Covering the essentials of business intelligence, explore the features & functions for an overview.
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One of the outcomes of rapid digital transformation is that enterprises now have access to massive amounts of transactional data. By carefully monitoring all this data, business leaders are able to have a finger on the pulse of business operations — across various functions, business units, and locations.
They use operational reports to monitor data at a granular level. Various departments generate a set of reports on a periodic basis keeping track of all key metrics that are important to them.
In addition to operational reporting/transactional reporting, business leaders are also using BI tools to garner insights from data – often combining data from multiple sources (internal and external) – to drive data-driven business decisions.
What is operational reporting?
Various departments/functions need different types of reports. For instance, finance teams want to periodically generate reports that capture revenue growth, gross margins and net margins, accounts receivable and payable details, etc. HR leaders are looking for operational data on salaries, attendance, possible increase in headcount, etc. Leaders in procurement and supply chain need operations reports that track supplier data, on-time delivery data of suppliers, risk reports, etc.
Senior management leaders want to look at operational data holistically — combining data from various sources. They want next-generation dashboards that cull out operational data from across functions, locations, and business units. It gives business users access to structured data and information, providing a tactical view of organization-wide metrics.
The difference between operational reporting and analytics
Modern enterprises of today understand the difference between operational reporting and analytics. Operational reporting is simply data about operations – by department, by function. It is data and information on everything that matters to them. It helps business users capture any specific actions to be taken. For instance, the finance team may look at operational reports to check how they’re doing on receivables.
On the other hand, analytics is more strategic. It is about using multiple data sets and data models, to ask questions for which data may provide answers. Why is the gross margin low? Is it because our product mix is like that? Should we increase marketing spends on higher-margin products? Such questions are often asked and analytical models provide data-driven insights.
Challenges to Operational Reporting
Often, operational reporting is part of the organization’s overall business intelligence strategy. But BI is a high-level view of the organization, providing direction for long-term strategies, whereas operational reporting being short-term, needs more low-level, granular data in real-time. Using reports generated from dated information can make it less effective.
Additionally, sometimes, companies end up trying to do operational reporting with BI tools designed for analytics.
Another common challenge is that business users have to rely on IT teams to generate certain reports and this becomes a bottleneck.
Benefits of Operational Reporting
Operational reporting can help businesses measure several key aspects of their core activities to introduce incremental improvements. It could take various forms such as:
What are companies looking for while choosing a tool for operational reporting
Digital transformation is seeing businesses migrate to the cloud partly or wholly, distributing data in a multi-cloud environment. To meet their real-time operational reporting requirements, business leaders and users need the reporting tool to incorporate certain best practices. These include:
Orbit for Operational Reporting
Orbit is a next-generation operational reporting tool that integrates the best practices, pulling data from all sources — on-prem and the cloud. It ensures data protection and security, aligning with the organizational governance and policies to minimize authentication efforts. It empowers business users to generate their own reports, schedule the report generation, and customize their view by offering thousands of pre-built reports.
In addition to that, the Orbit’s Operational Reporting tool is:
To know more about operational reporting with Orbit Reporting and Analytics tool, visit: https://www.orbitanalytics.com/operational-reporting/