Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Crystal Clear Reporting with Dashboards

Most people in business are accustomed with having to create reports at work- whether it is a finance report, a sales report or a marketing report- the list is endless. However, a surprisingly high number of people aren’t so familiar with business dashboards. Many people that get in touch with us aren’t even aware what a business dashboard is and so don’t realise that it can radically transform the delivery of information within a business or organisation.

Reporting is one of those routine duties; whether it is on a daily, weekly or quarterly basis. As such it is generally the norm that little or no thought is put to improving the presentation of the information. We find that those individuals that try and think outside of the box realise that presenting report consumers with reams of information isn’t always the answer. How many of you are familiar with providing a report to say sales agents, management or company directors only to have them get back to you with further requests often alluding to the fact they haven’t got time to read the information you have presented them with?

We typically find that Dashboards are especially popular with senior management and those in sales, as they are often the individuals that require quick answers to questions. Instant access to business critical information is where dashboards really come into their own.

Business dashboards when developed properly provide:

  • At-a-glance views of key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to a particular objective or business process.
  • A simple view of information, which communicates useful information easily.
  • Summaries, key trends and comparisons. Meaning that it’s easier to identify patterns, trends and anomalies.
What’s more development is currently being undertaken for the “next generation” of Crystal Dashboard Designs. As demo’d by SAP there is a new dashboard prototype which will in essence centre on a new HTML5 format. Historically dashboards have been rendered in a flash format however; the new HTML5 version will allow you to integrate dashboards into mobile devices.

If you feel that you would like to improve the presentation of information within your organisation why not take a look at some examples we have developed: http://www.dscallards4bi.com/dashboards and perhaps it will help start a radical transformation in your business.

Written by:  Abby Vanstone, SAP Crystal Solutions Account Executive, DSCallards

For more information visit www.crystalreports.co.uk.

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