A report is defined as “A document containing information organized in a narrative, graphic, or tabular form, prepared on ad hoc, periodic, recurring, regular, or as required basis. Reports may refer to specific periods, events, occurrences, or subjects, and may be communicated or presented in oral or written form”.
The purpose of a report is mainly to convey information. Reports may provide a direct solution to the problem or may just be a record of the past data.
Commonly used reports:
1. Routine Report: These types of reports are prepared and presented regularly such as daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly. These reports are used to merely state the facts or happenings over the time period and do not involve any recommendation from the reporter. These are mainly used for monitoring the progress of the organization/project
2. Performance Report: These reports inform the management regarding the performance of the organization; this can be at a product level, division level, employee level etc., depending on the need. The management is not in a position to take a decision without knowing the performance. Hence, a reporter is asked to prepare the performance report for anyone of the reasons mentioned above.
3. Analytical Reports: These types of business reports include information along with analysis or interpretation from the reporter. A business uses analytical reports to make informed decisions. These are usually created to help in solving the problem at hand. They provide us with the findings from the data and also recommendations
4. Ad-hoc reports: These reports are mostly created with a quick turnaround time and for a specific problem. For example: Reporting the performance of a particular campaign. In this case, the KPIs considered to measure the performance may not be the same as the ones used to measure the performance on a regular basis.
Apart from the above type, there are reports used to measure the Quarterly or annual performance, Reports measuring the performance against targets etc.
A dashboard is defined as “dashboard is a data visualization tool that displays the current status of metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) for an enterprise. Dashboards consolidate and arrange numbers, metrics and sometimes performance scorecards on a single screen.”
There are a lot of factors which influence one’s organization. A dashboard provides a quick glance across all the factors with real time data and easy to understand data visuals. It can be used to check for any warning sign when there is something wrong.
Commonly used dashboards:
1. Operational Dashboard: The Operational dashboards are used to the monitor business process. These dashboards are usually real time. They are usually used to monitor the progress till target is achieved.
2. Strategic Dashboard: These dashboards are usually used by the executives to monitor the KPIs.
3. Analytical Dashboard: These Dashboards contains large data. They are used to identify trends and deeper insights. These dashboards are viewed on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis