Platforms, such as dashboard reporting tools, can help business owners, team leaders, and department managers understand data through beautiful visuals, but dashboards themselves may not always provide the fullest, up-to-date picture.
How can you make decisions and plan for the future of your small business with confidence while operating on stale, outdated data? You can’t rely on old information, and luckily, you don’t have to.
Automated reporting tools can give your marketing, finance, and human resources (HR) teams the data they need when they need it: in real time.
Report automation is the process of taking existing reports and automating them so that they are updated automatically as new data becomes available.
For example, if you run a report showing the open-rate of an email marketing campaign, automating that report allows you to get the updated open-rate every time a new batch of emails is sent out, rather than having to rerun the report manually.
On the surface, this may seem like something that saves a little time and makes a somewhat tedious process a little more convenient. But when you consider the possibility of automating multiple reports and collecting them all in one automatically updated dashboard, automated reporting can be a game changer.
Let’s take a look at three main benefits of report automation and how they can apply to different business departments.
Whether you’re running an online marketing campaign, planning next quarter’s budget, or accessing employee information to ensure equal employment opportunity, time is critical.
Report automation updates your analytics reports as soon as new data comes in, allowing you to make the changes necessary to ensure your business succeeds.
When you manually run reports (especially if you’re using a spreadsheet), you run the risk of accidentally polluting your data every time you update, by pasting into the wrong cell, mistyping, or pulling from the wrong source, for example.
With report automation, as long as your data source is clean, all of the reports that automatically pull data from that source will be completely accurate.
One of the biggest benefits of using automated reporting tools is being able to select the most useful report feeds and pull them all into one dashboard so that you can get all your most significant data at a glance. This allows teams to combine and compare the reports that are most relevant to their department and get the information they need faster.
Although discussions about report automation benefits are often specific to marketing, the benefits of automated reporting do not stop there. Every industry and department, including marketing, finance, and HR, needs access to real-time and accurate data to optimize their processes.
Let’s see automated reporting in action—across industries.
If you’re running a marketing campaign online, you need to closely monitor its performance. You can’t do this if you’re not getting regular updates about click throughs, conversation rates, bounce rates, new subscriptions, or other success metrics you’ve compiled. With automated reporting, you can get data updates in real time.
Remarkety, for example, allows users to automate multiple reports at once, such as sent emails, unique open rates, purchase rates, and bounce rates—whatever is relevant to your campaign.
Functions such as these can help you make informed decisions, adjust campaigns on the fly, and ultimately win more customers.
As a manager, it is important to keep tabs on how your business or department is spending money to make sure you stay on budget. Financial reporting software can help automate cash reporting and forecasting to make these processes way easier and more accurate.
Trovata, for example, offers dashboard reporting with real-time data updates, giving its users the most current data available.
Centralized, customizable, and automated dashboards empower business leaders, such as yourself, to stay updated on cash flows and make well-informed business decisions.
HR professionals wear many different hats and are responsible for multiple business areas, including recruiting new employees, onboarding new hires, payroll, retaining talent, and implementing programs that contribute to a positive work culture. Having all of these hats means a lot of different reports to keep track of.
Let’s say you want to offer new training to employees to fill in skills gaps. An automated reporting tool could pull data on employee skills to make it easier to identify what they are missing and what training opportunity would best serve both your business and employees. Automated reporting can also help HR monitor workforce diversity, retention and attrition rates, and employee performance.
For example, Rippling allows users to access automated reports and dashboards that make it easy to track pay changes, turnover rates, and diversity.
Automated reporting helps ensure that you’re using the most accurate and up-to-date data to inform decisions that will affect your workforce.
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As you can see, automating your reports allows your business to operate with the most accurate data to inform your decisions, making you more efficient and more likely to succeed. If you’re looking for a reporting platform to fit one or more of your business needs, make sure the options you consider offer real-time data monitoring and reporting.
If you browse our directory of automation software, filtering for real-time reporting, you’ll find more than 100 marketing platformsfinancial reporting platforms, as well as more than 60 HR analytics tools.
The applications mentioned in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.
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