There are a lot of reporting tools on the market today.  A lot.

And choosing a reporting platform isn’t easy!

So many of the tools on the market today purport that they are “the only reporting tool you’ll ever need!”

However, I personally think that that claim is really small-minded. It’s true that most of the reporting tools on the market today are really good at what they do – and some of them do multiple things. But can they really be all things to all audiences at all times?

Imagine I asked you to build a dining room table, but then told you that you could only use one tool. Could you do it? Which tool would you choose? I bet you couldn’t even get to a single choice of saw if you wanted to get a table that looked right. The fact is, every tool has its place in the table making process. You have to make sure you are picking the right tools.

And reporting tools are no different when it comes to your company’s overall information strategy. Each tool has its place, and sometimes those tools can not be forced to do a good job in any other part of the overall strategy.

Picking the Right Tools for the Job

So, what do we need to consider when we are choosing a reporting tool?

In this series, I plan to cover the following considerations when you are trying to choose a reporting tool:

  • Type of report: There are 3 main categories of reporting in business. Can you name them?
  • Target Audience: Who is using the report(s) to be built, and how do they plan to consume the report(s)?
  • Data source(s): Where does the data come from? Is more than one system involved?  Is the data complete as is or do we need to transform it somehow?
  • User experience: What level of interaction does the user expect from the report? Where will they consume the report, and what will they do with the data?

Full Disclosure

I’ve written similar blog posts and done similar presentations in the past, but this time I have a pretty specific goal. Throughout this series, I will be introducing you to Popdock.

Popdock is a user configurable, cloud based, operational reporting tool. Using Popdock, users can define highly interactive operational reports based on data from multiple data sources – in the cloud or on premise – and then embed the reports directly into their system of choice. It makes multi-company reporting easy.

That’s a lot to put into one paragraph, but by the end of the series you’ll have a much firmer grasp of what it all means. And along the way you should pick up a firmer knowledge of Business Reporting in general.

And so we go!