What is Enterprise Reporting? A Facts and FAQs Overview

What is Enterprise Reporting?

Large enterprises and corporations often utilize internal data in order to gain insight into how the company is performing as a whole. Data analysis can include anything from the company's annual revenue to the business expenses of one single department. Business intelligence tools can then turn this information into self-explanatory reports that help owners and other invested stakeholders make better business decisions. Enterprise reporting can also be utilized to analyze various trends within an organization.

What Does Enterprise Reporting Help With?

1. Generating Reports Based on Business Data
Business intelligence tools generate reports that present data in the form of graphs, columns, and charts. Some examples include-

  • Explanatory Reports This is a report that explains information to an outside group of individuals. For example, a human resource department might create an explanatory report to help new employees understand the company's standard operating procedures. The report teaches a group of people (new employees) information (standard operating procedures), so the report recipients can become better informed about a specific topic.
  • Progress Reports Progress reports tell a brief summary of how a department or particular employee is performing under various metrics. A progress report might include the total number of sales closed and prospective leads that an employee-generated in a specific time frame. It would only give a quick summary of the information rather than including any expanded insight, such as what factors contributed to the number of sales closed.
  • Analytical Reports Unlike the progress report, analytical reports provide analysis into the data extrapolated. For example, the difference in sales generated on a Monday can be compared to the sales generated on a Friday. The report would explain which variables affected those numbers to have differed from each day.
2. Create Intuitive Visualizations
Visualizations in the form of graphs and charts can help report recipients understand the information presented to them. In fact, humans process images at a 60,000 higher rate than text alone. In short, visualizations are the simplest way to explain data, facts, and statistics to a group of people. Also, certain graphs are more effective at communicating information than others. For example, line graphs are better at tracking changes over a period of time than a bar graph. Report writers should use the most appropriate type of chart to convey data to their audience.

3. Gain Insight from Data
Data reports allow users to gain insight into trends within the company or organization. For example, an owner might generate an analytical report to demonstrate which stores within certain geographical regions had higher sales during the holiday season, and why. Managers in lower-performing regions can then look at the variables that led to higher sales in the other regions and adjust their sales strategy accordingly for the following holiday season.

4. Make Data-Driven Decisions
After users generate reports and analyze the data within, they can then make more informed business decisions. For example, the human resource department could create an analytical report that tells how many employees were hired as full-time from one temp agency as opposed to another agency. They could then use this report to justify discontinuing the agency that brought in less favorable workers.

FAQs on Enterprise Reporting

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1. What is Enterprise Software?
Enterprise software is designed specifically for larger organizations with multiple users. Most enterprise software systems specialize in accommodating mid-large size businesses. Some functions of enterprise software include payment processing, data analysis, human resource management, and occupational safety.

2. What is the Goal of an Enterprise Reporting Tool?
Enterprise reporting tools display visualizations that help users extrapolate information to make better business decisions.

3. What is the Difference Between Enterprise Reporting and Business Intelligence?
Business intelligence encompasses all types of software reporting, analytics, and data visualization. Enterprise reporting is a category within business intelligence that is focused on creating reports so businesses can draw insights.

4. What are the Types of Enterprise Reports?

  • Dashboards - Dashboards are an information management tool that tracks and stores information. Users utilize dashboards in order to see data report visualizations. Dashboards present information in a customizable way so stakeholders within an organization can analyze data and draw conclusions.
  • Performance Management - Managers and owners can analyze key performance indicators to see how employees are performing within the organization. Enterprise reporting solutions decipher trends to see how employee performance can be improved.
  • Ad-Hoc Reporting - If a manager has one specific query, they can utilize ad-hoc reporting in order to generate a simple report. Ad-hoc reports are customizable and narrow in scope.
5. How Much Does Enterprise Reporting Cost?
Enterprise reporting solutions can vary in cost. Some are free, but most are priced based on a quote. Cost can depend on what type of features the organization needs, how many employees they have, and how many franchises there are.

6. What are the Best Enterprise Reporting Tools?
Enterprise reporting tools are not a one-size-fits-all solution, as there are a few general considerations to keep in mind when picking a system. Here are the steps to take-

  • Gather Requirements - Organizations should first decide what their requirements are, and what type of system they might need.
  • Compare Solutions - Businesses should look at various systems that meet their requirements and compare and contrast key differences and benefits.
  • Try Them Out Companies can pick their top choices and try them out. Demos and free trials allow companies to experiment with the system and see if the tool is a good fit.

Features of Enterprise Reporting Tools

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There are many characteristics that quality enterprise reporting tools possess. Some of these include-

  • Perfect Formatting - Reporting solutions can customize reports so they can be printed or viewed from a presentation platform, whether that be online or through PowerPoint.
  • Data Filtering & Sorting - Users can filter through data and then choose what they want to utilize for a report. Users can sort data by date, time frame, location, franchise, etc.
  • Data Grouping - Once the data has been filtered and sorted, enterprise reporting tools organize and group it so the user can see specific trends.
  • Different Report Images - Reports can be displayed in different formats. Some of these include jpeg, png, and svg. The user can discern which format to save the data in and choose accordingly.
  • Charts - Enterprise reporting provides data visualizations in the form of charges, graphs, columns, meter charts, bubble charts, and more. The user can decide which type of chart is most appropriate for the extrapolated data.
  • Report Delivery - Reports can be delivered to emails, dashboards, and websites in different languages and formats.
  • Field Explorer - Data can be divided into fields or general categories that describe each set of data. For example, a field might be the names of employees or each year of business operation. The field explorer feature gives a list of all relevant fields and allows users to arrange them on the dashboard.
  • Customizable Templates - Users can make customized report templates if they find themselves frequently utilizing a specific report type. They can save this template so it doesn't have to be re-created in the future.
  • Report Exporting - Reports can be exported in the form of PDF, Microsoft Workbook, HTML, Microsoft Excel, and more.
  • Subreports - Subreports display a smaller report inside of a larger one. Enterprise reporting solutions allow users to create subreports of data that receives parameters from parent reports.

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