Automated Reporting – What Is It and Why Is It Important
Automated reporting can help businesses perform better while saving marketers time and money. It allows organizations to produce reports containing relevant business information faster and easier than ever before. The generated reports are delivered at fixed intervals, or triggered by certain events. Auto reporting has changed the way digital marketers interact with prospects, visitors, leads, and even customers.
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There’s so much more to learn about automatic reporting, but let’s start with the basics.
What is an automated report?
Automated reporting systems make it easy for marketing managers to report to their teams. Also, for agencies to report to their clients. They bring users useful information in a fast way without them having to search for the information themselves.
Automated reporting reduces the time-consuming task of manual reporting, which often implies pasting data from multiple platforms to create marketing reports.
Manual reporting often takes weeks to aggregate a single report, while the possibility of human error is always present.
The reports are created and automatically updated with the help of business intelligence software. Then, it’s delivered through a variety of means such as email, versioning system (PDF, PostScript, or HTML), or fax regularly. In most cases, the automatic reporting tool offers different ways to trigger, schedule, and burst reports. Online fax services can be particularly useful for securely sending automated reports to clients or stakeholders who prefer receiving information in a fax format. This ensures that the reports are conveniently delivered and accessible to all recipients, regardless of their preferred communication method.
These reports include data visualization, graphs, and interactive dashboards.
Scheduling a report allows you to deliver useful information to your users in a proactive way. You can set up specific parameters. Such as reporting time frame, frequency, and the exact time of the day to deliver. So, you can choose to send a weekly, monthly, or even daily report via email, fax, and other means. In that way, you help your users stay up to date on important information.
So, if a marketing manager tracks the progress of multiple campaigns by setting up weekly reports, they can schedule weekly reports for each campaign to go out every Monday at 11 AM. And send it only to employees involved in that specific campaign. The delivery method of these reports is very flexible. You can send them in the format most suitable for communication within your department.
Scheduled reporting allows you to send reports triggered by a specific event as well. For example, a sales executive might receive a sales report when a new sales deal closes.
When it comes to deployments where the data changes from one user to another or larger report deployments, reports can be burst out. This form of scheduling reports makes the job of analytic administrators easier, allowing them to use a single bursting key to give users the needed information from only one report using APIs.
Automatic reports exist to remind users to accomplish a certain task and to improve overall user productivity. By delivering useful information to them exactly when they need it, they can find relevant data more easily, which in return benefits real-time decision-making. This is especially helpful for reports with large datasets. You can schedule a report with a large data set to run in the background automatically. In that way, the user can see it whenever they need to see the data without waiting until it’s been run.
How do you automate reporting with Google Analytics?
Those who use Google Analytics might be interested in learning how to take advantage of automated data. This will save time on web analytics and focus on finding data-driven insights and improving their digital channels.
Before you begin, you’ll need three things other than your Google Analytics account. They are as follows:
The Google Analytics add-on, which connects your GA account with your Google Sheets;
Google Data Studio, is a tool that allows you to create parse reports for different KPIs.
Then, you’ll have to decide what you want to see in your reports. It is based on your type of site (a personal or professional blog or brand website.)
The next step is to install the add-on so that it can link to your Analytics data. Then, set the basic parameters for your data analysis reports, such as the title, account information, metrics, and dimensions. Creating summaries and scheduling may not be compulsory, but they make everything easier.
To visualize the report:
1. Import data to Google Data Studio.
2. Select “New Report” and choose Google Sheets as your data source.
3. Open the worksheet you want to use in your report and click the “connect” button.
4. Choose a chart type from the toolbar and create a chart in the size you want.
5. Select your desired dimensions and metrics using your summary sheets to create different report types from business data.
6. Then, add filters to the reports.
The reporting process is finished when you need to change months in Google Sheets.
The whole process of getting there can be a bit challenging. Once completed, it’ll run on Google Sheets without requiring your help.
Top 7 Reporting Tools to Create Automated Reports
Reporting tools are created to make automated reports. Here are some of the most popular automated reporting tools for different types of reports and their best features:
Whatagraph - sends automatically generated reports from multiple data sources including social media, easy customization options; interactive real-time dashboards, intuitive report templates, competitive pricing
SAP Crystal Reports – a report automation tool that offers content distribution in a spreadsheet, PDF, and HTML;
DBxtra – automatic report generation on scheduled time, XL reporting service;
Tableau — a BI tool that saves time by connecting and extracting information kept in different databases;
Windward Studios – data-powered document creation and data analytics system for enterprises;
Vena Solutions – it embraces the full power of Microsoft Excel and provides a cloud-based solution;
Wrike – suitable for both SMB and enterprise.
Automated data reporting and scheduling reports allow you to deliver relevant data from multiple sources to your users via reporting dashboards.
You can choose to manually create business reports every week or month, or streamline your workflow by using automated reporting software such as Whatagraph.
It is a proactive and timely way with specific parameters for how, when, and who to deliver them. It’s simple, effective, and ensures maximum productivity.
Published on Sep 16 2019
WRITTEN BYIndrė Jankutė-Carmaciu
Indrė is a copywriter at Whatagraph with extensive experience in search engine optimization and public relations. She holds a degree in International Relations, while her professional background includes different marketing and advertising niches. She manages to merge marketing strategy and public speaking while educating readers on how to automate their businesses.
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