/ What is ad hoc reporting and how does it relate to BI?

What is ad hoc reporting and how does it relate to BI?

Ad hoc reporting is a significant element of practical business intelligence. Ad hoc reporting allows users to use data to find answers to particular questions. It’s useful for executives that want to know specifics about business operations, such as “Which products are selling well?” or “What are our customers’ most frequent complaints?”

The goal of any modern business should be to utilize data-driven tools like ad hoc reporting to ensure operational efficiencies, profitability, and business growth objectives are met.


What is ad hoc reporting?

Ad hoc reporting is the creation of reports on the fly without a predefined set of parameters. For example, suppose you want to know how many units of an item were sold in your store by each sales associate during the last month. You could create an ad hoc report to get that information.

A query is a request you make to a database to get the information needed to answer your impromptu questions. This type of query is called “one-time only” because it is only intended for a single use instead of regular reporting and analysis.

Ad hoc reports are used for specific purposes and for a limited time because they’re not designed with general use in mind.


What is ad hoc analysis?

Ad hoc analysis is part of ad hoc reporting and involves exploring and manipulating data, extracting interesting or valuable information, and presenting it in a format that helps you draw conclusions.

The metrics generated by ad hoc analysis tend to be slightly more specific than other generated data points in business intelligence.


What benefits does this offer?

With ad hoc reporting, employees can get the most up-to-date information at their fingertips, which makes it easier for them to make decisions based on the latest trends. Other critical benefits include the following:

Less IT demand

Creating ad hoc reports using an intuitive business intelligence (BI) tool means that business users without any programming experience can find answers to impromptu questions. This streamlines the process because non-technical employees don’t have to go through IT to get access to data for reporting.

Greater flexibility

You can adapt to changes in your business environment quickly using ad hoc reporting. If something unexpected happens, you don’t have to wait. Ad hoc reporting enables executives to gain real-time insight so they can make necessary changes in a timely manner.

Saves resources

Ad hoc reporting also has its benefits in terms of time and money. Data analysis is a time-consuming process, especially if you don’t have the right tools at your disposal. With ad hoc reporting using a BI tool, you can get to the correct data faster, allowing you to make better decisions more efficiently.


What are some examples?

Banking and finance

Ad hoc financial analysis is performed at the management’s request and often outside of a standard reporting schedule. Ad hoc reports are generally used to answer specific questions or explore trends, but they can also be used for more advanced purposes, like determining the value of a company’s assets.

The most common scenario for ad hoc financial analysis is when a company is preparing for a merger or acquisition. In this case, you may need to perform ad hoc financial analysis to determine the value of the target company if it’s not already part of your standard reporting process.

Sales and marketing

Sales reports are a crucial part of the communication between sales and the rest of the company. Sales reports can be used to track performance, forecast future sales, and identify trends. They can also be used to help identify sales opportunities and customer satisfaction.

Ad hoc reporting gives you access to insights that may not be typically available during your regular reporting schedule.


If you have been involved in healthcare software development, then you are already familiar with ad hoc reporting. Ad hoc reporting is a way of reporting that is not predefined. It allows users to run reports on their own and get the answers they need.

This is critical in medicine, especially when it comes to patient care and treatment. If you have a patient in need of pharmaceutical information as it relates to their personal history, current treatment plan, or other drugs being taken, and you can access that information quickly, then you increase the rate of recovery.

Public service

Governments also use ad hoc reporting to track trends in their economies, populations, crime rates, and education levels. The government can use this information to make decisions that benefit its citizens.

For example, if the government sees that there is an influx of young people graduating with college degrees, but they’re not able to find decent-paying jobs because there aren’t enough positions available in the workforce, then it may decide that it needs to invest more money into creating new work in the public sector for these graduates so they can make a living wage.


Features to look for

Ad hoc reporting, as the name suggests, is all about analyzing the data you have available and then quickly getting the answers you need. To do this successfully, it’s essential to know exactly what features are necessary for ad hoc reporting.

One of the most critical reasons for creating ad hoc reports using a BI tool is that it allows you to share your reports with others. You can send them out via email or share them directly with other users of your company’s BI tool. In addition, ad hoc reporting via a BI tool also makes it possible for multiple people in different parts of the world to work together on one report simultaneously. This means no more having to wait until later in order to get feedback from someone else after you’ve done all your work.


Leveraging visualization and AI

Visualization is an important tool for making sense of data. It helps you see patterns and connections that you otherwise might not have noticed, giving you new insights into your business. Visualization can also be a great way to communicate insights to others, helping them make better decisions and improve their own businesses.

Business intelligence tools with data visualization capabilities help users make sense of large amounts of information in a more intuitive way than traditional charts or tables do. Your ad hoc reporting should include visual representations of the data.


Ad hoc reporting is critical to effective business intelligence

Ad hoc reporting is an important part of business intelligence, but it’s not all there is. Business intelligence is a broad term that encompasses many different things, with ad hoc reporting being just one of the many use cases.

Business intelligence enables users to access their data quickly, which saves time and reduces costs for both the company and the end users as they engage in ad hoc reporting.

Creating possibilities for ad hoc reporting in your organization will enable your team to be more flexible in response to current and future market trends. Integrating this strategy is critical to your success in today’s fast-paced marketplace.

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There’s an App for that—Tips for Crafting Apps, Dashboards, and other Engaging Data Experiences

Domo for Marketers: Tips and tools to seamlessly manage marketing data

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