customer analysis and behavioral prediction

    There is no company in the world which doesn’t concentrate on their customers. They are ultimately the ones that provide revenue and define if a business will survive the market.

    Customers have also become more selective towards buying and deciding which brand should they trust. They prefer brands “who can resonate between perceptual product and self-psychological needs.” If you can tackle into their emotional needs, and predict their behavior, you will stimulate purchase and provide a smooth customer experience. BI reports can combine those resources and provide a stimulating user experience. The key is to gather information and adjust to user needs and business goals, as shown in the picture below.

    Today there are numerous ways in which a customer can interact with a specific company. Chatbots, social media, emails, or direct interaction; the possibilities are endless.

    The increment of these kinds of engagement has increased the number of communication touchpoints and, consequently, sources of data. All of the information gathered can provide a holistic overview of the customer, evaluate why a certain strategy worked or failed, connect the cause and effect of customer service reports, and, thus, improve business operations.

    5. Operational optimization and forecasting

    Every serious business uses key performance indicators to measure and evaluate success. There are countless KPI examples to select and adopt in a strategy, but only the right tracking and analysis can bring profitable results. Business intelligence and reporting are not just focused on the tracking part, but include forecasting based on predictive analytics and artificial intelligence that can easily help avoid making a costly and time-consuming business decision. Reporting in business intelligence is, therefore, highlighted from multiple angles that can provide insights that can otherwise stay overlooked.

    6. Cost optimization

    Another important factor to consider is cost optimization. As every business needs to seriously consider their expenses and ROI (return on investment), often the costs and savings are hardly measured. In a business reporting software, you have access to evident data that can be easily calculated by small businesses and large enterprises with just a few clicks.

    7. Informed strategic decision-making

    Whether you’re a CEO, an executive, or managing a small team, with great power comes great responsibility. As someone with corporate seniority, you will need to formulate crucial strategies and make important choices that have a significant impact on the business. Naturally, decisions and initiatives of this magnitude aren’t to be taken lightly. That’s where reporting business intelligence tools come in.

    Concerning senior decision-making or strategy formulation, it’s essential to use digital data to your advantage to guide you through the process. BI reporting dashboards are intuitive, visual, and provide a wealth of relevant data, allowing you to spot trends, identify potential strengths or weaknesses, and uncover groundbreaking insights with ease.

    Whether you need to streamline your budget, put together a targeted marketing campaign, improve an internal process, or anything else you can think of, leveraging BI will give you the ability to make swift, informed decisions and set actionable milestones or benchmarks based on solid information.

    The customizable nature of modern data analytic stools means that it’s possible to create dashboards that suit your exact needs, goals, and preferences, improving the senior decision-making process significantly.

    8. Streamlined procurement processes

    One of the key benefits of BI-based reports is that if they’re arranged in a digestible format, they offer access to logical patterns and insights that will allow you to make key areas of your business more efficient. This is particularly true if you deal in a high turnover of goods or services. And if this is the case, it’s more than likely that you have some form of a procurement department.

    Your procurement processes are vital to the overall success and sustainability of your business, as its functionality will filter down through every core facet of the organization. Business intelligence reporting will help you streamline your procurement strategy by offering clear-cut visualizations based on all key functions within the department.

    Working with interactive dashboards will empower you to summarize your procurement department’s activities with confidence, which, in turn, will help you catalyze your success while building brand awareness. In the digital age, brand awareness is priceless to the continual growth of your organization.

    Another undeniable benefit of BI in the modern age.

    9. Enhanced data quality

    One of the most clear-cut and powerful benefits of data intelligence for business is the fact that it empowers the user to squeeze every last drop of value from their data.

    In a digital business landscape where new data is created at a rapid rate, understanding which insights and metrics hold real value is a minefield. With so much information and such little time, intelligent data analytics can seem like an impossible feat.

