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Passport Software’s IRS-certified ACA Compliance Software simplifies year-round compliance and helps to streamline year-end reporting. It provides much more than just forms. Reports include: - The ALE Calculation report determin...Read more about ACA
Spreadsheet Server is a modular-based reporting solution that automatically pulls your live ERP data directly into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The solution allows users to generate reports from live data within Excel, leveragi...Read more about Spreadsheet Server
Zoho Analytics is a cloud-based reporting and business intelligence solution that offers several applications within its suite, including dashboards, analysis, reporting, data warehousing and more. This solution is used in multipl...Read more about Zoho Analytics
Jira Software is a business process management tool used by agile teams to plan, track and release software. Jira Software supports Scrum, Kanban, a hybrid model or another unique workflow. Jira enables users to create project r...Read more about Jira
Asana is the perfect platform to help you manage and implement your IT projects across your organisation. Asana helps teams orchestrate their work at scale—from daily tasks to strategic initiatives. With Asana, teams are more con...Read more about Asana
PBRS for Power BI (Power BI Reports Scheduler)
PBRS for Power BI (Power BI Reports Scheduler)
PBRS (Power BI Reports Scheduler) is an on-premise reporting solution that allows users to automate filtration, distribution and delivery of power BI reports and dashboards. The solution can be used by businesses of all sizes acro...Read more about PBRS for Power BI (Power BI Reports Scheduler)
Funnel is the leading marketing data hub designed to help marketing teams own their performance. With Funnel, marketers connect data from any marketing platform; store, organize, and share it with any visualization tool or data ...Read more about Funnel
Angles Enterprise for SAP
Angles Enterprise for SAP
Your SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) software has a wealth of data. But its complex nature makes it difficult for your teams to access, understand, and use the data efficiently and productively. Without data insights, you l...Read more about Angles Enterprise for SAP
IsoMetrix is an award-winning risk management software developer, providing state-of-the-art solutions for EHS, ESG and GRC management. For over 25 years, global companies have trusted IsoMetrix to manage their environmental, heal...Read more about IsoMetrix Lumina
DashThis is a marketing reporting software, allowing users to create custom dashboards for SEO, SEM, social media, analytics and display advertising reports. Users can integrate multiple data sources, allowing marketers and agenci...Read more about DashThis
ShipCompliant is a cloud-based compliance and distribution management platform that provides various solutions for breweries, wineries, distilleries, importers and retailers. Key features include registration management, delivery ...Read more about ShipCompliant
Cutting Edge is a windows-based accounting and reporting tool that helps reduce the time spent on contractor settlement processes and gain access to better business information. With this software, sawmill operators can track the ...Read more about Cutting Edge
Fluent (formerly Windward Core) is a powerful document generation platform combining an MS Office designer plugin, a centralized template manager, and a best-in-class engine to automate your business’s frequently created documents...Read more about Fluent
Angles Professional is designed to help businesses generate operational reports using pre-defined content and templates. The platform has a drag-and-drop editor that lets users create customized interactive reports. Angles Profes...Read more about Angles Professional
Jet Reports is a flexible financial and business reporting solution running inside of Excel and on the Web. From advanced business reports to sophisticated financial statements, business users can create reports in Excel with no e...Read more about Jet Reports
dReveal is a powerful, white-label, seamlessly embedded, and easily integrated reporting and dashboard solution, resulting from 20+ years of design development. Thousands of users, from thousands of companies, benefit from using...Read more about dReveal
Atlas Software was designed to give users a complete view of complex operations from any level. Giving companies the ability to accurately analyze data, which is critical for business decisions. The system contains all the major w...Read more about Atlas
Pointerpro is your platform to easily create assessments that allow your respondents to download personalized reports immediately. The innovative tool allows you to provide users with tailored advice at scale. This allows everyone...Read more about Pointerpro
Style Report is a reporting solution that enables organizations to create, share and manage engaging reports with internal and external stakeholders via a unified portal. The platform allows teams to access reports on mobile devic...Read more about Style Report
Swydo is a cloud-based marketing analytics platform designed to help businesses view, manage and monitor marketing campaigns via a unified portal. The platform enables marketers to generate custom reports and share them with clien...Read more about Swydo
Buyers GuideLast Updated: March 16, 2023
Generating business reports can be a giant headache. Many companies work with multiple disconnected sources of data and, therefore, struggle to analyze business performance in a way that's efficient and actionable.
This is where reporting tools come in. Reporting tools are used to create dashboards, data visualizations, charts and more so companies can more easily gauge business performance.
This guide will explain the types of reporting tools available, their benefits and key considerations for buyers making a purchase decision.
