Both automated reporting and business intelligence can help businesses perform better but in different ways.
With automated reporting, organizations can simply produce reports faster and with less effort from business data without further analysis.
Alternatively, using a BI solution can offer ease of use in exploring the data, as well as scalability in automating reports from those explorations seamlessly and rapidly.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is Automated Reporting?
Automated Reporting, is about bringing users relevant useful information in a timely way, without the users having to seek out the information for themselves. It tells you what has happened and how different areas of a business are performing. Automated reports can be generated at fixed intervals, such as every Friday for the weekly sales figures. They may also be triggered by certain events, like a shipping backlog that has now increased to a critical level that must be resolved.
Productivity Through Automated Reporting
When you and your teams know which standard information and alerts you need, day in and day out, automated reporting can be a simple, effective way of providing that information. Automation can also help to make sure reporting is spread out over the course of each day. This prevents peaks in demand that might otherwise lead to problems with system performance. Ready-made reports make it faster and easier to get business status and performance information out of a system.
So Then, What is Business Intelligence?
Business Intelligence, on the other hand, is about taking proactive decisions to pull together data to ask questions about why or how certain things are happening. For instance, you might gather information from different sources (sales, CRM, production, or others) to see how sales revenues of one product affect net profits for another, or why production slowdowns have been occurring the same time every quarter and how to prevent them. The goal of BI is to get meaningful insights, which then help you better understand and enhance your business performance.
Performance and Profitability Through BI
Your business intelligence already starts when you assess a report and decide how to act on the information it contains. Comparing, examining, and questioning are all part of the process of better understanding your data and discovering relationships, trends, and opportunities for performance and profitability. The right BI platform helps you apply these processes intuitively to make sense of practically any size and number of data sources. It also offers you interactive dashboards that update automatically as new data arrives, helping you turn your business into a data-driven enterprise.
BI and Automated Reporting Working Together
A business intelligence application with built-in automated reporting can bring you the advantages of both approaches. By using the BI application as a single data repository, everybody can analyze the same versions of the numbers and work from a single source of truth to get information and insights. Simple connection of multiple data sources and easy creation of reports and dashboards let your users get what they need and get on with their jobs, with little or no help needed from IT.
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