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Reporting Tools & Software: The 4 Most Crucial Aspects
With the right reporting tools in your belt, you’ll be able to change the way you manage. Take a look at the four most crucial aspects to keep in mind when selecting a solution.
Most organizations begin their reporting process in Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint—and typically don’t consider alternatives until their reporting becomes too robust or complex. They then begin looking for new tools in the marketplace and often find that creating the insightful reports they need will require a best-in-class reporting tool.
Companies looking for reporting software need a solution that can handle four major components:
Below, we’ve described what each of these components entail and why you should consider all four of them thoughtfully as you select the best reporting tool for your organization.
A scorecard is the organizing framework for a reporting tool. It allows you to define what your goals are, how you’re going to measure those goals, and the actions or programs you have in place to improve your performance. Whether you use the Balanced Scorecard (BSC), created by Norton and Kaplan, or another type of scorecard, simply having one is the first step in having a great report.
ClearPoint supports every scorecard framework and offers key scorecard elements like:
- Action Items
Whether you’re managing a business, nonprofit, or municipality, every organization uses different terminology. So while the Balanced Scorecard continues to be a very popular tool, less than 50% of organizations use a full BSC—and many of those organizations customize the language in their scorecard to the way they operate.
Whether you use the term “goals” instead of “objectives,” “KPIs” instead of “measures,” or “projects” instead of “initiatives,” your reporting software should be able to support the way you manage—not change it. For example, if you are customizing a Gantt chart, your software should allow you to filter results based on your priorities, the owners in your organization, departments, or the themes you manage around.
ClearPoint can be completely customized—from menu bars to custom fields of any type around any reporting element, both online and in a printable format.
Looking for a top-of-the-line reporting tool? Take a virtual tour of the ClearPoint management reporting platform.
It goes without saying that the ability to create reports is a critical aspect of reporting software. While every reporting software option has this capability, it’s important that you are able to create reports of extraordinarily high quality and generate and export your reports in the format you need.
A great, high-quality reporting tool will allow you to do the following:
- Generate reports that look beautiful both within the software and printed.
- Create reports that are customized to your organization’s look and feel that can be exported to the proper format for the appropriate audience.
- Easily create reports without the need of IT support or an investment in a separate report generation engine.
One of the main reasons you are likely looking for a reporting tool is to remove the burden of double-entry reporting. In other words, you want reporting software so you no longer have to cut data from five or six different places and paste it into your report. High-quality reporting software should be able to integrate with your data sources through data loading, data sourcing, or an application interface (API).
Additionally, you may need the ability to export data to a website—either internal (intranet) or public-facing (internet)—to keep your customers or citizens informed. A great reporting tool should be able to integrate with your website, saving you a great deal of time and headaches trying to keep those web pages up-to-date.
18 Reporting Tools On The Market
- Crystal Reports
- Jaspersoft Reporting
- i-net Clear Reports
- Windward Reports
- Zoho Reports
- MITS Report
- Microsoft Office Suite
- QlikView NPrinting
- DBxtra Report Designer
- Oracle Hyperion Interactive Reporting
- IBM Cognos
- Microsoft SQL Reporting and Power BI
- Telerik Reporting
We created ClearPoint with these four crucial aspects in mind, and the result is a robust, completely customizable reporting solution that can work in hundreds of industries. We strongly believe reporting software should support the way you manage—not the other way around.
But don’t just take our word for it! You can give ClearPoint a no-strings-attached test drive for 15 days. Simply click the link and fill out the form to get started!