Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped thousands of companies find reporting tools to help prepare and produce reports for internal and external use.

Showing 1-20 of 59 products

Domo

Domo is the Business Cloud®, empowering organizations of all sizes with BI leverage at cloud scale in record time. With Domo, BI-critical processes that took weeks, months or more can now be done on the fly, in minutes or seconds,... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Datadog

Datadog is a network monitoring tool that helps companies gain visibility into application performance. The software provides an overview of a product to a single SQL query and correlates app performance or errors with infrastructure... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Spreadsheet Server

Connect your ERP to Excel in real-time. Spreadsheet Server works as an intuitive Microsoft Excel add-on, providing live data from 140+ Financial Systems into Excel for reporting and analysis, including drill-down. Empower users to... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Agency Analytics

Agency Analytics is a reporting platform for marketing agencies that helps businesses generate reports and dashboards for search engine optimization (SEO) auditing, social analytics, third-party integrations, mobile apps and more. Agency... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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DBxtra

DBxtra is a cloud-based business intelligence, reporting and dashboard solution used by companies to create and distribute web reports. The solution's report designer feature allows users to customize input parameters, data filters,... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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BOARD

Created to combine business intelligence, corporate performance management, and business analytics, BOARD is a full-featured business intelligence system that serves midsize and enterprise-level companies in a variety of different... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Smartsheet

Smartsheet is a work execution platform with a familiar spreadsheet-like interface that helps teams plan, track, and manage projects in real-time. The collaborative platform offers a range of project management tools, such as document... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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ActivTrak

ActivTrak is a cloud-based employee monitoring platform that helps small to large businesses monitor employees' online activities to ensure productivity and compliance within the organization. With ActivTrak, employers and managers... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Windward Studios

Windward Studios is a reporting and document generation solution that provides a data-powered document creation system for OEM, enterprises and system integrators. The solution offers the ability to edit, personalize and design document... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: On premise
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Sapience Vue

Sapience Vue is a data analytics platform that helps businesses generate reports to gain insights into operations across employee productivity, project management, and business compliance, among other processes. The enterprise risk... Read more

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Platforms: MacWinLinux
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germain APM

germain APM platform helps organizations quickly and cost-effectively monitor, analyze , and improve user experience, process, and technology issues. Different than traditional APM/RUM/BPM systems, germain APM platform's features include:... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Cumul.io

Cumul.io is a dashboard creation tool that helps businesses design personalized dashboards with custom logos, colours and login screen to establish brand identity with clients, visualize data and generate reports. The platform enables... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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FineReport

FineReport is the web reporting tool developed by Java, which can address your need for data integration, data visualization, data analysis, data query, data management and data entry across the organization. The intuitive drag-and-drop... Read more

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Platforms: MacWinLinux
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Bold Reports

Bold Reports is a cloud-based and on-premise reporting solution designed to help enterprises create, visualize, manage and schedule paginated and printable reports. Features include performance metrics, data sharing, parameters, permission... Read more

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Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Tableau

Tableau is an integrated business intelligence (BI) and analytics solution that helps to analyze key business data and generate meaningful insights. The solution helps businesses to collect data from multiple source points such as... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Zoho Analytics

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 multiple... Read more

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Deployments: Cloud
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ManageEngine Exchange Reporter Plus

Exchange Reporter Plus is a cloud-based reporting solution for Microsoft Exchange servers. It is offered by ManageEngine for businesses of all sizes. The solution allows users to track incoming and outgoing email messages, monitor... Read more

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Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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PayPal

PayPal is a digital payment platform that enables businesses and individuals to pay and accept payments through an online portal without revealing any financial details. The solution is suitable for businesses of all sizes. PayPal... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Wrike

Wrike is a cloud-based project management platform for teams of 20+ and is suitable for both enterprise and SMB. It comes with Gantt charts, calendars, workload view for resource management, custom dashboards and real-time updates.... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud
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Sisense

Sisense is an agile business intelligence (BI) solution that provides advanced tools to manage and support business data with analytics, visuals and reporting. The solution allows businesses to analyze big and disparate datasets and... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Buyers guide


Last Updated: August 11, 2020

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:

What Are Reporting Tools?
Common Types of Reporting Tools
Benefits of Reporting Tools
Key Considerations
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Market Predictions

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:

Dashboard software 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.
Scorecarding tools 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

 

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.

Key Considerations

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.

Market Predictions

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.''