Insight Inspiration: How to Simplify Operational Reporting in 2019

Operational reporting represents the cutting edge of today’s management strategies. Companies now have the means to monitor all aspects of their performance in real-time, produce in-depth reports and analysis, then apply those insights to every facet of decision making. 

Imagine being certain about every corporate maneuver. That’s what operational reporting promises. 

What it delivers can look a lot different. Operational reporting relies on massive amounts of current, quality data to reveal a company’s strengths and weaknesses and to forecast the consequences of its next move. Problematically, collecting and analyzing that data is a huge undertaking ripe for error. And if the data is incomplete, inaccurate, or disorganized, it compromises every decision based off of operational reporting. Something that is supposed to create clarity just creates confusion and possibly even chaos.

Mastering operational reporting is challenging, but not impossible. Make the effort this year to simplify your data-driven decision-making, and you can expect it to drive your success and keep you competitive. These are the keys to faster, simpler, and smarter operational reporting:

Eliminate Manual Entries

It’s fair to say that manually entering and transferring data is the bane of operational reporting. The effort is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and incredibly tedious. Due to that fact, manual entries also create endemic errors, omissions, and inconsistencies. Ideally, operational reporting is simply a matter of defining the parameters and requesting the report; manual data management doesn’t factor in at all. 

Create Intuitive Workflows

The nuts and bolts of operational reporting are foreign to everyone except experienced data scientists. Companies either have to settle for a simplified version, or they have to recruit expensive talent and rely on IT to produce reports. Solutions that make reporting intuitive and accessible enough for the average user allow anyone to produce their own insights on demand.  

Integrate More Data

The scale of data is the best and worst thing about operational reporting. It provides broad and deep insights because it incorporates so many performance metrics under one umbrella. However, when some of those metrics are missing, reporting becomes unreliable. Reporting tools that integrate as much data as possible, both structured and unstructured, provide the best perspective. Plus, they make preparing the reports a lot more painless. 

Get Instant Updates

Data that is current and correct today can be inaccurate and irrelevant by tomorrow. Once that happens, it must be updated (probably manually), or else it could lead to wildly skewed decision making. Accurate operational reporting is basically impossible when data is old and static. Instead, data should be updated in real-time from as many sources as possible. 

Enable Creative Reporting

How you present reports is just as important as how you generate them. If they exist as massive grids of facts and figures, they are not likely to inspire action or promote comprehension. Insights exist inside those numbers, but they are lost because of the presentation. When users can customize how reports look with a variety of visual tools, it ensures that any audience can understand and absorb the information.

The Right Tools for Operational Reporting

Instead of taking each of these actions individually, add the right tools to your current ERP system. Atlas for Microsoft Dynamics, for example, offers an expansive and intuitive toolkit that makes operational reporting a lot more accessible than Microsoft Dynamics does out of the box. Hubble does something similar for anyone using JD Edwards or Oracle E-Business Suite. No matter where or how your data lives, the right tools can transform it into insight-rich operational reports. 

Don’t accept unknowns. Insist on answers instead; insightsoftware can show you how. Contact us today for more information on operational reporting and advice about how to enhance whatever ERP you use.