Business intelligence reporting, often known as BI reporting, is a function that becomes more important every year. A broad definition of business intelligence reporting is the process of preparing and analyzing data using a BI tool in order to discover and communicate insights that can be put to use. Users of BI reporting can thus make better decisions and have better business performance.
The rise in popularity of BI reports across almost all industries is being fueled by the constant technological advancements that enable working with massive data sets accessible to more professionals. Business intelligence analyst abilities are at the forefront of business intelligence strategies as well as business intelligence reporting. So, let’s get down to business.
What is a business intelligence report?
The process of receiving or distributing information or reports to end-users, companies, or applications through BI software or a solution is known as business intelligence reporting (BI reporting).
BI software often has this feature for generating streamlined and organized reports for operations or analysis carried out on one or more sets of data. Business intelligence reporting is one of the 10 ways to use business intelligence software in your organization.
Big data is essential for corporate data, online data analysis, and intelligent reporting. Companies in our fast-paced digital age must adapt to the complexity of data and take appropriate action. The solution is business intelligence reporting.
Spreadsheets are no longer sufficient for a modern organization that wants to precisely analyze and use every piece of information received.
With the aid of the latest BI reporting solutions, reporting in business intelligence offers the opportunity to construct a thorough intelligent reporting practice. Therefore, BI can improve a business’ overall development as well as its profitability, regardless of its industry or specialty.
Reporting on business intelligence can be categorized in numerous ways. One way to distinguish between reporting types is to look at who is generating the report: controlled reporting is done by developers and other technical staff, whereas ad-hoc reporting is done by non-technical end users. The most significant components of a report, such as data tables, cross-tab reports, visualization elements, etc., can be used to classify reporting in another manner.
Types of reports in business intelligence: How many types of business intelligence reports are there?
Now that you are aware of the fundamental features of a BI report, it is crucial to realize that this is merely the first step in the reporting process. There are many different types, each with a unique use case and set of data requirements.
In order to give you an idea of the type of BI reporting you might be performing, we’ll discuss some of the various BI report types here.
Performance management BI reporting
Performance management BI reporting can be helpful in revealing information on how well people, teams, or departments performed within an organization. Since performance ultimately decides profit, senior management should pay particular attention to these business intelligence reports. However, this kind of BI reporting takes into consideration aggregate data that measures a range of KPIs and goes beyond just financial figures.
The fact that such reporting is real-time enables companies to make any necessary adjustments to their operations before subpar performance results in serious harm.
Beyond any short-term course corrections, however, performance management BI reports also help management make broad strategic decisions that have an impact on the company’s future. This is due to the fact that they frequently can determine what is responsible for the company’s success.
Is one aspect of the business wildly more successful than the rest? Are there any areas of the firm where more money should be spent or relinquished in an effort to boost productivity? These are the types of inquiries that performance management reporting aids in addressing.
Predictive analytics BI reporting
Business intelligence that goes beyond BI reporting is known as predictive analytics. It offers accurate forecasts based on recent and old data. Tools for predictive analytics are highly desired since they significantly reduce uncertainty in decision-making.
Although this kind of BI report is frequently used to forecast how events will turn out in the future, it can also be used to identify the likely reason why prior events occurred, making it a very effective BI reporting tool.
Predictive models are used in this sort of data reporting in business intelligence to find patterns and linkages in the data that highlight dangers and commercial possibilities. It accomplishes this by calculating the statistical likelihood of a particular result for a particular judgment.
Predictive analytics is particularly helpful for novice business owners because they are often less confident in their strategic planning abilities.
Predictive analytics BI reporting has numerous uses in both large and small businesses, including customer relationship management, the verification of court judgments, and consumer credit rating.
Augmented analytics BI reporting
In augmented analytics, which is frequently referred to as the future of BI reporting, data preparation and discovery are automated using AI and ML. These methods cut out some of the procedures that data scientists must-do during the data analytics process.
By lowering the possibility of human mistakes or potential biases during the data preparation process, such processes give firms access to even more precise insights than they previously had.
Although this kind of BI reporting is still in its infancy, there is a wide range of potential applications across numerous industries.
Business intelligence reporting benefits
An organization can benefit in a number of ways if reporting is handled effectively and strategically. The primary objective of BI reports is to give complete data that is simple to obtain, understand, and generate insights that can be put to use.
Let’s explore the significant advantages:
- Increasing the rate of work progress.
- Implementation to any sector or division.
- The use of both current and past data.
- Customer research and behavior forecasting.
- Operational planning and optimization.
- Cost optimization.
- Strategic decision-making using knowledge.
- Simplified purchasing procedures.
- Better data quality.
- Management of human resources and employee performance.
BI reporting best practices
- Reports should be written with analysis, the following step, in mind. Make sure to format your data in a way that makes it easy for users to quickly and intuitively analyze it, and give your columns names that are both consistent and user-friendly.
