Reporting shouldn’t keep you awake at night.
Oh joy, another business report to prepare. We know that finding and presenting those often elusive yet compelling data-driven insights to your audience is easier said than done. And if the challenges of doing so keep you awake at night, you’re not alone.
While companies of all sizes and in myriad industries embrace the benefits of analytics and reporting tools (and why wouldn’t they?), using them effectively isn’t always as simple as following the instructions on the packet.
So, what’s interrupting your sleep patterns?
It has to be said, data gathering is often a painful exercise. The data you need usually lives in a number of locations across the organisation, and is often owned, operated, and maintained by different departments (and sometimes, it is even on spreadsheets). The outcome? When you want to add in that last-minute data set which will provide an ‘ah-ha’ moment in your metrics, it’s often more of an ‘oh-oh’ moment.
Tip: Luckily, data analysis can be an iterative process which matures over time. By introducing re-usable processes which allow you to quickly include or exclude variables you can cut down on the time needed to collect data.
Like it or not, dated and often incorrect data can make its way into your reporting. And even if your data is fresh when you start, by the time you’ve compiled and layered it into a digestible format, are you confident that it is current and accurate? Once someone spots an outdated fact or figure in your reporting, it undermines the veracity of your entire report. Never a good look.
Tip: Connecting in real-time to the systems which hold the data you need will make a world of difference. You’ll no longer be reliant on the good graces and availability of others to provide you access, send you spreadsheets, or need to go through a manual download, upload, and data merge process.
While dry data may excite you, does the way you report on it leave your audience cold? It’s hard to impress and engage without presenting clear and concise information, or better still, deliver real value with actionable insights.
Tip: Show and tell in a way that ensures your target audience will find the information easy to understand. You many need to distil your data down to colourful and relatable graphics (and it is probably time to move on from uninspiring stock-standard bar graphs!) Also concentrate on the need to know. Does your audience need to see 100 performance stats, or would the Top 10 be more compelling, relevant and useful?
There’s not much to be said for sleepless nights. Our answer? Look for solutions that make analytics reporting easy for you, the content accessible to your audience, and that deliver actionable insights.
Then you can sleep easy.