The ability to embed ad hoc reports within websites or applications has revolutionized the way businesses deliver information to their users. However, as with any new technology, there are always a few challenges.
When enterprises run into trouble with embedded ad hoc reporting, it is usually due to a lack of planning or foresight. And when you see a public or private embedded report that isn’t operating or presenting data as expected, it is often due to a variety of issues.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these potential problems and some tips to help you choose and implement the best embedded ad hoc reporting solution for your business.
The benefits of embedded ad hoc reporting and BI solutions
First, let’s briefly review the benefits of embedded ad hoc reporting.
Ad hoc reporting is a type of business intelligence (BI) that allows users to create their own reports and analysis on the fly without having to rely on IT or other centralized resources. This gives users the power to answer their own questions and explore data in new ways without having to wait for someone else to do it for them.
Embedded ad hoc reporting takes this one step further by embedding the report-creation capabilities right into the application or website where users are already working. This provides a seamless experience for users and eliminates the need to switch back and forth between different tools.
The benefits of embedded ad hoc reporting include the following:
1. Increased agility and responsiveness
Users can create their own reports in real-time without having to wait for IT to do it for them. This means they can get the information they need when they need it and make decisions faster.
2. Greater insights
When users have the ability to explore data on their own, they can often find new insights that would have been missed using more traditional reporting methods.
3. Improved user adoption
Embedded ad hoc reports are typically much easier to use than traditional BI tools, so users are more likely to actually use them and get value from them.
4. Lower costs
Because users can create their own reports, you don’t need to hire as many business intelligence experts, which helps reduce costs.
5. Increased customer satisfaction
When customers can easily get the information they need from your website or application, they are more likely to be satisfied with your overall product or service.
Now that we’ve reviewed the benefits of embedded ad hoc reporting, let’s look at some potential problems that can arise.
1. Lack of data governance
One of the most common problems with embedded ad hoc reports is a lack of data governance.
Data governance is the process of managing data so that it is accurate, consistent, and compliant with corporate policies and regulations.
Many organizations make the mistake of thinking that data governance is only necessary for centralized reporting systems. But when users have the ability to create their own reports, it is even more important to have strong data governance.
Without data governance, users may inadvertently create reports that contain inaccurate or inconsistent data. This can lead to bad decisions, wasted time and resources, and decreased customer satisfaction.
The best way to avoid this issue is to ensure that data governance is built into your embedded ad hoc reporting solution.
Your solution should have a centralized repository for all data, plus built-in tools for managing users, permissions, and security. It should also include features like data validation and cleaning to help ensure that all data is accurate and consistent.
2. Lack of scalability
Another possible problem with embedded ad hoc reporting is a lack of scalability.
As your business grows and changes, you’ll need to be able to scale your reporting solution to meet your new needs. But if your solution isn’t scalable, you’ll quickly outgrow it and be forced to invest in a new one.
When your ad hoc reports are unable to scale with your business, you risk losing money and missing out on meaningful opportunities.
When choosing an embedded ad hoc reporting solution, make sure to select one that is highly scalable. Your solution should be able to handle a large volume of data and support a large number of users without performance issues. It should also be able to scale easily and quickly as your business grows.
Also, keep a list of the features and capabilities you may need in the future, so you can ensure your chosen solution can accommodate them.
3. Lack of flexibility
Flexibility is a common issue when it comes to embedded ad hoc reports.
Users need to be able to easily change the data that is being reported on and how that data is displayed. But if your solution isn’t flexible, users will be limited in what they can do.
This can lead to frustration, decreased productivity, and, ultimately, a lack of adoption. And if your embedded ad hoc reporting solution isn’t being adopted by users or consumers, you can guarantee that it will never reach its full potential.
When selecting an embedded ad hoc reporting solution, make sure to choose one that is highly flexible.
Your solution should allow deploying users to easily change the data being reported on and the way that data is displayed. It should also allow those who are viewing the report on websites or mobile devices to easily interact with and manipulate the data.
4. Lack of support
Have you ever been stuck with a problem and had no one to turn to for help? It’s a frustrating feeling, and it’s one that you don’t want those using your ad hoc reports to have to deal with.
Unfortunately, lack of support is a common issue with many embedded ad hoc reporting solutions. And when users can’t get the help they need, they’ll quickly become frustrated and may even stop using the solution altogether.
Many organizations think that their job is done once they’ve implemented an ad hoc reporting solution. But in reality, you’ll need to continue to provide support to your users on an ongoing basis.
Users will need help with things like creating reports, understanding data, and troubleshooting errors. And if you’re not there to provide that support, they’ll quickly become frustrated and give up.
When selecting an embedded ad hoc reporting solution, make sure to choose one that comes with comprehensive support.
Your vendor should offer things like training, documentation, and customer service. They should also have a team of experts who are familiar with your specific business needs and can provide assistance when needed.
5. Not taking advantage of all the features
Finally, one of the biggest mistakes that organizations make with embedded ad hoc reporting is not taking advantage of all the features that their solution offers.
Most solutions come with a wide range of features and capabilities, but many users never bother to explore them all. As a result, they cannot get the full benefit of their investment.
When selecting an embedded ad hoc reporting solution, make sure to choose one that offers a wide range of features and capabilities. You should also take the time to explore all the features that your solution offers. And if you’re unsure how to use a particular feature, don’t hesitate to contact your vendor for help.
By taking advantage of all the features that your solution offers, you’ll be able to get the most out of it and ensure that it meets all of your business needs.
Embedded ad hoc reporting is a powerful tool that can help organizations make better decisions and improve their overall performance. But in order to get the most out of it, you need to avoid these common mistakes.
By selecting the right solution and taking advantage of all the features that it offers, you’ll be able to ensure that your embedded ad hoc reporting efforts are a success.
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