As data grows exponentially in every industry, management reporting is the best business intelligence that helps C-suite and other top executives make data-driven decisions. When businesses leveraged BI (Business Intelligence) software, management reporting was synonymous with financial reporting. But management reporting is about: measuring strategic metrics across business functions and monitoring performance, analyzing the performance for benchmarks, and making strategic decisions to improve performance.
What do you think are the expectations from Management Reporting?
- Executives expect the data story and not the trends – Many reports emphasize the metrics and indicators while losing focus on their impact on business outcomes.
- An overall business performance review and not financial reports – C-suite executives prefer to understand each business function’s performance and a holistic business view. Management reports provide the overall story to enable people for faster decisions.
- Fast, reliable, and cost-effective reporting – A lag time in generating reports and manual processes to retrieve data per need is considered a significant hindrance for faster decisions in any industry.
- A bit more than the data visualizations – Top executives prefer an overview of the internal and external factors affecting the business outcomes. It is not everything; they prefer a deep dive into any significant factor that may affect their business.
Let me help you with more details about management reporting and the best ways to leverage AI.
Management Reporting – Our Simple Understanding
Management reports provide C-suite and top executives with critical business metrics to make data-driven decisions. The KPIs and data visualizations are intertwined together to show the true potential of your business. Management reporting adds value by providing a clear picture of every business’s activity and making informed decisions to stay competitive.
Requisite Types of Management Reports
Executive teams can no longer wait for different teams’ responses to understand the respective projects and business units. Most decision-makers now prefer to look at various reports in a single window. The categories are as follows:
- Internal Performance Reports – Top executives need more insights beyond HR, Finance, Marketing, and Sales. Reports like innovation, workforce engagement, stakeholder satisfaction are among many other internal reports that top executives prefer to visualize in recent times.
- Operational Insights – Though a lot more KPIs are added constantly according to specific business needs, standard dashboards that provide a clear picture of any organization are standard in executive reporting.
- Project status reports – The status of each project/activity that drives organizational growth is vital to making strategic decisions. Though many project management tools are available, synchronizing the data with BI software to gain insights is mandatory for future action.
- External reports – As indicated in the name, these reports provide insights for external stakeholders – investors, venture capitalists, banks, and credit unions.
- Analytics – Analytics now play a vital role in better informed strategic decisions and forecasting the future, leveraging historical data. Predictive analytics provides the best gateway for innovation, efficiencies, and resource optimization.
Why do you Need a Constant Thirst for Insights?
In general, management reports are crucial for the well-functioning of any organization. Adopting data-driven culture and decisions is a must in this digital world to gain a competitive advantage. Reporting addresses the essential needs across multi-disciplinary and cross-functional teams. Let me outline a few benefits of Management Reporting.
- Data unavailable at the right time for the right intent is a lost business opportunity
- A single holistic view of every business function brings in more visibility for informed decisions
- Understanding the business performance by measuring the strategic metrics
- Benchmarks provide a deep dive into the root cause analysis for successful or failed strategic decisions
- Enhanced communication and collaboration between the stakeholders. C-suite executives can access all the critical data and reports with minimal assistance from respective teams
- The well-defined KPIs and compelling managerial dashboards make the performance data accessible to everyone. There is a high chance for your workforce to become more engaged, inspired, and productive
- Solid management reporting improves consistency and fosters continual business growth
Management Reporting – A few Best Practices
As we continue to explore AI in BI, let me help you with a few of the best practices in creating management reports.
- Define the strategic goals and objectives – Before creating any report, it is crucial to understand the scope and goals. Why do you need to monitor the metrics? Do you know about the factors that impact your business? What could be the benchmarks?
- Identifying the right KPIs – KPIs differ for every organization according to the target audience for each report. What data-driven insights would be interesting to the report seekers? Sales and HR managers would prefer to view different dashboards and KPIs.
- Clear, concise, and visually appealing data visualizations – The KPIs in the reports must have a clear hierarchy and visual importance. The report must be simple, and the metrics are supposed to be related. Additionally, the BI analyst should strike a balance between the dashboards, and the entire layout should be visually appealing with clear distinction.
- Create compelling data stories – Everyone can read the data, but it is essential to reveal the underlying story about each data point. Data storytelling is vital in today’s digital era.
- Interactive functionality and customizable features – All your stakeholders may not prefer to view the report as you share. As we go digital, users should be able to customize the reports and improve the functionality of interactive dashboards.
- Cohesion and consistency – The report template works well only if there is cohesion and consistency of the key elements and the charts. At a glance, the charts should provide a wealth of relevant and related information.
- Deliver reports in real-time and leverage AI and Predictive analytics – Real-time insights are the need of the hour for every business. To derive maximum potential from your reports, you may need your BI software’s latest analytics and AI tools to ease reporting and derive the best time to value.
- Continuous Improvement – The business goals and strategies constantly evolve in this digital world. To ensure the sustainability of your management reports, invest time to check for any inefficiencies and update the KPIs regularly.
- Develop reports collaboratively – With a mix of perspectives, you always gain additional value. You can ensure valuable insights and flexibility to offer the best metrics relevant to the business goals by taking a collaborative approach.
- Leverage Self-service analytical tools – Self-service BI options reduce the lag to retrieve the related reports as per the need. A few solutions like InsightBox reduce your time to market with 50% less effort and the best self-service options.
AI-powered Management Reporting for Better Time to Value
AI is omnipresent in all business processes, applications, and workflows. Data analysis is not complete with the dashboards, and there is more to it with advanced analytics tools and machine learning algorithms. These advancements made AI in BI a very incredible tool.
How does AI help in Management Reporting?
- Are you taking longer to define KPIs for your management reports? AI in BI tools helps you explore the data, automatically classify the data, and perform all the initial data exploration steps. The AI capabilities will suggest the questions you need to ask from your data.
- The Q&A features are evolving too with AI. If you want to access some data and change the report accordingly, you no longer need to go back to your data teams and invest time. AI-powered Q&A features now help every user access the required data, management reports, and insights.
- Do you want a deep dive into any specific metric? AI can do it for you. Leveraging AI, users can access compelling data narratives about any metric. AI helps to democratize your data and allows everyone to gain actionable intelligence.
Are you looking to enhance your management reporting with evolving best practices? Our experts are always accessible to share in-depth knowledge in management reports. Get in touch with us for more exciting information.