    We’ve touched on this subject throughout this post, but enhanced data quality is such a powerful benefit that it’s worth exploring in its own right. To put this notion into a practical perspective, it’s important to consider the core features and functions of modern BI dashboards:

    • Non-restricted data access: Typically, cutting-edge data intelligence dashboards are accessible across a broad range of mobile devices for non-restricted 24/7 access to essential trends, metrics, and insights. This makes it possible to make informed data-driven decisions anytime, anywhere, increasing productivity in the process.
    • Purity: As modern BI tools operate using highly-visual and focused KPIs, you can take charge of your data, ensuring that the metrics you’re served are 100% relevant to the ongoing success of your business. These intuitive tools work as incredibly effective data curation and filtration systems. As a result, your decisions will be accurate, and you will never waste time on redundant data again.
    • Organizational inclusion: The accessible, seamless functionality of BI tools means that you don’t have to be technically-minded to reap the rewards of data intelligence. As it’s possible to customize each dashboard to the specific needs of your user with ease and extract meaningful insights from a wealth of dynamic KPIs, everyone within the organization can improve their direct performance with data analytics, something that will benefit the entire organization enormously. Today’s dashboards are inclusive and improve the overall value of your organization’s data.
    • Data storytelling capabilities: Our brains are wired to absorb compelling narratives. If you’re able to tell an inspiring, relevant story with your data, you can deliver vital information in a way that resonates with your audience, whether it’s employees or external stakeholders. Intelligence dashboards make data storytelling widely accessible. 

    10. Human resources and employee performance management

    Last but certainly not least in our definitive rubdown of BI benefits, we’re going to consider how BI-centric reports can assist performance management.

    By gaining centralized access to performance-based KPIs, it’s easy to identify trends in productivity, compare relevant metrics, and hone in on the individual performance. In doing so, you can catalyze the success of your business in a big way. To put this into perspective, we’re going to look at human resources and employee performance management.

    In many ways, your employees are the lifeblood of your entire organization. If the talent within your organization is suffering, your business will, too. Keeping your staff engaged and motivated is vital.

    Role or department aside, if your employees are invested in their work, each other, and the core company mission, your business will continue to thrive. But how can reporting business intelligence software help with employee engagement and motivation?

    By gaining access to dynamic visual data based on the individual as well as collective employee performance, it’s possible to offer training as well as support to your staff where needed, while implementing leader boards to inspire everyone to work to the best of their abilities.

    Offering your employees tailored support and growth opportunities, showing that you care, and offering incentives will help you increase motivation exponentially. As a primary duty of the modern human resources department, having the insights to manage internal talent at your disposal is crucial. 

    The ability to interact with focused employee data will empower you to create strategies that boost performance, employee satisfaction, and internal cohesion in a way that gives you an all-important edge on the competition.

    Improved internal communication plays a pivotal role in employee performance and motivation. Find out how big screen dashboards can help improve departmental cohesion with our definitive guide to office dashboards.

     'Data that is loved tends to survive'. – Kurt Bollacker, a renowned computer scientist.

    Reporting in business intelligence: the future of a sustainable company

    Collecting data in today’s digitally-driven world is important, but analyzing it to its optimum capacity is even more crucial if a business wants to enjoy sustainable success in the face of constant change.

    Reporting and business intelligence play a crucial role in obtaining underlying figures to explain decisions and present data in a way that offers direct benefits to the business. As we mentioned earlier, there is no industry that isn’t currently affected by the importance of data and analysis. We have only scratched the surface with our top benefits which any company can take advantage of and bring positive business results.

    In this bold new world of data intelligence, businesses of all sizes can use BI tools to transform insight into action and push themselves ahead of the pack, becoming leaders in their field.

    Spotting business issues, with a BI solution that provides detailed business intelligence reports, can only create space for future development, cost reduction, and comprehensive analysis of the strategic and operational state of a company.

    Author: Sandra Durcevic

    Source: Datapine

  • Users managing their own reports: the rise of ad-hoc reporting

    Users managing their own reports: the rise of ad hoc reporting

    What is ad hoc reporting anyway?

    Ad hoc reporting is any business report or data analysis curated and created by users, as and when they need it.

    Ad hoc reporting in business intelligence is in complete contrast with the managed reports seen in the early days of business analytics, which relied on templates distributed by IT departments.

    The BI world is evolving

    Self-service analytics and actionable intelligence infused into internal workflows are empowering more workers every day, presenting them with the insights from analyzed data that they need where, when, and how they need it. 

    That may be the greatest strength and the unexpected drawback of modern analytics — the metrics a business already understands tell them about what has been important in the past, not what may be important now or in the future. When using a business intelligence (BI) tool, it’s natural to gravitate toward what was previously important because of factors like upfront modeling requirements and the ease of looking at existing analytics compared to the effort required to create new metrics. 

