/ How to get the most out of embedded ad hoc reporting

How to get the most out of embedded ad hoc reporting

In the world of data reports, few things are more versatile and convenient than ad hoc reporting.

Ad hoc reporting is simply creating a report tailored to answer a specific question or business need. This type of reporting can be done on-demand, making it ideal for addressing unexpected issues or opportunities.

Embedded ad hoc reporting takes this concept one step further by allowing users to create and run reports directly from within the application they are using. This makes it even easier to get the answers you need when you need them.

If you’re not already using embedded ad hoc reporting in your business, here’s a guide to getting started and making the most out of this powerful tool.

Let’s start by taking a closer look at what ad hoc reporting is and why it can be such a valuable tool for your business.
 
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What is ad hoc reporting?

Imagine that you work in marketing for a large company. One day, your boss comes to you with a new project. She wants you to put together a report on the effectiveness of the company’s recent advertising campaign.

You have all of the data that you need to put together the report. However, it is stored in several different systems, including a customer relationship management (CRM) system, an advertising platform, and a data warehouse.

In order to put together the report, you would need to export the data from each of these systems into individual Excel or csv files, clean the data, and then combine it all into a single file. This process can be time-consuming and error-prone.

With ad hoc reporting, you can skip all of that work. Ad hoc reporting tools allow you to connect to multiple data sources and then run reports directly from within the tool. This means that you can quickly and easily create the report your boss needs without exporting and combining data from multiple systems.

Ad hoc reporting tools also allow you to customize reports to answer specific questions. For example, you can easily add filters to your report to only show data for the advertising campaign that your boss is interested in.
 

Benefits of using ad hoc reporting

There are many benefits to using ad hoc reporting, including:

1. On-demand reporting: Ad hoc reports can be created on-demand, as needed. This makes them ideal for addressing unexpected issues or opportunities.

2. No need to export data: Ad hoc reporting tools allow you to connect to multiple data sources and run reports directly from within the tool. This means that you can create reports without having to export data from multiple systems.

3. Customizable reports: Ad hoc reports can be customized to answer specific questions. For example, you can add filters to only show data that is relevant to the question you are trying to answer.

4. Easy to share: Ad hoc reports can be easily shared with others, either by sending them the report file or by embedding the report in a web page or document.

5. Scheduled updates: Ad hoc reports can be scheduled to automatically update on a regular basis. This ensures that you always have the most up-to-date information when you need it.

Now that we’ve seen some of the benefits of using ad hoc reporting, let’s take a look at how to create effective ad hoc reports.
 

How to create effective ad hoc reports

There are a few things to keep in mind when creating ad hoc reports:

1. Choosing the right data sources

The first step in creating an effective ad hoc report is to choose the right data sources. Ad hoc reporting tools allow you to connect to multiple data sources, so you can include all of the data that you need in your report.

When choosing data sources, it is essential to make sure that they are reliable and accurate. Additionally, you should only include data that is relevant to the question you are trying to answer.

Your data sources might include a data warehouse, a CRM system, an advertising platform, and so on. In this case, talk to the owners of each data source to ensure that they are accurate and up-to-date.

2. Designing the report layout

Once you have chosen your data sources, you need to design the layout of your report. This includes deciding what information to include and how to present it.

When designing the layout of your report, it is important to make sure that the information is easy to understand and interpret. Additionally, you should use graphical elements such as charts and graphs to visualize the data.

Many modern BI tools allow for drag-and-drop report creation, which makes it easy to create an effective report layout.

3. Adding filters and drill-downs

Another important element of creating effective ad hoc reports is adding filters and drill-downs. Filters allow you to only include data that is relevant to the question you are trying to answer.

For example, if you are creating a report on advertising campaign performance, you might add a filter to only include data from the campaign that you are interested in.

Drill-downs allow you to further analyze your data by providing more details at different levels. For example, you might drill down from an overview of all advertising campaigns to a detailed analysis of a specific campaign.

4. Sharing your reports

Once you have created your report, you need to share it with the appropriate people. Ad hoc reporting tools make it easy to share reports by allowing you to send the report file or embed the report in a web page or document.

When sharing your report, it is crucial to make sure that you send it to the right people. Additionally, you should provide instructions on how to interpret the report.

5. Embed your reports

One of the best features of ad hoc reporting tools is the ability to embed reports into a web page or document. This allows you to share your report with a wider audience without having to send them the report file.

To embed a report, you simply need to copy and paste the code provided by the ad hoc reporting tool. In most cases, your BI tool will provide a code snippet that you can use.

If you are embedding your report on a web page, you should make sure to test the report to ensure that it is displaying correctly. Additionally, you should update the embedded report whenever you make changes to the original report.
 

 

Tips on how to effectively use embedded ad hoc reports

Embedded ad hoc reports are a powerful way to share data and insights with others. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using this feature:

1. Make sure your report is easy to understand

If you are embedding a report into a web page or document, it is important to make sure that it is easy to understand. You should provide a brief description of the report and include instructions on how to interpret the data.

2. Update the report regularly

If you are embedding a report in a web page or document, you should make sure to update the report regularly. This will ensure that the data is accurate and up-to-date.

3. Test the report before embedding it

Before embedding a report in a web page or document, you should test the report to ensure that it is displaying correctly.

4. Get feedback on the report

If you are sharing your report with others, it is important to get feedback on the report. This will help you improve the report and make sure that it is effective.

5. Schedule automatic updates

Many ad hoc reporting tools allow you to schedule automatic updates for your reports. This ensures that the data in your report is always up-to-date.
 

The bottom line

Embedded ad hoc reports are a powerful way to share data and insights with others. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using this feature.

Make sure the report is easy to understand, update the report regularly, test the report before embedding it, get feedback on the report, and schedule automatic updates. By following these tips, you can ensure that your embedded ad hoc reports are effective.

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