Spare a thought for the poor individual charged with creating reports for monthly management meetings! When old-fashioned processes are still being used, huge amounts of time, resource and energy are wasted on:
- Chasing people for updates
- Chasing those same people to hunt down missing data in their returns
- Manually fixing and verifying data where obvious discrepancies exist
- Creating and updating reports and any accompanying dashboards before, finally
- Manually circulating them (and probably dealing with a raft of requests to see specific data sets, data presented in certain ways etc…)
The short straw
The time-consuming process of chasing updates tends to be owned by an HQ administrator or individual in the finance department. He or she will often be forced to send off endless emails, make phone calls and appear at the desks of functional information owners across the business, in departments such as sales, marketing and operations.
Once the data for the monthly management report has been laboriously gathered it then needs to be taken from a random array of input sources, including emails, spreadsheet updates, presentations and notes on a pad and combined into a single, coherent and correct report template.
A better alternative
Obviously, every business wants to be able to operate in the most efficient way possible. By investing in a centralised system and accompanying specialist software package, huge amounts of wasted time, effort and money can be saved.
Modern reporting software such as Scoreboard offers ready-made KPI Software packages that make this entire process quick, easy and streamlined.
The benefits of automated reporting software
With a system such as Scoreboard businesses can:
- Automatically assign both owners and updaters, so that named individuals are clearly responsible for defined metrics and objectives
- Present updaters with the data required to make a system entry – meaning that they can add figures quickly without needing to trawl back through paperwork
- Provide automatic update reminders from the system itself, which can continue to be set at set intervals until the update has been submitted
- Offer high visibility of the individuals responsible for both updating and functionally owning data sets (preventing individuals from hiding behind departmental spreadsheets, which was a typical problem of old.)
- Make it easy to add commentary with a clear date, so that this detail can be added to dashboards and reports for all too see
- Provide an audit trail and tracking system, so that any changes to the data provided in the system can be traced back to a date and an individual.
Not only is the process far quicker and smoother, but by using this software to automate the process as far as possible, businesses can:
- Reduce errors from manual inputting
- Ensure that information inputs are complete (as there’s nothing worse for an administrator than thinking that they have everything… and then noticing a big data gap at the last minute!)
- See interactive reports and dashboards that can be made quickly and easily
- Access the latest (and historic comparison) figures at any time and interrogate the data as required, seeing commentary and adjusting data presentation views to suit personal preferences.
- Create rich and engaging reports, presentations and other types of data presentation – which can be customised for different stakeholder groups.
- Quickly and easily see a variety of data in one place, rather than needing to switch between different documents and reports.
Crucially too, the time wasted on chasing updates in the past is eliminated, and this allows resources to be used in a more efficient way. The administrators who spent much of their month fruitlessly chasing functional managers can instead focus on far more valuable tasks which help the business to reach its goals, and which offer them more meaningful work and personal development.
Cost-effective, high-tech solutions
Even better, the advent of cloud technology means that these reporting software packages can be purchased on a licence basis so that the business only pays for user licenses required. The ongoing subscription cost is designed to be affordable and the cloud technology means that all system upgrades and updates are done automatically online and without any need for downtime.
Find out more
If you’re chasing updates and ready to make the process of producing monthly strategic management reports far quicker, more accurate and more streamlined, then contact the team at Intrafocus for a trial of the highly-popular Scoreboard system. Why waste any more time and stress when your reporting updates can be made smooth and easy!