Are you anxious about making daily reports?

Daily reports are a crucial tool for many businesses to track their daily operations and ensure smooth workflow. However, the process of manually creating daily reports can be tedious and time-consuming, especially for companies that require daily, weekly, or monthly reports.

Many employees are required to spend hours each day compiling data and formatting daily reports. This repetitive and monotonous task not only wastes valuable time but also hinders productivity and affects the overall work efficiency of the company.

Recently, I heard an interesting story from an HR friend. Their company was recruiting for a sales assistant position, and a highly experienced candidate with excellent qualifications was about to receive an offer. However, when asked if he would be willing to summarize sales reports, the candidate stood up and firmly stated that he would not do it.

My HR friend was puzzled and asked me, “Are daily and monthly reports really that scary? Isn’t it just summarizing the data every day? Is it that exaggerated?”

Although I sympathize with my HR friend, I can understand the pain of salespeople being tortured by Excel to make daily, weekly, and monthly reports. These reports are definitely not as simple as just filling in numbers and writing summaries in the eyes of others!

The general steps of making daily reports in Excel

Making daily work reports with Excel can be described as manually repeating the same work every day or month.

This includes retrieving data, establishing and formatting daily or monthly report templates, adding formulas, using pivot tables, VBA, macros, filling in data, completing the report, exporting it, and sending it to the supervisor via email.

The general steps for making daily reports in Excel
The general steps for making daily reports in Excel

Actually, it’s not just this salesperson. Many companies now implement systems for daily, weekly, and monthly work reports. Positions in sales and production lines require daily and monthly reports.

Although it is aimed at achieving better downward management and upward feedback, everyone’s energy is limited. Various manual and formal daily and monthly report productions are very time-consuming, and sometimes you may unwittingly become a true “reporting machine.”

Say goodbye to the troubles of making daily reports every day

“Why not abolish the system of daily work reports, given how tedious and time-consuming it is to create them?”

“Of course not!”

Take manufacturing companies, for example. Monitoring project progress and production data on a daily basis is critical. Even though creating these reports is tedious and repetitive, companies must use daily reports to keep production data under real-time control.

Since the system of daily work reports cannot be eliminated, is there a way or tool to quickly create daily, weekly, and monthly reports, which can ideally generate them automatically?

For daily work reports on work summaries and plans, it is not feasible to generate them automatically. However, for daily and weekly reports on statistics, the automatic generation of these reports is entirely possible and practical.

There are three key points: automatic data extraction, automatic generation of daily report templates, and automatic publishing of reports.

  • Automatic extraction of the data means connecting directly to the database through a reporting tool like FineReport, there is no need to enter data anymore manually. The required data can be directly entered into the reporting tool when creating the report.
  • Automatic generation of daily report templates means that you only need to create a daily or weekly report template or a daily report format once, and then you can use it directly in the future by inputting data every day.
  • Automatic publishing of reports means setting up a Task Schedule Management so that the weekly reports with data can be published on the platform or sent to a specific person at a specified time without manually sending the reports to your supervisor every day at the last minute.

How can these three functions be achieved? Is the operation complex?

Don’t worry, we definitely have a way!

Look at the picture below: this is the automated report I created using FineReport, which can generate daily and weekly reports or reuse a daily report format with one click.

daily report sample
daily report format
Daily Report Sample
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Example of making daily reports automatically: a three-step process

To achieve daily and monthly report automation, you only need to solve three problems:

  • How to acquire data automatically before making the daily work report?
  • How to automatically generate daily report templates for direct application in the future?
  • How to automatically publish or send the daily report after the report is completed?

Below, I will analyze one by one how FineReport solves these three major problems and frees report makers from the torment of fixed and repetitive reports like daily and weekly reports!

You can download the free version of FineReport and make daily reports step by step with me.

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1. Automatic extracting data

If I were a team leader in a manufacturing enterprise producing products on a production line, one of my daily tasks would be to write a daily work report based on today’s production data. This creates a problem: if my superiors want to check the data of my daily or weekly work report, where do I get the data from? Because all the data is in a pile of Excel sheets, if the enterprise is without a production planning system, how can I extract the data?

For companies with a higher level of informatization, this problem is easily solved by inputting production indicators and progressing into a production planning system. The report data can be directly extracted from the system. However, for most companies, there is no complete production planning system to support the construction of a reporting platform, and production progress can only be summarized and printed in Excel or recorded on a production blackboard to arrange production quarters. The task of extracting data for report creation can be very difficult.

This is why many people cannot get the desired data when creating daily work reports, or cannot enter the data they want into the daily report. After spending a lot of time creating a pile of daily reports, they are worthless.

