The majority of an organization’s day-to-day workflows are in the hands of its lines of business.
It’s frustrating, then, that many legacy operational reporting tools fail to provide employees the self-service reporting capabilities they need to do their jobs well. Instead, many of these tools are bogged down with inefficiencies such as non-intuitive interface, limited output options and inadequate data integration. Operational reporting tools with such non-user-friendly features put employees at the mercy of the IT department, which incurs the effect of stifled productivity. When you stifle IT productivity, you stifle your own business performance.
A better solution is to empower the lines of business with a self-service reporting tool that allows them to complete tasks swiftly and efficiently without having to rely on their IT department for every task.
Understanding the value of operational decisions
According to James Taylor and Neil Raden, authors of “Smart (Enough) Systems,” the lines of business make the majority of operational decisions, while executives and managers are typically responsible for strategic, or “high-value” decisions.
It’s true that these latter decisions need to be well-thought-out because they have greater long-term sway, but there are exponentially more operational decisions – “hundreds, thousands, and even millions” according to Taylor and Raden. Alone, these operational decisions may not have the far-reaching impact of strategic decisions. But together, they’re worth just as much, if not more. After all, the many day-to-day functions of employees make up the bigger business strategy in motion. It just goes to show how important the lines of business are to an organization’s value.
Coming full circle, this is precisely why the use of IT-centric reporting and analytics tools make it difficult, if not impossible for employees to realize their full value. If employees can’t make smart operational decisions based on well-built reports that reflect the most up-to-date, accurate information, they can’t help your business achieve its full potential.
The lines of business make countless operational decisions every day, and they all contribute value in some small way.
Better operational reporting means better business operations
Giving the lines of business the autonomy they need to succeed in their roles requires a self-service operational reporting tool that provides the following:
- Seamless, secure data integration: The lines of business need access to multiple data sets they require to build reports.
- Multiple output options:These include web-based pivot tables, charts, graphs, PDF, HTML, Excel, Excel Publisher, RTF, CSV and more.
- Document Delivery: This is the ability to automatically send relevant ad hoc analysis to pre-nominated users either immediately or on a scheduled basis.
“Give your employees the self-service capabilities they need to get more done in less time.”
For example, an operational reporting and analytics solution like ORBIT Analytics will integrate with your enterprise resource planning applications to extract information, but also with your e-commerce platforms, and other custom, in-house applications.
ORBIT Analytics also offers superior dashboards, which can quickly and easily be interpreted, allowing for in-the-moment, data-driven decisions. Your employees won’t be overwhelmed with operational information, and will have everything they need to optimize operational functions. If necessary, these reports can be shared the moment they’re complete, which is a huge boon for improving collaboration within and amongst the various departments of a business.
At the end of the day, operational efficiency is all about “delivering quality goods to customers in the most cost-effective and timely manner.” Give your employees the self-service capabilities they need to get more done in less time, and you give your customers the quality of service and timeliness of delivery they crave.
That’s what we like to call a win-win situation.