Real Business Analytics for Real Business People

Speed up your reporting process

Speed up your reporting process, and this will result in faster month-end reporting.
This is a real barrier for most companies.
Everyone is so busy doing month-end reporting plus their ‘real’ jobs that there’s no spare time to focus on fixing the systemic problem of having to spend so much time on month-end reporting.

Month-end reporting costs a lot of money

Month-end reports take on average 2 weeks for most firms to prepare.
When you consider two weeks after month-end, it’s a whole SIX weeks after the beginning of the month the reports are about.
Then these reports don’t really provide any valuable information when you need it.

However, if you could speed up your reporting process and reporting was available 1 week earlier, or even 24/7, then it would provide the visibility from every angle of your business performance with such a degree of clarity that you would be able to respond to problems as and when they arise.

That’s far more valuable than discovering a problem 4 weeks after it’s happened, fixing it, and then waiting another month to find out if it’s solved.

How do you make this happen?


1. Review and prioritise

Set aside half a day to review and prioritise your reporting requirements.
Discard the double-ups and the fluff.
Call out the ones that take ages to prepare and also the ones that are prepared in a bad format like PowerPoint or Word.
It’s 2020 people; PowerPoint is not a reporting tool.

2. Scope things out

Scope out your ideal set of reports.
That includes metrics and layout.

3. Do a data audit

Work out if you can create these from your data and find out how long that would take.
More importantly, who’s going to do them.

4. Create Reports

Build out the new reports and replace the existing ones.
If you are time poor (who isn’t), then tackle this incrementally and focus on the most visible reports first.

5. Automate Reports

In this day and age, if you aren’t using some automated processes to get data and create reports, then you need to address that.
Automation is easy and will save you thousands of hours and dollars if you invest just a little bit of time and, maybe money, right now.

6. Set expectations

Set expectations on when reports are needed by and hold people accountable.

7. Enjoy

Enjoy a new era of instant reporting and being able to respond to problems as they arise.

But hang on…

It’s never that easy, is it?

There’s always one system that makes it really hard to get data out of it.
Or the Salesforce CRM needs to be manually synced to accounts, and that takes time, especially if Peter is on leave that month.
Don’t lose hope.
I guarantee there’s a tool for every single problem that you are facing.
Most of them are free and can be set up in a few days.
If you’re battling with extracting, combining, or blending your data and you’re relying heavily on Excel and copy/paste.
Find yourself a half hour or so and Google “integration tool {name of your application}” and you’ll be heading down a positive path.

Change the reporting game in 2020?

Whatever you decide to do, do something.
Faster month-end reporting will give you faster insights and allow you to make faster decisions.

That’s a game changer!