How to Do More with Your Data
Data all by itself is hard to use for decision making, and that’s why data reporting is so important. Reporting is about communicating the information that the data reveals, and summarizing the data so that it is useful to users.
Suppose one of your managers requests critical information necessary to manage a particular production task. Providing that information in the form of a stack of spreadsheets technically gives him or her that necessary information, but wading through it, making sense of it, and drawing conclusions will be a protracted and difficult undertaking.
Providing a report based on the numbers in those spreadsheets, on the other hand, makes sense of data and allows your manager to make informed decisions more quickly. When you have the ability to create reports from the data your forms and workflows collect, you are able to do far more with your data, potentially gaining insights that can give you an edge over the competition.
Less About “Keeping Score,” and More About Innovating
Before we had so much access to data, and the tools for organizing and crunching it, much of business management centered around controlling costs. While that is still important, of course, today there is more emphasis on providing relevant information that can help daily business decision-making. Whereas before, “keeping score” with historical data was about the best we could expect, today we have the ability to use data to provide information that can increase innovation. The key is having the tools for reporting it so data has meaning and offers insight.
Putting Your Forms and Workflows to Work Generating Valuable Information
When you use electronic forms and workflows in your business, you already enjoy benefits of greater efficiency and fewer errors. But did you know that all that data collected by those forms and workflows can do more? When your workflow software allows easy visibility into work processes, you can take data your forms and workflow processes collect and examine it in new ways. For example, you can look at data across multiple forms and summarize it in a single report. Or you can compare two workflows to see if one gets better results than the other.
Visibility Into the Workflow Process Is Key
Suppose you are interested in which of two office locations has a higher order total per sales rep. You can take information from completed invoice forms and choose various data objects, including order totals, and which office location recorded them. Once you determine a cumulative order total for each office location for the same time period, you can divide these numbers by how many people are at each location to get a per capita sales number for each. If Office Location A is selling twice as many products as Office Location B, you may want to delve deeper to find out why. You can do this easily if your forms and workflow software has built-in reporting capabilities.
“It’s Probably Too Hard to Create the Reports I Want”
If you use manual processes, or cobbled-together processes that are part manual and part automated, then reporting can be quite a challenge. However, when your business uses integrated electronic forms and workflow software that includes reporting tools, you have powerful reporting capabilities at your fingertips. It’s worth taking some time and exploring the types of reports you can create to see which ones offer important information that can not only help you gauge past performance, but make better decisions going forward.
Add Reporting to Forms and Workflows for New and Valuable Insights
Automated forms and workflows are great in and of themselves. But you can make them do more if your software allows easy reporting. PerfectForms offers powerful built-in reporting tools that let you build reports using a similar interface to that which you use to intuitively create your electronic forms and workflows in the first place. That means that the data your forms and workflows collect can be examined at any time and reported on in ways that make sense and offer new insights. If you would like electronic forms and workflows that do more through the power of reporting, we encourage you to contact us at any time. We would be happy to show you how PerfectForms can perfectly meet your needs.