Monthly reports can provide you and your team with timely disclosure and assessment of recent performance and activities. The monthly report is an essential communication tool inside the team.

This article will tell you everything you need to know about monthly report, including its definition, templates, and most importantly, how to efficiently make monthly report in your work.

Challenges of making monthly reports

I summarized these typical problems based on my experience of using many monthly reports over the years.

  • The process of data collection is time-consuming. Usually, the data is stored in Excel. Many companies try to use similar report formats internally to reduce transmission and conversion costs. But there is still a lot of repetitive work. For example, different departments use Excel sheets for calculations and statistics, with many formulas attached, resulting in a huge amount of scattered data. The cost of manual copying and verification is high.
  • Even if the data warehouse and templates are well established, it is also very troublesome to modify and adjust the fixed or static reports. Every change in the reports requires changing the underlying template.
  • Monthly reports can play a role in data display, but they lack data analysis functions. Performing data analysis and tracking issues through reports is challenging.

Even so, monthly reports are part of enterprise reporting. These reports are still inevitable every month. Is there any way to simplify monthly work?

The answer is yes. We can try to work from two aspects at the same time. On the one hand, try to reduce the workload through reporting software, especially to avoid duplication of work. On the other hand, try to increase the value of monthly reports for more efficient data analysis. Next, I will share the details with you.

Here, we mainly take the monthly report as an example, but the logic here is basically the same as the daily and quarterly reports.



Simplify monthly reports by reporting tools

The core of simplifying monthly reports is report automation; the key points are automatic data entry and automated reporting.

Most of the time, python and Excel can meet these needs. However, the code is hard for a newbie to learn. Here, I would recommend the software requires no code, which is easy to operate with its drag&drop interface.



1. Quickly collect the data for monthly reports

For example, if I were the production line leader in the manufacturing industry, my monthly task would be to generate monthly reports based on production data. First, I need to determine what indicators and metrics to include in the report. The focus should be narrowed down.

The problem is how to extract data from the separate Excel files. For some enterprises with a high level of informatization, this problem is easy to solve with FineReport.

FineReport is directly connected to the database. In other words, it is equal to building a data center in the FineReport under the support of the database, and all the production data can be centralized in the system.

You can integrate FineReport with ERP, CRM, or other business systems that store the production data. As long as the data of the production plan and progress of the production line are input into your business system, FineReport will extract data from these systems and update the date on the report in real time. 

However, few companies have a complete production planning system to support report generation. The production schedule can only be summarized and printed in Excel or recorded on the blackboard to arrange the production. It is so hard to collect the data to generate daily reports. 

In this situation, the data entry feature of FineReport plays an essential role in collecting data from different individuals. Data entry supports inputting data directly into the database via online forms, similar to filling out questionnaires. After setting the report formats, you can distribute the online forms to your team. No matter the data of the schedule or the progress that will be directly gathered into the database, the latest data will be displayed on your daily reports.

FineReport also supports importing Excel data in batches. After designing the importing templates based on EXCEL sheets, you can import data from Excel to FineReport in a few clicks.

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2. Automate the report generation process with the monthly report template

With the database issue solved, it is time to make a monthly report. But to automate the report, I hope I only need to make a monthly report once and then use it as a template. 

FineReport can realize it easily. Just make an excellent template and save it in the FineReport. You can reuse it when making a monthly report next time. It greatly reduces the process and time to make a report. 

At the same time, for different reporting users, you can use FineReport to set different types of templates. For example, the information department can design different templates for the headquarters and branch offices, or assign different templates for each team in the office.

By setting a drill-down relationship between these templates, you can drill down from headquarters’ reports to the branches’, also to the offices.’ In this way, finding critical problems is time-saving. 

Monthly reports usually involve the progress of the project, using numbers is hard to reflect intuitive data. In this situation, you can use dashboards, progress bars, and other charts to reflect the progress of your plan.

Monthly reports and project dashboard
Project Management Dashboard (made by FineReport)


3. Make the business department track the source of problem data directly based on monthly reports

Unlike the static display in the traditional monthly reports, you can analyze the problem through a variety of joint drilling operations, such as drill-down and linkage analysis in FineReport.



4. Export or print the daily, weekly, and monthly reports

FineReport supports exporting and printing reports in various formats, such as Excel, PDF, PNG, etc.



5. Share the reports with your team or your manager?

In general, the monthly reports of enterprises are reported at regular intervals. If you need to report them manually every day, it means lots of repetitive and tedious work. Once you have some emergency to do, the report will be delayed.

This problem is also relatively easy to solve with reporting software. With the schedule function, you will be liberated from repeated work. You can quickly set up daily, monthly, or other regular schedules without other work.

set monthly reports

If you’re a manager who waits for someone to submit a monthly report and gather data, FineReport can help you automatically gather and organize data. The only thing you need to do is open your phone and check the reports you need on your mobile anytime, anywhere.

And if you are the one who is responsible for making data reports, you can take advantage of FineReport’s regular scheduling and message-reminding function to set generating reports regularly and push the monthly reports to the corresponding managers.

automate daily, weekly and monthly reports

Increase the value of the monthly report

Make your reports easy to understand

To make your work appreciated, you should at least ensure that your monthly reports are easy to read and understand. Communication sometimes is difficult, so make sure you are using the same “language.” To prevent the audience from getting lost, you should subdivide the monthly report into different blocks based on basic logic. Also, it is worth spending some effort on the wording and formatting.

Visual graphics

Your audience is as busy as you. Don’t put endless and boring numbers on your reports. Instead, use more charts and graphics to explain those data.  Let your audience find the information they need easily and quickly, making your report more attractive.

Summary

The monthly report should take into account simplicity and comprehensiveness and cover the necessary important information. Automated report generation can liberate you from a lot of repetitive work.

FineReport is free for personal use. You can download it to help you simplify your monthly work.

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