“In God We Trust, All Others Must Bring Data” - W. Edwards Deming (American Engineer and Statistician)
The given statement establishes the role that data plays in providing credibility to any piece of information. When this piece of information based on concrete data is presented in the form of comprehensible form, they take the shape of reports.
If Business Intelligence is the conversion of raw data into actionable insights for directing business decisions; Business Intelligence Reporting can be seen as the tracking of that data in order to present it in the form of understandable Data Visualizations (reports, dashboards, data alerts and so on).
In this blog, we will try to understand the basic concept of Business Intelligence Reporting, look at the different BI Reporting Tools as well as consider the goal and benefits of Business Reporting.
For a more detailed understanding of the overall concept of Business Intelligence, refer to our blog on “What is Business Intelligence?”
What is Business Intelligence Reporting?
Business Intelligence Reporting refers to the process of using Business Intelligence Reporting Tools for the purpose of creating reports and visualizing data through different modes of Data Visualization.
As far as Business Reporting is concerned, visualization can be understood as graphical representation of information derived through Data Analytics, in forms which are easily understandable by the end-users.
The mechanism of BI Reporting can be understood in the following manner. Business Intelligence Tools help in extracting data from different data sources which the Company relies on.
The Reporting BI Tools are so designed that they are able to recognize measurements (revenue, sales and so on) and apply dimensions (customer information, date and so on), for the purpose of analysis. Individuals who seek to create business intelligence reports can easily choose the desired measurements and dimensions.
Depending on the data analysis chosen, different graphical representations along with forecasting models can be created.
Furthermore, the overall idea of a Business Intelligence Report has evolved considerably overtime. From the time of BI Reports which were largely static, Business Reporting has become highly interactive in contemporary times.
The purpose of this change has been the desire to facilitate self-service BI and the creation of reports in the hands of non-technical end-users.
Thus, individuals can easily utilize the Business Intelligence Reporting Tools for Data Manipulation and consequently for the creation of smart BI Reports; which in the past was the sole responsibility of Data Scientists and Analysts alone.
What is the Goal of BI Reporting?
The moot idea of Business Intelligence is based on the notion of analyzing data for the purpose of deriving meaningful insights which could provide for data-driven decision making.
However, even when this analysis is undertaken by Data Analysts and IT Professionals; it would be meaningless if they are unable to convey their findings to the decision makers, executives and other stakeholders, who have the responsibility for deciding upon the future course of action. This is where Business Intelligence Reporting comes in.
By way of presenting the insights in digestible interactive forms, BI Reporting helps individuals visualize, understand, analyze and take decisions.
Moreover, BI Reports offer significant levels of interactivity which help in further filtering and sorting of data as well as self-service editing which can provide for additional exploration.
In terms of objective, Business Intelligence Reporting also helps in measuring and tracking the strategic goals of the business enterprise.
Categories of BI Reports
There are mainly two categories of BI Reports:
- Managed Reports: This is a form of a Business Intelligence Report which is essentially prepared by technical experts and employees such as IT associates and Data Analysts. This form of Business Intelligence Reporting is usually scheduled to be performed at regular intervals.
- Ad hoc Reports: These BI Reports are those which are prepared by technical as well as non-technical users. By way of invoking self-service BI solutions and smart Business Intelligence Reporting Tools, individuals can create new as well as edit existing reports, without essentially referring to the IT department.