Here's what we'll cover:
Common Types of Reporting Tools
What Are Reporting Tools?
Reporting tools gather key data from multiple sources and consolidate it. From the collected business performance data, companies can identify trends, patterns and areas for improvement.
Many customer relationship management (CRM) systems offer some reporting functionality, as do many enterprise resource planning (ERP), marketing and sales software solutions. There are also many standalone reporting tools to choose from.
Common Types of Reporting Tools
Buyers purchase reporting tools for many reasons:
They have too many employees for their existing reporting tools or methods
Their current tools can no longer handle the amount of data the organization collects
Their existing methods are slow, cumbersome and inaccurate
Their current tools are only usable by IT staff, i.e., not accessible
While different solutions vary, there are a number of reporting solutions that address the above pain points. Below are the most common types:
Helps organizations focus on the metrics that are most important to their operations. Think of a dashboard as a display of the current overall status of your business.
Data visualization software
Offers graphical representations of data via simple user interfaces. Gives users a more insightful way to look at data that is often more digestible for those who feel overwhelmed by reports heavy on figures and text.
A performance management tool to compare strategic goals with results by attaching a numerical weight to performance and mapping progress toward goals.
Ad-hoc report writers
Help users design and generate custom, ad-hoc reports. This is especially helpful for organizations that frequently modify their analyses and need to generate new reports quickly.
Benefits of Reporting Tools
There are many benefits to using reporting tools, including:
Visibility of key metrics. Users have immediate access to the information they need to answer critical, real-time questions. This improves and speeds decision making.
Domo's Card Builder interprets your data and suggests how to visualize it. This helps users quickly access the most important and critical data for their business.
Improved accessibility. In the past, only team members with technical skills could build and access analytics reports. Today, reporting tools make it easy for anyone to instantly create reports and share data.
A good reporting tool should align with your company’s strategy and goals. It should also offer the following characteristics:
Ease-of-use. If your reporting tool is complicated to use, or even looks like it might be, employees will balk at the idea of using it, or simply give up. Look for reporting tools that are easy to learn with intuitive features and vendors that offer tutorials. To get a sense for this, check out reviews from real users when evaluating your options.
Sisense offers “getting started” tutorials to help new users get up to speed.
Easy implementation. To avoid a lengthy implementation or one that requires technical expertise, look for software that is easy to get up and running. This saves your IT department the burden of a time-consuming, cumbersome implementation process and ensures you’ll be able to start using your reporting tool right away.
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Reporting tools are used in a wide variety of fields by many types of users. Some of the most common include:
Business and IT analysts. Analysts need to create data visualizations on dashboards that they can embed in different applications. These are buyers looking for tools that allow them to fetch unstructured data from different sources and create customized dashboards for their colleagues, partners and clients. The ideal reporting tool should offer back-end support and integration capabilities that make pulling reports from different systems and databases easy.
Consultants and customer service managers. Reporting tools should enable consultants and customer service managers to create interactive dashboards rather than just data-driven "Excel-based" reports. These buyers are looking for tools that help them seamlessly add customer details or feedback collected from surveys and forums into dashboards. Once that’s done, their clients should be able to interact with the data and drill down to perform further analysis.
Department heads and business managers. A reporting tool that caters to department managers must have integration capabilities with different business applications. Managers need to be able to share data dashboards with colleagues and other stakeholders who use different systems. These could range from human resource management (HRM) and CRM to ERP software and many other tools. Therefore, these users need a reporting solution that comes with advanced integration capabilities. Besides this, such buyers are looking for solutions that offer easy customization options and allow quick access to key business metrics.
Software providers. Software vendors look for reporting tools that integrate with specific functionalities of their software, such as a knowledge base, custom portal etc. At times, they may even decide not to build a native reporting tool and instead embed a third-party reporting dashboard within their solution. These buyers are looking for advanced integration capabilities and white label options.
Nontechnical business users. Professionals in traditionally nontechnical departments, such as sales or customer support, require dashboards where they can view data in a single click. These buyers need reporting tools with interactive dashboards that allow them to drill down further into reports, such as product sales, consumer behavior, budgets and more.
Gartner’s ''Market Guide for Enterprise-Reporting-Based Platforms'' (content available to Gartner clients) states: ''By 2020, 80% of all enterprise reporting will be based on modern BI and analytics platforms; the remaining 20% will still be on IT-centric reporting-based platforms because the risk to change outweighs value.''
Forbes Insights, in association with Qlik, conducted a global survey of 437 senior executives, which revealed that four out of five organizations (81 percent) experienced ''very significant business benefits from their BI programs.''