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How can Reporting Process be Improved?


5 min • 25 March, 2021

Report writing is a creative task that needs to be tailored towards the audience. Documenting irrelevant information could render your report saturated of redundancies. The report is meant to give a clear overview that will aid in the decision-making process.

In business reporting, information and data are crucial, and stakeholders and decision-makers want an informative report with accurate facts, figures, and projections to ensure they are making the right decision. Incorrect data or information can floor the top management's entire decision, and that's why the reporting process needs to be adhered to, to prevent and minimize such occurrence. Now the question remains how can reporting improve be improved?

A quality report needs to be transparent with figures, financials, services, solutions and identified trends and opportunities for improvement.

Transparency in report writing means easy access to every conceivable piece of information relevant to a business or organization and its purpose: For example, in business reporting, an annual report requires a complete auditing skill of financial statements, projections, budgetary allocation against the strategic plan.

The report process's importance cannot be overemphasized as it plays a crucial role in effective project management. Report writing is not only for the decision-makers but also for informing the clients and the public and satisfying their increasing demand with accurate reporting.

Despite the growing significance of quality project reports, organizations continue to struggle to deliver accurate and timely reports due to inconsistent reporting.

Below is a process that you can follow to improve your reporting:

1. Survey users

The first step in improving the reporting process is to survey users. The decision-makers need access to facts and data. The top management has varying requirements and goals; some prefer a very high-level overview, while others want specific information and many granular details.

Data is not gotten from a single source but various channels. You must engage customers to learn what they seek. Please inquire about the decision they would make if they have more detail. Investigate how they want reports delivered and how much they need them. Follow up for a short consultation or a quick survey regularly to make sure that decision-makers are using the report's information and whether some fresh material might be helpful.

Of course, continuing integration of useful technologies helps you ensure that you can produce the kind of reports that business clients need in a user-friendly format. Investments in technology save time and resources and allow for a much more analytical and systematic approach to producing detailed reports and have a measurable effect on the bottom line.

2. Customize your dashboards

Dashboard environment is a crucial strength in technology. Dashboards have transformed documentation, significantly reducing spreadsheets' volumes with stacked tables sent to administrators and department heads by email or hard copy.

A tailored dashboard enables decision-makers to do a decent job of tracking and analyzing results and efficiently and effectively influencing market outcomes through real-time visibility into financial and sales data. Dashboards are also a valuable method for tracking the company's actual, more comprehensive results annually for expected targets and priorities.

3. Upgrade on Excel

Excel is a great productivity tool that comes in handy for project management. However, you can't afford to run Excel tasks as project size grows and customers get more challenging. While offering unparalleled freedom and versatility, Excel is still responsible for a staggering level of data inaccuracy and inconsistencies.

4. Consolidate Your Data Sources

Data is the heart of the reporting process, and projects involving data are becoming bigger while margins are shrinking. To this effect, team members are being pushed to achieve more value with fewer resources. You can no longer afford to monitor and maintain a project using many spreadsheets and different software applications.

Neither can you afford the resources spent on staff continuously analysing and reorganizing details? To monitor and maintain your project, you must reduce the number of charts and graphs, programs, and resources you use.

5. State the included and excluded Data

This can seem to be a straightforward issue, but it is one of the most common problems faced in the report writing process. Teams create detailed reports and provide them to customers, but they forget to add or remove the data collection elements. For instance, while working on a claim document recently, it's essential to work with both the key indicators crucial in financial decisions and the significant expense account. This kind of omission, which was not easily seen in the lengthy report, could be critical to decision-making. Explicitly mark any notable inclusions or exclusions in a report header

6. Identify the data range

Another fundamental reporting process often omitted is the failure to include a time frame in the reporting data collection. If you do not explain what is included in the date range on which the report is based, you never know who might want to check the information and draw observations based on its findings.

7. Devote extra time to review the reports

Over the years, the methods and resources available for creating a high-quality report have evolved with smart technologies. Having time to analyse and proofread report results, on the other hand, has become less of a priority in recent years. It is essential to review your report and make corrections where necessary. However, in a business where report writing is a cog part of business, a report is developed and generated regularly. Thus reporter writers hardly have enough time before the following project report is ready to be written. Be as it may, always find time to go through the report.

8. Track the results

Always track your result, as this is what will stand as a benchmark for the next report. It is often claimed that if you can't quantify it, you can't manage it, and if you can't manage it, you can't enhance it. With this mindset, you need to ensure that appropriate data are received to determine whether they yield measurable outcomes.

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