    How can organizations deal with rapidly evolving situations in a timely manner and use analytics to ask the most relevant questions and tackle bigger challenges that could drive their next evolution? The answer is ad hoc reporting. The right BI platform empowers users with ad hoc reporting tools and removes the overhead of incorporating data into truly new insights, allowing far more freedom in asking the critical questions, without the effort trap of relying on existing analysis.

    Whichever version of ad hoc reporting your company needs (one-off questions or big, game-changing analyses), the right BI platform will help you do it better and get the results into the hands of the people who need them. 

    Enhance infused analytics with ad hoc reporting

    Flexibility is an essential part of driving evolution at any company. When choosing a BI provider, make sure it offers genuine ad hoc reporting, and not just parameterized insights that you can’t alter or customize.

    For example, a marketing team might rely on a recurring bit of infused intelligence, produced on a regular basis, telling you how many leads were created in the past week.

    This is useful but may open up more questions for a savvy marketing manager than it answers. They might want to know, for instance, where these leads actually came from, how many were converted into sales opportunities, or what the demographic makeup was. To determine that, the user needs to be able to run or adapt a new query, not rely on something decided in advance.

    Additionally, the marketing leadership org may task a data expert to pull in data from a wide array of locations and apply machine learning and other advanced analytics techniques to it in order to uncover strategic insights. In this case, ad hoc analysis (meaning the ability to ask deeper questions and present the answers where, when, and how they make sense for whomever needs them) has the ability to answer big questions and evolve the business. The right BI and analytics platform will empower users to dig deeper and take action based on the results.

    GitLab uses Python and R to go deep into data

    Cloud data storage has become increasingly inexpensive. Every organization, new and old, has some kind of cloud data warehouse or other solution, storing massive amounts of information every day. Turning that information into intelligence and opportunity isn’t easy. 

    The data team at DevOps life cycle tool GitLab was charged with unlocking deeper insights from its data stores to answer critical business questions. 

    “What was frustrating with our previous solution was that it was a process to get reporting done,” said Taylor Murphy, Staff Data Engineer. “With the architecture we had set up, we knew what the tables looked like, we knew the SQL query we needed to write, so we wanted a tool that would allow us to write the SQL and visualize it.”

    And for many organizations, SQL and some self-service tools might be enough to get what they want out of their data. But as data stores become bigger, companies rely on more data sources to draw insights from, and the questions they ask become more complex, organizations are reaching for more robust tools: 

    “With Sisense, we had the additional ability to move into Python or R to do something more complex,” Taylor said. “That opened up so many possibilities that everyone on the team was super excited about.”

    Sisense’s impact was twofold, allowing the data team to ask bigger questions and to share those results widely, demonstrating value so its efforts could truly drive change. According to Taylor: “Sisense has multiplied the effect of the data org beyond the data team.”

    The future of ad hoc reporting: Faster results, deeper discoveries

    The right analytics and BI platform will infuse actionable intelligence for daily tasks into workflows, empower nontechnical teams to answer new questions as they come up, and allow data teams to go deep to bring back groundbreaking insights.

    When choosing a BI platform, it’s not “either/or,” it’s both: Empowering both nontechnical users and data teams to ask questions on their own, in their own ways, is important. The most robust platforms give users tools to take data analysis to the next level, ask questions that can truly evolve the business, and put that actionable intelligence into the right hands, with ease.

    Author: Scott Castle

    Source: Sisense

  • Why BI reporting is superior to traditional reporting

    Why BI reporting is superior to traditional reporting

    The pandemic has caused a major change in the way we do business. Some organizations had already begun the digitization journey before the pandemic hit, providing them with a head start or those that have managed to rapidly digitize has helped their business survive and enabled people to work remotely. Some of the requirements included using cloud technology to store and analyze large volumes of data which can be accessed by employees, partners and other stakeholders. People cannot afford to wait for weekly or monthly reports to make critical company decisions or need to see this information at home.  The ability to generate accurate, relevant and timely reports is critical if a company is to remain agile. In this post, we will discuss a few ways BI reporting is superior to traditional reporting practices.  

    The ability to turn raw company data into actionable intelligence is at the core of today’s successful businesses.