- Avoid overwhelming the end user with too many objects if you are the report developer or system administrator. Work with them to determine their needs, and provide them with a report that is as clear and uncluttered as feasible by choosing the elements that end users can view and report on with care.
- Use role-based security, authentication, and authorization to provide or prohibit access to reports, columns, and records to specific individuals or user groups while being cautious of sensitive data.
- Utilize the capabilities of the Web to build reports that are strong, interactive, and simple to use while putting as little strain as possible on the infrastructure.
- The data sources that are used the most in your business should be placed underneath your reporting layer. In this way, a reporting solution that is data-source neutral enables you to combine information from both conventional and unconventional data sources, including databases, Web services, RSS feeds, Excel, etc.
How do you gather reporting requirements in business intelligence?
You should take into account the following three techniques as you gather your business intelligence requirements.
Pain Method (Covers the past)
- Mindset: Individuals are constantly having problems obtaining the information they need.
- How it works: Ask the end users how they would want to be helped after letting them vent about their informational aches. They can also turn their problems into requirements with the help of business analytics.
- Restrictions: Users are constrained by the present circumstances.
Need Method (Covers the present)
- Mindset: I require XYZ to complete my task. I absolutely need XYZ and cannot live without it.
- How it works: Ask; What data and data artifacts are necessary for you to carry out your tasks? What if those components were removed?
- Restrictions: Need mode requirements frequently have a strong operational focus. They don’t offer creative problem-solving.
Dream Method (Nice to have; covers future needs)
- Mindset: Allow consumers to use their imaginations to the fullest. Nothing is off limits.
- How it works: Users should be asked to describe their desired future state and how analytics may help them realize it.
- Restrictions: Not all aspirations can come true. The dreams might never come true due of limitations.
Business intelligence report example
According to Databox, this is a business intelligence report example:
Department-segmented business intelligence report
Coalition Technologies‘ Jordan Brannon writes, “We have distinct metrics for each department, thus we split reports for each department.”
Therefore, their dashboard for daily reports displays the information that Brannon shares:
- “Monthly Revenue and Expenses
- Trailing Twelve Months (TTM) Revenue
- TTM Revenue Retention
- Monthly New Sales Revenue
- Monthly Revenue Retention in %
- Monthly Revenue per Service Line
- Accounts Receivable
- Applicants, New Hires, Terminations
- Lead Volume”
Keep in mind that these metrics are beneficial for several departments.
For instance, the accounts receivable data is useful for the finance department, but since it is on the same dashboard, other departments can examine it as well (if necessary).
The same is true for lead volume, which is crucial information for the sales department but may also be viewed by other stakeholders to get a fast sense of how strong the sales funnel is.
3 best business intelligence reporting tools
To start, with the help of these technologies, anyone can now perform data discovery, which was previously only possible with the knowledge of experts in advanced analytics. Additionally, these technologies provide you with the information you need to accomplish goals like growth, deal with immediate problems, gather all of your data in one location, estimate future results, and much more.
SAP Business Objects
A business intelligence tool called SAP Business Objects provides in-depth reporting, analysis, and interactive data visualisation. The platform places a lot of emphasis on areas like digital supply chain, ERP, and customer experience (CX) and CRM. The self-service, role-based dashboards that this platform offers are particularly nice because they let users create their own dashboards and applications. SAP is a powerful program with a wealth of features that is designed for all jobs (IT, end users, and management). However, the product’s complexity does increase the price, so be ready for that.
Even for non-technical people, Datapine’s all-in-one business intelligence platform simplifies the challenging process of data analytics. Data analysts and business users may both easily connect various data sources, do complex data analysis, develop interactive business dashboards, and produce useful business insights thanks to datapine’s solution, which employs a full self-service analytics strategy.
An enterprise business intelligence tool called MicroStrategy provides hyperintelligence, cloud solutions, and sophisticated (and quick) dashboarding and data analytics. Users may recognize new opportunities, spot trends, increase productivity, and more with this service. Whether the incoming data is via a spreadsheet, cloud-based service, or enterprise data program, users can connect to one or more sources. You can access it from a PC or a mobile device. However, setup can be complicated and need a lot of application knowledge from a variety of parties.
If you want to learn more, go to the article that we explained the top 20 BI tools.
Why business intelligence is so important?
A business intelligence system always offers real-time data. As a result, there is less chance of human error while producing important data reports. The business can always be aware of how the company is doing thanks to access to real-time data.
With the global market predicted to reach $33.3 billion in value by 2025, business intelligence is expected to become more and more significant. This amounts to a CAGR of 7.6%, which is admirable for the post-pandemic era.
It’s important to keep in mind that business intelligence reports democratize data by offering insights to stakeholders with minimum technical experience. As a result, your company is able to make more informed, data-driven decisions at every level of management.
Additionally, all businesses have data that can be gathered. Just the creation of procedures for gathering the data is needed. Plug-and-play data dashboards can then be used to quickly visualize the data when this is done.
So why are you still waiting? Start looking at the business intelligence (BI) solutions that could help your company today!