For those of you who recognized the Lord of the Rings, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and the Snapback cap, kudos to knowing your pop-culture references!
If you’re anything like me, your head might not quite fit into a “one-size-fits-all” baseball cap (thanks genetics!). Fortunately, there are other ways of getting your hands on this staple fashion piece – try a ‘fitted cap’ at Lids or make your way to your local hatter for a custom, guaranteed fit. The point is, while the idea of a universal, one-size-fits-all approach is meant to work for everyone, frankly, it’s never the best solution for just anyone.
The same statement has been made for strategies approaching our education system, medical care, and marketing industry. Well, the same can be said of reporting - there is no one app that “rules them all” when it comes to visualizing data in IBM’s TRIRIGA or other IWMS, EAM, CRM software, etc.
Why is this?
The overall reporting needs differs throughout your userbase.
You would never use a screwdriver to hammer in a nail and you wouldn’t get behind an excavator without proper training and experience first (one hopes!). So firstly, before you dive into your “reporting” toolbox and grab a tool, take a moment to contemplate the following:
Running through a similar exercise with TRIRIGA helped us define the Complete Reporting Strategy. There are 3 key reporting needs to be fulfilled in a typical business:
The proportion of these reporting needs are not equal across the business. As our Product Manager will tell you, “90% of our reporting problems come from 10% of our reporting needs.” Can you guess which - Ad Hoc, Unique, or Portfolio-wide Reporting - takes up the greatest proportion? Download our Complete Reporting Strategy Guide to find out for yourself!
Depending on the system you are using or how your business operates, you may find these needs to be very similar or perhaps a tad different.
There are a lot of tools out there – and remember it’s not a one-tool-fits all! It can feel overwhelming, but since you’ve determined what you need, you can better equip yourself with the right tool to tackle the job.
For businesses that use TRIRIGA, download our Complete Reporting Strategy Guide to see a list of industry standard tools for the 3 key reporting needs.
If your business is operating on a tight budget or a system-agnostic tool, take a look at what’s currently available to you. For example, companies with an Office 365 subscription will likely have access to Microsoft Excel and free licenses to Power BI.
Where you might experience “reporting pains” is using the wrong tool for the wrong job. For example, trying to use Power BI for a simple bar chart that shows how many different types of work tasks a team has for the day. This is something that an ad hoc reporting tool should take care of, not a heavy-duty business intelligence tool.
Remember, always refer back to your reporting needs. That way, if you’re in the market for a new tool or trying to decide which of your existing tools to use, you know which key features and functionality to look out for as you make your selection.
Now go grab your baseball hat - snapback, fitted, or custom - and hit your reporting strategy out of the park!