/ 10 common uses for ad hoc reporting

10 common uses for ad hoc reporting

Have you ever found yourself looking for data that you just can’t seem to find? Maybe you need specific information that isn’t available in any of the regular reports, or maybe you have a question that needs answering but don’t know where to start.

In a time when data is driving more business decisions, getting your hands on the right information can be critical. That’s where ad hoc reporting comes in.

Ad hoc reporting is a type of report that is created for a specific purpose or event. It is usually requested by someone who is not in the regular reporting chain and is often used to answer specific questions or provide information that is not available in other reports.

When used with business intelligence (BI) tools, ad hoc reporting can be a powerful way to get the data you need to make informed decisions. So, how can you start to use ad hoc reporting in your business? This guide will look at 10 everyday uses for ad hoc reporting.

 

Ad hoc reporting defined

Ad hoc reporting is a type of report that is created on an as-needed basis. It is usually created separately from routine reports.

In many cases, ad hoc reporting is used to answer specific questions or to provide data for a one-time event. For example, you might use ad hoc reporting to get detailed information about a customer’s purchase history or to generate a report of all employees who have been with the company for more than five years.

Ad hoc reports are typically created using BI tools, allowing users to access data stored in a data warehouse. BI tools give users the ability to create reports and dashboards from scratch without having to rely on IT or other departments to generate the report for them.

This flexibility is one of the key benefits of ad hoc reporting. Rather than waiting for someone else to generate a report, users can create their own reports and get the information they need in real-time.

 

What is embedded ad hoc reporting?

Embedded ad hoc reporting is a type of ad hoc reporting that is built into another application. For example, a CRM system might have an ad hoc reporting tool that allows users to generate reports on customer data directly from within the CRM interface.

Embedded ad hoc reporting tools offer the advantage of being integrated with the application where the data is stored. This can make it easier and faster to generate reports since users don’t need to switch between applications to access data and create reports.

 

Top 10 uses for ad hoc reporting

So, what are some common uses for ad hoc reporting? Here are 10 of the most popular use cases:

1. Generate detailed customer reports

Ad hoc reporting can be used to generate detailed reports on customer data. This information can be used to better understand customer behavior, identify trends, and make decisions about marketing and sales strategies.

For example, consider a retail business that wants to better understand its customer base. An ad hoc report can be generated that includes data such as customer location, age, gender, and purchase history. This information can then be used to segment customers and target them with more personalized marketing messages.

When you can easily create detailed customer reports, it’s easier to identify opportunities and make decisions that will improve the bottom line.

 
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2. Analyze sales data

Ad hoc reporting can be used to analyze sales data and identify trends. This information can be used to adjust sales strategies, set goals, and measure performance.

For example, an ad hoc report can be generated that includes data such as products sold, sales by region, and sales by employee. This information can then be used to identify which products are selling well and which employees are the top performers.

Seeing greater sales data visibility makes it easier to fine-tune your sales strategies and ensure that your team is meeting its goals. Plus, it’s easier to identify long-term trends when you can track sales data over time.

3. Understand website traffic

Ad hoc reporting can be used to understand website traffic and identify trends. This information can be used to adjust marketing strategies, improve website design, and measure the success of online campaigns.

For example, an ad hoc report that includes data such as website visitors, page views, bounce rate, and time on site can be generated. This information can then be used to identify which pages are performing well and which marketing campaigns are driving the most traffic.

When you can track website traffic data over time, it’s easier to identify long-term trends and make decisions that will improve your website’s performance.

4. Analyze marketing campaigns

Ad hoc reporting can be used to analyze marketing campaigns and measure their effectiveness. This information can be used to adjust marketing strategies, set goals, and assess ROI.

Ad hoc reporting can give you greater insights into your marketing campaigns by providing data such as impressions, clicks, conversion rate, and cost per lead. This information can then be used to identify which campaigns are performing well and which need to be improved.

When you can track marketing campaign data over time, it’s easier to identify long-term trends and make decisions that will maximize your marketing ROI.

5. Analyze financial data

Ad hoc reporting can be used to analyze financial data and identify trends. This information can be used to make better business decisions, set goals, and track performance.

For example, an ad hoc report can be generated that includes data such as revenue, expenses, profit margins, and cash flow. Not only will this allow you greater visibility into your financial data, but you’ll also be able to identify trends over time.

This information can then be used to make decisions about pricing, expenses, and investments. Having greater visibility into your financial data will help you make more informed decisions that will improve your bottom line.

6. Understand customer behavior

Ad hoc reporting can be used to understand customer behavior and identify trends. This information can be used to adjust marketing strategies, improve customer service, and increase retention.

Ad hoc reporting can help you understand customer behavior by providing data such as customer satisfaction scores and churn rates. This information can then be used to identify areas where customers are struggling and make changes accordingly.

When you can track customer behavior data over time, it’s easier to identify long-term trends and make decisions that will improve customer satisfaction.

 
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7. Perform competitive analysis

Ad hoc reporting can be used to perform competitive analysis and identify trends. This information can be used to benchmark your performance, set goals, and make decisions about your business strategy.

For example, an ad hoc report can be generated that includes market share, customer acquisition costs, and churn rate data. This information can then be used to compare your performance to your competitors’ and decide where to focus your efforts.

When you can track competitive data over time, it’s easier to identify long-term trends and make decisions that will improve your market position.

8. Understand supply and demand

Ad hoc reporting can be used to understand supply and demand and identify trends. This information can be used to make inventory decisions, set pricing strategies, and adjust production levels.

For example, an ad hoc report can be generated that includes data such as sales volume, inventory levels, and customer demand. This information can then be used to decide production levels and inventory management.

9. Evaluate business processes

Not only can ad hoc reporting be used to understand what is happening in your business, but it can also be used to evaluate business processes. This information can be used to improve efficiency, identify bottlenecks, and make decisions about process changes.

An ad hoc report can be generated that includes data such as cycle time, rejection rate, and cost per unit. This information can then be used to evaluate the efficiency of your processes and make changes accordingly.

10. Make better decisions

Finally, ad hoc reporting can play into overall decision-making regardless of your industry or role. This is because ad hoc reports provide visibility into data that would otherwise be hidden. When you have this visibility, you can identify problems early and make changes before they become too costly.

Ad hoc reporting can also be used to compare different options and make better-informed decisions. For example, if you’re considering launching a new product, you can generate an ad hoc report that includes data such as market size, competition, and potential revenue.

This information can then be used to make a decision about whether or not to proceed with the product launch.

 

Take advantage of ad hoc reporting

Ad hoc reporting is a powerful tool that can be used in a variety of ways. By taking advantage of ad hoc reporting, you can gain insights into your business that would otherwise be hidden. This information can then be used to make better decisions that will improve your bottom line.

If you are ready to take your business to the next level, consider using ad hoc reporting to get the insights you need to make informed decisions.

Check out some related resources:

Why BI Programs Fail to Scale: The Data Decision Gap

Nucleus Research: Domo’s ROI as a Data Platform

Domo for Financial Services Playbook

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