Companies won’t make it far if they don’t collect, track, and analyze data. The breadth of gathered information may seem overwhelming: marketing campaigns, sales figures, team efficiency, key performance indicators, various metrics, and statistics. But just like a pinging heartbeat monitor, data reports signal how a business is doing.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the must-knows, cover the different types of data reports and their advantages for business, as well as provide data report examples.
The main purpose of reporting is to collect data that’ll help to evaluate, assess, and analyze business performance based on the obtained facts and latest figures.
But what is a data report? It is a presentation of the gathered and merged information from multiple sources. It can serve as an organized and timely record showing the current state or the dynamics of selected criteria over a period of time.
In the old days, such data was handled manually with lots of amendments and calculations done by hand. Obviously, this time-consuming way of how to report data required many resources and often lacked the freshest updates.
Modern reporting tools help to automate and upscale reporting so they become simple to comprehend and digest. By using information that’s well-formatted and updated in real-time, a decision-maker can draw conclusions and take action faster (for instance, amend the strategies or effectively make informed calls).
As a rule, data reports may come in various formats. These can be:
- traditional reports (usually with raw numbers and extensive textual resources);
- visualized data (which simplifies perception via graphs, charts, tables, scatter plots, etc.);
- or enhanced solutions (such as intuitive dashboards).
While the necessity for a business to handle data analytics is pretty straightforward, many companies still face several challenges.
One of them is that not all employees are as “analytics-literate” as you’d want them to be. This is because analytics may be hard to grasp if data reporting isn’t addressed optimally.
If reports take too long to create or understand, this is another red flag. You’d be surprised how many businesses in the 2020s still rely on good-old static PDFs and Excel spreadsheets which may take forever to scroll through, let alone to figure out.
At this point, you’re probably picturing bored faces blankly staring at their screens or dozing off. But this problem may be more significant than you think. According to Towards Data Science, 74% of employees admit feeling unhappy or overwhelmed when working with data, while 14% prefer to avoid such tasks altogether. Topping that, an impressive percentage of employees claim that data analytics tasks cause stress or burnout and result in procrastination.
This is bad news for businesses. But even more so, sloppy or overcomplicated data reports often lead to miscomprehension and missed opportunities since pivotal indicators are left unnoticed.
What if you could have cut down costs on a tactic that isn’t returning needed profit? Or what if better online reporting would allow your organization to predict the market changes and get prepared instead of missing out?
The bottom line is that a business will gain more if analytics stops being a hassle. By implementing automation and using custom-built reporting solutions, organizations get a chance to eliminate loads of manual work and reduce human errors.
When utilized wisely, data reports become easier to cope with and can serve as an all-encompassing source of priceless information that reflects the current state of the company’s core processes. This is why you should take data visualization reports seriously, as they allow for further analysis and lead to improved decision-making.
Keep reading: The Importance of Data Visualization for Business
When modern tools and data analytics perform in a duet, tangible value is seen almost immediately. Modern data analysis reports come in different shapes and sizes. And the best part is that they no longer have to be those run-on spreadsheets with pages of explanations that are exhausting to work with. With a proper approach, data reporting may become a fundamental basis for business growth.
Below we list some notable advantages of data reporting.
1. The team has a better understanding of the big picture
A simple-to-use dashboard that pulls data from reports in real-time keeps more people on track. It makes crucial information accessible and defies the boundaries between analytics-savvy specialists and regular users, making complex graphs a thing of the past. As a result, you get a team that’s in sync and easily crunching data.
2. Not missing critical insights
Once again, simplicity is the biggest ally of data reports. When you see the updates in real-time, it lowers your chances of important business discoveries slipping away from your sight. This includes both positive and negative aspects such as sudden conversion drops or, on the contrary, opportunities to make additional profit. You get control over the data that may have previously been a hassle.
3. Faster and more informed decision-making
It may sound disappointing, but many wrong decisions have led to budget drain specifically because data didn’t back the assumptions. And this could have been avoided if a business had taken a step up with its data reporting. Curated data that is organized and well-presented simplifies perception.
Yes, the business world is still very unpredictable, but just as with weather forecasts, you can make more precise calls if you monitor the situation in real-time instead of taking wild guesses.
4. Enhanced budget distribution and planning
Resources allocation and determining the budget flow are not simple tasks. Yet when reporting data, all the information is available at a glance, so you can save money and know which areas need more resources and where you should cut costs.
5. Plenty of room for customization
Regardless of the path you take, it’s possible to tweak data reports around your needs. Depending on the purpose and requirements, you may craft the reports or dashboards to suit various objectives, enhancing their designs in terms of usability. Flexibility is among the things that make data visualization reports so great.