Thursday, 11 January 2018

Management Reporting made easy

This blog aims at analyzing the needs and data related challenges faced by top executives, such as C-level executives, to understand current performance, performance trends, pin point challenges. To do all this, the top executive needs data - data that is meaningful, organized and delivered on time.

Data drives business. Data is helpful and useful only if it is meaningful. Data needs to be delivered on time, summarized and more often represented visually to understand the trends and connect the dots.

It is evident that enterprises are starting to rethink the precise ways that data can drive their businesses. Companies are fighting hard to adapt to the shifts in technology to accelerate in to the new world of data.

Since the beginning of data generation, businesses have expressed a need for data visualization in enterprises. It has become mandatory that the top executives and decision makers need to understand and view their data in a most effective way.

The present-day enterprises generate large volume of data, millions of documents, and numerous disparate data sources that each department needs to get access to create executive reports.

We are living in a data driven world and this requires a good platform to design our reports. Both PowerPoint and Excel are great software that can be used to create management reports and presentations more effectively. But since the volume and complexity of data is high, and such data is hosted in a multitude of systems, it has been an age-old challenge, and a puzzle as to how to create an environment that can easy clean and blend data from a multitude of systems, that is not solved for a long time. Each and every department needs to seek IT’s help and sponsor lengthy projects to just deliver the data their business users need.

This problem of getting hold of the enterprise data hosted in legacy, cloud systems faced by business users in Sales, Finance and other mission critical functional areas really slows down a business from analyzing, understanding and finding the root causes of the issues it faces.

Also, the next problem in hand is how to seamlessly send the data to business reporting tools such as PowerPoint, Excel and Word. PowerPoint is an excellent presentation and management reporting tool, but lacks data connectivity to pull data from various data sources in real time and refresh the reports. On the other hand, Excel has data connectivity, but doesn’t have any sophisticated reporting features such as creating multiple file dynamically based on certain conditions or creating multiple sheets. For example, if there is a need to create one P&L report per country, you need to manually create multiple excel files and refresh the data in each file. Any changes that needs to be made in the P&L report, such as format or adding a column, needs to be made in all the files.

Similarly, it is a terrible headache for managers to compile millions of rows and columns of data in cumbersome spreadsheets, clean & summarize, then transfer it to a PowerPoint file and get ready for a executive presentation. It is time consuming, if not impossible, and error prone process as well.

So, these are the practical issues that a business user faces these days and these issues are not far and few, but faced very frequently.

accel<>BI for MS Office, is built to address the above-mentioned issues related to data access and management reporting.

With the help of accel<>BI for MS Office you can create full-fledged database driven internal and external reports such as annual Sales Reports, P&L, Balance Sheet in PowerPoint and Excel. You can also create your invoices, cover letters and so on in MS Word. accel<>BI uses a wizard driven UI to configure and easily access Enterprise Systems such as Oracle EBS, SalesForce, Databases, Files, SharePoint to create pixel perfect management and external report within few minutes.
By using accel<>BI for MS Office you can pull data from any number of sources like Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL and files such as Excel, text, and even HTTP, Web Services, REST. It is also pre-packaged with native drivers for popular databases such as Oracle, SQL Server and MS Access to optimize performance.

accel<>BI for MS Office is easy to use, business user friendly and most of the operations are drag and drop. It is ideal for business users like Sales Managers, Finance Managers and analysts.

accel<>BI for MS Office is template driven. That is, you simply create a template and based on certain driving data configurations, this tool automatically creates multiple files and slides or sheets or pages. For example, in a Sales Report, you can configure accel-BI to generate one slide per Region based on a template slide. Similarly, you can generate one Sales Report (PPT file) per Country. All you need to do is to provide sales data by Region and by Country, a Template and accel-BI does the rest for you.

The template is kept intact, that is, it retains all aspects of the format, position etc. Objects such as Tables grow or shrink dynamically based on the volume of data.

All objects, such as Tables, Graphs, Textboxes or even Shapes such as rectangles, squares, can be turned into dynamic Data Objects.

Further, accel<>BI for MS Office provides more than a handful of formulas that is not available natively in PowerPoint or Word to help you summarize, analyze data. The formulas include sum, rsum, average, percentage etc and even advanced formatting such as currency, number formatting.

With accel-BI for MS Office, within minutes, you can configure your reporting requirements, generate and even distribute them. Reports distribution includes a bursting feature that sends certain reports to certain users based on configuration.

In summary, accel<>BI turns MS Office into an Executive Reporting tool, by adding data objects from virtually any source. It lets business users, with no technical skills, to create full-fledged database driven internal and external reports.