    Data is increasingly more important to everyone’s role. Its value is in helping people do their jobs better and BI reporting provides a complete picture of how your business is performing.

    BI reporting offers one source of the truth

    Companies often have data stored in multiple sources such as ERP, CRM and third party. Traditionally, data must be combined manually into a single source, typically a spreadsheet.  While spreadsheets have their uses, they are notoriously error-prone and not a good option for reporting. A mistake in a single cell will invalidate the entire report. Additionally, multiple managers will often share a spreadsheet. However, when multiple versions of the same document are created, it’s nearly impossible to guarantee that everyone is using the most current version.

    On the other hand, BI reporting integrates company data from multiple sources, so users always have access to one source of the truth. By consolidating disparate data into one discrete repository, data cannot be accidentally deleted or altered. Also, data is displayed on a BI dashboard in real-time so everyone works from the most current information.  

    BI reporting is on demand 

    As many executives know, traditional reporting is slow, rigid, and becomes outdated quickly.  Long, and often frustrating, wait times for IT generated reports are all too familiar experiences. Yet, executives and managers must rely on weekly, monthly, and annual reports to make critical business decisions. This can lead to missed opportunities.

    In contrast, BI reporting enables everyone to access data, conduct analysis, and create personalized reports without IT involvement. Self-service eliminates the wait time for IT reports. Instead, users can slice and dice the most current data whenever they need real-time, actionable insights. Also, standard reports can be generated on a designated schedule. For instance, reports can be set to generate on Monday mornings in anticipation of weekly staff meetings. If more information is needed during the meeting, a customized report can be created on the spot with just a few clicks.  

    Finally, free of the continuous demand for reports, the IT department has more time to focus their attention on other important tasks such as maintaining security or managing data resources. And, the IT department can apply BI reporting to develop strategies to grow the business and increase profitability. 

    BI reporting gives granular insight

    Traditional reports are static, only providing a summary of information without much detail. This means you cannot investigate which underlying factors are driving what you are observing.  Furthermore, static reports only provide the information you request. Since you can’t probe information you don't know is there, you are only getting half the story. A partial picture can lead to a wealth of missed opportunities.

    Conversely, BI reporting is dynamic allowing users to select a metric and drill down into the underlying data. In this way, users are empowered to ask questions of the data and follow their train of thought to discover the answers. For instance, overall sales figures may be on target. However, drilling down will display sales figures by region, product line, and type. This detailed analysis might reveal the one product is over-performing, and that this is masking the declining sales of another product. With this level of granular insight, the sales team can work to boost the sales of the underperforming product to increase sales revenue overall.

    BI reporting offers data visualizations

    BI reporting presents data in the form of visualizations to help clarity complex information. A graphical depiction of numbers makes the information easier to digest, retain, and recall. Visualizations might be simple bar charts, pie charts, and maps. Or they might be more complex models such as waterfalls, funnels, gauges, depending on your needs. In either case, your team will be able to see all factors that are affecting performance.  Visualization makes it easier to identify patterns, trends, and new opportunities. They offer the ability to see changes in customer behavior so your team can respond in ways that drive sales and enable you to stay ahead of the competition.

    BI reporting for month-end statements

    Finance team using a BI tool to report on month's close can review and analyze financial statements directly. A BI tool with financial statement capability makes month-end financial statements more accessible and allows more people to understand the impact of operational decisions on financial performance faster.

    By adding financial statements to business intelligence software brings active analysis, data drill down and dashboarding to the finance and management team with fully controlled user-permission.

    Financial statements are created in the same tradition as the accounting team recognizes, but the process is automated for each statement. The finance team can quickly build financial statements customized to users’ access, so branch managers can see information relevant to their branch, and management can see information across the whole business. The statements can also sit across one or many ERPs so leaders can view the individual company, branch, regional performance and even the consolidated performance when required.

    Now that preparing the financial statements is faster and simpler, the finance team has time to carry out in-depth analysis of the numbers. By preparing financial statements within a data analytics environment, you can quickly compare statements from one traditional period or outside of these timeframes - say one week to the next.

    Transitioning from traditional reporting to BI reporting will provide the ability to see the whole truth, make better decisions faster and uncover new business opportunities.

    Source: Phocas Software

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