Regardless of your business or industry, there is always a struggle to maximize all the hours in the workday to get all of your tasks complete. When it comes to marketing reports and analyzing data, one way to get some extra hours in your workweek is to use report automation.
What is Report Automation?
Report Automation is the process of automatically generating reports and delivering them to specific people or an online tool. This removes the need for someone to build the report regularly and allows the reporting process to be automated, saving you time. The process of report automation generally works through an application programming interface, or API, integration from all of your reporting platforms to fetch data and create your reports. Reports can also be published into a marketing dashboard so that any report can be viewed instantly.
Why Should You Automate Your Reports?
The biggest reason for utilizing report automation is how much money and time businesses will save. In addition to the savings in time and money, businesses will also benefit from:
Because software can pull from several different sources, your analytics reports will be more robust and include more data.
Automation generates less manual work for report building and eliminates human error in data entry.
By automatically running reports, relevant data can be analyzed more frequently and on a set schedule.
All of your information will be in one coordinated place for all to see and will eliminate miscommunication.
Increase in Production
Your staff will spend less time on mundane tasks and spend more time doing the work that impacts your company’s bottom line.
Your reports will no longer be siloed and hard to share within your organization. You’ll be able to easily share access to the reports with all areas of your company.
Reporting Automation Tools
As with most marketing technology, there are a number of different automation tools that you can use to generate data insights and your marketing reports. The main three types of tools are business intelligence (BI) tools, data analytics dashboards, and automated reporting tools.
Business Intelligence (BI) Tools
BI tools are mainly used to collect and process large amounts of data from sources like books, journals, health records, email, and video. The most popular business intelligence tool is Tableau. Tableau is great if you have several different data sources. It also is very useful as it has a lot of flexibility for different calculations, data, and analysis.
However, this tool has a steep learning curve and is pretty complex to use, especially for beginners. Tableau is mainly used for data analysis and not so much used for building marketing reports.
Data Analytics Dashboards
Data Analytics dashboards are used as an information management tool to visually track and analyze key performance indicators (KPIs). They are easier to use over the BI Tool counterpart and are the most efficient way to track multiple data sources.
The most popular example of a data analytics dashboard is Google Data Studio. Data Studio is free but there are also tools available that have a monthly cost like Geckoboard and Klipfolio.
Automated Reporting Tools
Most automated reporting tools are designed specifically for marketing analytics. These tools are easy to use and allow multiple integrations, but you may have limitations on the number of integrations the tool may have.
Benefits of Reporting Automation
With easy to generate reports and data analysis, you can free up your employee’s time to work on items that really matter to your business – strategy, analysis, and decision-making.
Another great benefit of automating your reports is that you can improve communication and transparency throughout your organization. Your reports will now be shareable and can be used to communicate with both internal and external stakeholders.
Now that you have a better idea of what report automation is, let our team of report automation and marketing analysts assist you or your marketing team through the process of identifying and implementing the right automated reports for you.
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