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insight Encyclopedia

Managed Reporting

Managed reporting lets developers create powerful, feature-rich reports.

Managed reporting is a model of business intelligence (BI) in which reports are built and distributed by report developers. In other words, it is technical users with an IT background, knowledgeable about subjects like SQL queries and CSV language, who develop the reports.

Managed reporting is therefore “managed” in the sense that end-users receive reports that are built and distributed from the top down by technical users, who “manage” the process, ensure that users have what they need and correct any bugs or flaws that the report may have. It stands in contrast to ad-hoc reporting, the model by which nontechnical end-users prepare the reports.

The Goal of Managed Reporting

Managed reporting’s goal should be to leverage BI technology as efficiently as possible to ensure that end-users achieve the company’s strategic and tactical goals. Here too, like elsewhere, the emphasis is on the company’s strategic and tactical goals and the facilitation of their attainment. Like all things in BI, technology should be the means to a clearly-defined end, not the end itself.

For example, let’s say a manufacturing company is implementing BI and they choose managed reporting as the principal model of their solution. Their strategic goal is to become a leader in their vertical–which entails managing the supply pipeline, implementing total quality control in manufacturing and on-time delivery, minimizing inefficiencies and maximizing sales.

What to look for in a good managed reporting solution

A managed reporting solution, in this case, would be focused on the achievement of these goals by providing end-users with an easy and efficient way to perform tasks such as:

  • Ensuring that manufacturing components are ordered on time, for example, through an automated lead-time and in-stock level report with actionable reordering alerts for critical items
  • Identifying inefficiencies in manufacturing and correcting them, through features like dashboards, visualization tools, gauges and actionable key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Spotting untapped potential in product lines, customer segments or territories, with tools like interactive heat and geographic maps
  • Maximizing sales reps’ face time with customers, by making reporting automated, as well as by mashing up customer data with geographic maps to plot most profitable sales routes

Although these goals can in theory be also achieved through ad-hoc reporting, the power, the features and the developer know-how make them an ideal fit for managed reporting.