/ You can build anything: how to use BI tools To build a custom reporting app
You can build anything: how to use BI tools To build a custom reporting app
Does your company use data?
It may be a silly question to ask. Of course, every company utilizes data to some extent in daily operations.
However, does your company truly use the data it collects every day? Does it capture, clean, and analyze the data in a way that allows it to make intelligent decisions?
If not, you are likely losing out on key opportunities to improve your business.
Fortunately, this is where business intelligence (BI) tools can help. BI tools allow companies to capture and cleanse data, as well as analyze it in a variety of ways, in order to make better decisions.
With BI tools, you can create powerful custom reporting apps that can help your business in a number of ways.
For example, let’s say you run an eCommerce store. You could use a custom reporting app to track key metrics such as conversion rate, average order value, and customer lifetime value. This would allow you to see where your business is performing well and where there are opportunities for improvement.
So how can you use BI tools to build a custom reporting app that improves your business performance? In this article, we will show you how.
Why use BI tools to build a custom reporting app?
Before we show you how to use BI tools to build a custom reporting app, let’s first take a look at why using BI tools for this purpose is a good idea.
As we mentioned earlier, companies are collecting more data than ever before. This is thanks to the proliferation of technology in both our personal and professional lives.
Every day, we generate data through our interactions with the world around us. This data is then collected by companies and stored in databases.
However, this data is often not used to its full potential. In fact, it’s estimated that only about 1% of all data is actually used by businesses to make decisions.
This is where BI tools come in. BI tools help companies to take advantage of the data they are collecting. They do this by allowing businesses to capture and cleanse data, as well as analyze it in a variety of ways, in order to make better decisions.
In other words, BI tools allow companies to turn data into action.
This is why using BI tools to build a custom reporting app is a good idea. By using BI tools, you can create a custom application that allows you to view your data in a way that is most relevant and impactful for your business.
What is a custom reporting app?
Now that we have established why it’s a good idea to use BI tools to build a custom reporting app, let’s take a look at what a custom reporting app actually is.
A custom reporting app is an application that allows you to track key metrics and performance indicators for your business in a bespoke manner. This information could potentially be visualized in an out-of-the-box graph, but an app allows you to customize not only the visualization but also the UI and functionality of your reporting environment. A custom reporting app helps contextualize data-driven insights by presenting data in a format familiar to the end-user.
Custom reporting apps can be used for a variety of purposes. For example, you could use a custom reporting app to track sales data across locations by showing a custom map that allows a user to zoom in and out to focus on different locations.
The sky is the limit when it comes to what you can track and the experience you can create with a custom reporting app. The key is to choose the metrics that are most important to your business and then consider what form of interaction would provide the most value to your business users.
How can BI tools be used to build a custom reporting app?
Now that we know what a custom reporting app is, let’s take a look at how BI tools can be used to build one.
Internal data sources are data that are stored within your company’s systems. This could include data from your CRM system, your accounting system, or even your eCommerce platform.
External data sources are data that you gather from third parties for the purpose of benchmarking or performing market analysis. This could include data from social media platforms, market research firms, or even government agencies.
By connecting to both internal and external data sources, BI tools allow you to consolidate your data into a single environment. With all the data in one place, your BI tool is now the perfect location to build business applications via which your team can interact with and take action on your data.
In addition, BI tools allow you to write back to source systems to update information based on user inputs. For example, while reviewing pipeline figures for the quarter, a sales rep could update a forecasted close date on an opportunity and your application could push that update back to your CRM automatically.
Leveraging a business intelligence tool’s capability to read from and write to source systems is a huge benefit to building custom applications. Rather than managing your business from a handful of systems, your BI tool can be both the source of truth as well as the platform for action.
Finally, BI tools also allow you to schedule reports. This means that you can have reports automatically generated and sent to you on a regular basis.
This brings the latest data right to your end-user, without having to manually generate reports yourself and without even having to log in to a tool.
How to build a custom reporting app effectively
Now that we know how BI tools can be used to build a custom reporting app, let’s take a look at how to build one effectively.
There are a few key things to keep in mind when building a custom reporting app.
1. Source the right data
The first step in building a custom reporting app is to source the right data. Your custom reporting app will only be as effective as the data that is brought into it.
This means that you need to make sure you are collecting data from the right sources. You also need to make sure that the data is in a format that can be easily consumed by your reporting app.
With BI tools, you can utilize data connectors to connect to a variety of data sources. This includes both internal and external data sources.
You can also connect to a variety of data formats, including both structured and unstructured data.
By sourcing the right data, you can ensure that your custom reporting app is always up-to-date with the latest information.
2. Build a robust data model
The next step in building a custom reporting app is to build a robust data model. This is the foundation of your reporting app and will be used to track all of your key metrics and performance indicators.
A good data model should be easy to use and scalable. It should also be able to handle data coming from several disparate sources.
With BI tools, you can use a variety of data modeling techniques to create a data model that meets your specific needs.
3. Create custom reports
Once you have sourced the right data and built a robust data model, it is time to start creating custom reports. This is where you will track the metrics and performance indicators that are most important to your business.
With BI tools, you can create custom reports by designing and developing how you’d like the experience to be structured. You can also use a variety of report or app templates to get started.
The key here is to make use of the data behind the scenes in your BI tool to create reporting experiences that are both informative and visually appealing. The more your report offers actionable and practical insights, the better.
4. Deploy and monitor your reporting app
Once your custom reporting app is complete, it is time to deploy and monitor it. This will allow you to get insights into how your business is performing and track progress over time.
With a finance reporting app, the most common use cases are usually tied to forecasting. Custom applications that allow for “what if” analysis and varied forecasting models make for quicker time to value and more flexibility in the budgeting process.
If you are looking to build a custom reporting app for your business, be sure to make to choose a robust BI platform that allows for custom development. These tools will allow you to build an app that is tailored to your specific needs. In time, you’ll begin to find that the insights offered by your custom reporting app are far more valuable than simple bar charts were able to offer.
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