Published on July 1st, 2022
It is no secret that data analysis has become one of the most critical competitive advantages for businesses today.
The power of using facts to make important decisions instead of just intuition, allows organizations to act on valuable insights and optimize their strategic and operational activities.
That said, using data to make decisions is not anything new to the business world. For decades, companies have been generating reports based on their performance with the help of tools like Excel and using them to support their decisions.
However, even though this is an old practice, there is still a significant risk of falling into bad practices that can damage your reports. To avoid that from happening, here we list a few data reporting mistakes you should avoid.
1. Not Cleaning Your Data
In general, businesses gather data from several internal and external sources of data such as customer behaviors, finances, sales, and many others. This leaves them with massive amounts of unstructured data to work with.
Now, while it might seem tempting to get to work and use all this information, it is necessary to go through a cleaning process first. If the data is not cleaned, you risk running into errors that can hurt your reports.
Therefore, it is important to dedicate a few hours to the process of cleaning with the help of the right tools. Like this, you will be able to eliminate any duplicate or missing fields as well as spelling mistakes, and others.
2. Not Making Data Accessible
For decades now, any data reporting process has been delegated to the IT department, which makes it segregated for the average user.
This is a common reporting mistake that should be avoided, as not including the employees that will use the reports in the generation process can make them harder to understand and extract their maximum value.
Luckily, various tools have been developed over the years that provide a user-friendly and accessible approach to database reporting.
Such tools offer the possibility to generate powerful SQL reports in a matter of seconds and without the need for any coding or technical knowledge, opening the reporting process to a wider audience in the process.
3. Not Use Data Visualizations
Following in the line of accessibility, another great mistake when it comes to reporting generation is not using data visualizations. It is very likely that not all the people that will need to use your reports are going to be numbers-driven and understand everything that they see on them.
For that reason, using data visualizations is key to making your reports understandable for everyone as well as more efficient. In fact, numbers alone are not enough to extract the needed insights from your reports, using graphs and charts is a fundamental practice to dig deeper into the data and make the most out of your reporting efforts.
4. Using Static Reports
Our last mistake to avoid relates to the use of static reports. As mentioned before, data reporting is an old business practice.
For decades now, companies have been generating reports with the help of tools such as Excel or PowerPoint. That said, the static nature of these traditional reporting means presents a challenge for organizations that need to stay on top of any new developments as soon as they occur.
For this reason, using interactive reports is the way to go. Interactive or dynamic reports offer real-time access to data so businesses can react quickly to any issues or opportunities that arise.
As you can see data reporting is a practice that requires a lot of attention and the right tools to perform it correctly.
In today’s fast-paced business landscape, it is not enough to only use data. In order to stay competitive, businesses need to extract the maximum potential out of their analytical efforts and use them to continuously grow. An effective way to start is to learn how to avoid these common reporting mistakes.
Image Source: stockvault.net