Reports are the result of data analysis to obtain and present information to a specific audience. The outcome and purpose of these reports are to generate insights. These insights drive changes in the business and thus ad-hoc reporting tools become important. Ad hoc reporting is a business report or analysis report created by the end users, as and when they require it. The information presented in the form of charts and tables is not the result of a question that has already been codified but a consequence of a unique situation.
Alongside a traditional report, ad hoc reports also form an essential part of the business. Ad hoc reporting equips its users with the ability to draw data-driven insights but saves a lot of time along the way. It allows wider access to and usage of data available at an enterprise and turns it into actionable insights.
Importance of Ad hoc Reporting
For companies that are turning towards data-driven decision-making, ad hoc reporting can help understand the reason behind changes happening in certain performance metrics. It helps create reports on the fly, without the need for technical expertise or advanced coding knowledge. The rapid changes experienced by businesses lead to new questions and the existing dashboards and reports may not have the answers. Ad hoc reporting tools will be able to cater to such changes and leverage the existing as well as new data in the process to drive informed decision-making.
Ad-hoc reporting is a powerful method to derive meaningful insights in real-time. These reports can be created immediately and are not scheduled and parameterized like canned reports, making them practically more useful. The interface and process of creating these reports need to be easier because an average business intelligence user will run these ad hoc queries and may not have any technical expertise.
Benefits of Ad hoc Reporting
Ad hoc reporting is meant to drive a company’s most important decisions. Multiple reports generated over time can help increase the overall wisdom within the organization. There are many benefits associated with the use of ad hoc reporting.
- Real-time Insights – Traditional reports often rely on certain pre-defined sets of information to generate valuable insights and lack flexibility and timeliness. Considering the rapidly changing business environment, ad hoc reports provide real-time and immediate insights for quick decision making. Business intelligence can help keep track of changing trends and facilitate quick and informed decisions.
- Flexibility – Ad hoc reporting empowers its users to customize reports that are meant to respond to their specific needs. Unlike traditional reports that are fixed, ad hoc reports allow their users the freedom to filter and choose data elements and visualization tools. This form of flexibility is important to gain a comprehensive understanding of the data.
- Enhancing collaboration and data-driven culture – Users from various departments are encouraged to create and share reports which lead to a more holistic understanding of the organization’s operations. Fostering a data-driven culture within an organization requires extensive usage of ad hoc reporting tools. Enhanced collaboration and better-aligned decisions are invaluable results of ad hoc reporting.
- Identifying hidden opportunities – When analytics is applied to specific business queries, it leads to the discovery of underlying insights which can lead to important breakthroughs. Encountering distinctive and singular challenges on a daily basis is the norm for businesses but with ad hoc reporting, the solution to these can be backed by data. Along the way, users can do their own analysis and newly uncovered opportunities can positively impact business growth.
- Reduced IT workload – Through extensive use of ad hoc reporting, enterprises save a lot of money and time. The dependence on IT support and analytics professionals is minimized and thus, they can better focus on other important tasks. These tools are essentially self-service in nature and promote non-technical users to utilize data for decision-making.
- Encourage Proactive Decision-making – Ad hoc reporting provides organizations with real-time access to data insights, thus enabling them with opportunities to improve their operational efficiency and address issues faster. Without having to wait for professionals to create reports, users can generate ad hoc reports to gain insights as and when needed.
- Enhanced Business Intelligence – Ad hoc reporting complements traditional business intelligence tools, offering an extra layer of flexibility and exploration. By combining pre-built reports with ad hoc analysis, organizations can have a comprehensive understanding of their data, leading to better strategic planning and improved performance.
Many now believe that ad hoc reporting is a very important feature in business intelligence adoption. Preparing for an environment that will increasingly become data-driven, ad hoc reporting is a must in the struggle to stay ahead. Adoption of a BI platform that offers ad-hoc reports will benefit businesses with speedy decisions backed by real-time data insights.