Data is the new oil of this age. You may have used many tools that have some reporting features built-in, but they may fall short of the capability to handle the fast-changing data and surging reports. Even a lot of your work is occupied by SQL. As your business grows, you may find more urgent to build complete reporting solutions.

Today, I will tell you how to develop reporting solutions that meet all relevant personnel’s needs in the reporting system

Before start, let’s see what are reporting solutions, and what reporting solutions you should look for. 



What are Reporting Solutions?

Reporting solutions play a critical function in business operations. It frees you from the burden of reporting work and allows you to build valuable reports efficiently and manage these reports easily. Besides, reporting solutions support managers to utline a picture of business data and discover business insights. 

However, for most companies, the staffs spend 50% time on data collection, 30% time on checking and approving the data, 15% time on developing and publishing the reports, and 5% on business analysis. It is evident that the value of data collection for business decisions is minimal, but the value of data analysis is the greatest. 

Right reporting solutions free you from low-value operations and help you maximize the value of business analysis. 

the value of reporting solutions
Better reporting solution brings greater value (from FineReport)

Solutions vary from industry to industry, and this article will give the most common reporting solutions. You can customize yours based on it. 



Reporting Solution Architecture

Reporting is the way of getting data from the sources to the output. The whole architecture can be divided into three layers: data layer, application layer and presentation layer.

  • The data layer provides access to data stored in some kind of persistent storage.
  • The application layer take the responsiblility for report design, report generation, and report management.
  • The presentation layer plays a role in displaying the reports and dashboards.
Reporting Solution Architecture
Reporting Solution Architecture (FineReport)

The picture outlines the reporting solution architecture of FineReport. It is a general architecture for reporting systems. To be more customized to your industry, you need to sort out the different roles and their needs in your reporting solution.



How to Develop Reporting Solutions? 

Reporting solutions usually need to cover different roles in the system. The main are report developers and report readers.



Step1: Clarify the needs of different roles 

For Report Developers 

Report developers are responsible for compiling data into reports. The reports here are deliveries following certain structure and can be displayed in daily operations. In general, report development is divided into three stages: report prototype design, report development, operation &maintenance. 

YoY Report (by FineReport)

There is one important thing that develop always consider: the efficiency. They hope to be more efficient in report developing and in the system operation and maintenance. However report developer often meet the following dilemma.

  • Most of the report developing processes are still in a traditional way, some designers are still using the prototype software or Excel when designing the report prototype, which is time-consuming. 
  • IT departments use PHP, JAVA, and other programming languages in the report development stage to develop reports. It is demanding for developers and takes a long time. Besides, once the requirements change, the report needs to be modified by adjusting the code, which is too expensive to maintain. 


For Report Readers

The report readers are so called audience. They look forward to a report that can display relevant data in an orderly manner so that they can easily get the information they want. In this part, people at different levels of the company have different needs for reporting. 

  • For top-level managers, the reporting demands are to access the real time reports and to monitor the business performance anytime and anywhere, and detect trends through simple operations such as data linkage and drill down.
  • Middle-level managers‘ needs are similar to top-level managers, but they need high-quality reports with more detailed data, which requires excellent report templates developed by IT. 
  • For operational-level employees, they need to view the data about the progress of their own KPI. If they want to keep their daily operations on track, the report should be updated in real-time.

Input the scattered data into the database collaboratively and efficiently for data collection is another requirement. 



Step2: Select reporting software 

To meet these users’ needs, you need to choose a professional reporting tool that can cover their different needs.  How to choose a right reporting tool that best for your needs? Let me give you some ideas.



For report developers

To improve the development efficiency of report developers, I suggest you to evaluate the ease-of-use, and the support for integration, and the flexibility of reporting software.

For example, you can draw the prototype directly through the designer which support a visual way of development. Here, the FineReport designer I exemplified can reduce the work of subsequent template production.

FineReport has an Excel-like interface for general report making and a canvas interface for dashboard development. A variety of sophisticated report styles can be implemented with basic SQL and dragging the report widgets, which is much easier and more efficient than using PHP and JAVA.

reporting solutions software
FineReport’s semi-excel designer interface

In the late work maintenance, changing requirements can be achieved by directly modifying the design style of the template or the data source in FineReport.

Besides, FineReport provides a reporting portal where enables you to manage reports and permissions. It also allows report administrators to monitor the details of report access, quickly locate and deal with problems, and provide powerful data backup and recovery functions.

reporting solution for system
Decision making platform

With FineReport, you can integrate broad range of data sources from almost all databases. FineReport connects data sources through various channels, including direct connection to the database via JDBC, sharing database connection with the application server via JNDI or connection to the SAP system via JCO. It takes seconds and requires no messy scripting or coding.

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For top-level managers

  • Monitor the business performance: The reports developed by FineReports can be displayed on TV screens or other big screens. In the meeting, the KPIs or other metrics can be shown on TV screens via dashboards with cool visualization effects.
dashboard reporting solution
Dashboard (made by FineReport)
  • Besides, with the FineReport mobile app, managers can access dashboards anytime, anywhere on mobile to effectively monitor your ongoing operations and identify new business opportunities.
mobile reporting solution
Mobile Report (made by FineReport)
  • Operate basic data analysis: data can be analyzed from the product, time, region, and department dimensions through linkage, drill down to find the relationship between data, for margin improvement, making data profitable.
Drill-down Report (made by FineReport)


For middle-level managers

  • Easy to make reports: The reports can be made via drag and drop interface, which largely reduce the cost of creating reports, and the template can be reused
  • Export and secondary analysis: The reports can be exported to multiple formats such as Excel, Word, and PDF, where you can do secondary analysis, or you can export it to PPT for presentation
  • Forced data attention: The IT department can set automated reports and scheduled email to email the report to the responsible person for them to track metrics


For operational-level employees

  • Permission control: users at different levels have corresponding authorities to reports
  • Convenient data entry: users can enter the data into the database via reports on the web or mobile directly
Reporting solution
Data entry report ((made by FineReport))


Step3: Customize your reporting solutions

As mentioned above, solutions vary from industry to industry. The reporting solutions should consider the industry characteristics and indicator system.

For example, for securities & fund, the software implementation team from FineReport combined scattered data within the internal enterprise system, established a scientific data growth indicator system, and design a BI reporting platform solution for daily needs and operational management requirements of the business department, which consists of three distinctive modules: Management Dashboard, Business Reports, and Topic Analysis



Summary

Good reporting solutions will help you to handle the burst of data. FineReport used above provide a free trial for you. This chance of free trial will not limit your use time, download it now!

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