The first key point of FineReport’s automated reporting is that the reporting platform is directly connected to the database. In other words, FineReport builds a data center with the support of a database. All production data can be centralized into the system, managed through business data packages, and updated in real time according to the fields in the database.

When you want to create a daily work report, you can directly extract data from the database. Similarly, you can also integrate FineReport with the OA system or ERP system to extract and find data for report creation at any time.

2. Automatic generation of daily report templates

Once I solve the database issues, I can create templates for daily and weekly work reports. However, in order to automate the reporting process, I want to only have to create a daily report once and use it as a template for future reports, which can be retrieved directly when needed.

To achieve this, I can store the finished template on the data platform with FineReport, and retrieve it directly when creating the daily work report. This greatly reduces the time and complexity of creating reports, making the previously tedious and complicated process of filling in numbers and data into daily reports as simple as possible.

The implementation of this feature is relatively simple. FineReport uses parameter filtering, where time columns that require filtering in the daily, and weekly data are assigned parameters, and corresponding data cells are assigned with filter conditions. This results in a fixed report template, such as the one shown below:

Daily Report Sample
Daily Report Sample

You can design different types of templates for different report supervisors in FineReport, such as a daily report template for the headquarters, a weekly template for different branches of the enterprise, and different templates for different teams. By setting drill-down relationships between these templates, hierarchical control and management over enterprise report data can be achieved, which can be easily accessed when needed.

Furthermore, when creating daily work reports, it is often necessary to include a lot of data and project progress information. At this point, simple and boring numbers are not enough to intuitively reflect the data situation. However, using the dashboard and data visualization functions of FineReport, you can use various types of charts and graphs to reflect the health of production progress, and again, you only need to use the template to fill in the numbers.

Sample of Daily Report
Daily Report Sample

With daily report templates, many people still have a question: some sales staff don’t want to use the system to enter data and prefer to use Excel to fill in reports. How can we achieve report automation in this case?

It’s simple. FineReport provides multiple ways to ensure data entry. It supports both filling in report templates with fixed styles and directly importing Excel data.

For example, IT staff can design report templates based on the needs of the sales team, and sales staffs only need to open the template periodically to fill in the data. Alternatively, IT staff can design imported templates based on fixed Excel sheets for the sales team. Once the table structure of the database and the template are designed, sales staff can import data from their daily work in Excel with just one click.

Daily Report Sample - Import Excel data
Daily Report Sample – Import Excel data

3. Automatic publishing of daily work reports

After filling in the daily report template, the next problem I faced was how to automate the reporting submission process. Generally, daily reports in enterprises are submitted on a regular basis. However, the report needs to be submitted manually each time. Once there are unexpected events happen, it will lead to delayed report submission.

This problem can be easily solved by using the function of Task Schedule Management in FineReport, which allows you to schedule the publish time of the completed reports and free yourself from the repetitive task of manual submission. You can conveniently and quickly set up tasks such as daily, monthly, and quarterly report without additional effort.

Daily Report Sample
Daily Report Sample

If you are a manager who waits for others to submit daily reports, FineReport can help you automatically summarize and organize data. All you need to do is open your phone and view the data you need anytime and anywhere on the mobile end.

If you are someone who needs to create daily work reports and submit them on a daily basis, you can utilize FineReport’s task schedule management and notification functions to automatically generate reports and send daily and weekly reports to corresponding supervisors.

The main steps involve setting up scheduled tasks, and the server will automatically complete the designated tasks at the specified time, generating the required files, and finally notifying people who want to view the reports through email, SMS, or platform message notifications. This automated process will greatly benefit enterprises who has the need for timely data analysis and decision-making.

automate daily, weekly and monthly reports
Daily Report Sample


Finally, let’s come back to the report itself. Actually, for most enterprises, reports need to be generated and published regularly, which means we have to do the same thing repeatedly to get the reports that need. However, this inefficient and costly way of generating reports is outdated.

On the contrary, automating the daily report process can not only reduce manpower and time costs but is also the most basic requirement for the data middleware construction of an enterprise. The key points are still the three functions mentioned above:

  • Automatically retrieving data from the database
  • Automatically generating and synchronizing daily work report templates
  • Automatically submitting filled daily reports

On the other hand, from the perspective of reporting tools, because we need to target most enterprise users, we cannot use complex programming languages. But easy-to-use reporting tool like Excel has too many limitations on automatic reporting.

Therefore, it is best to use reporting tools like FineReport which can package all the functionality into modules so that users can easily achieve what they want within one click of the mouse. Only in this way can daily report automation be truly achieved.

So, if you’re tired of the daily grind of manual report creation, it’s time to consider an automated reporting solution. Streamline your reporting process, save time, and improve your work efficiency with FineReport.

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