Do you feel like auto-reporting is something you should have been doing a long time ago, but always feel too busy to do?
If so, then this article is for you. Automated reporting can help businesses perform better while saving marketers time and money.
This article will go through auto reporting in detail - from the basics of what it is, to the best practices that make it successful.
Auto reporting is the process where a business's employees submit their time-sheets in an online database.
It enables the business to easily monitor the company's performance and make changes accordingly. Moreover, it saves a lot of time and energy for both managers and employees.
The main benefit of auto reporting is that it assists business owners in improving the productivity and sell more products.
It also helps them to increase the quality of service the employees provide to customers. Basically, it enables them to monitor the process more effectively.
Benefits of auto reporting
Reports that are submitted on time ensures a smooth and fruitful process. Timely reports help businesses improve their sales by increasing the percentage of clients who buy their products or services, resulting in an increase in revenue and profit share.
Valuable reporting tracks the progress made towards quotas earned or strategic objectives (organization goals).
This helps to determine what needs to be done each month as well as annually for improvement purposes .
It also enables business owners to run their business better by looking at the previous month's results and making adjustments where necessary.
Reports paint a clear picture about the activities of your employees. This allows managers to make adjustments for improvement, which results in better productivity and profitability .
It saves business owners time by eliminating paperwork from sales staff and marketing departments; it's also one step closer to reducing administrative burden on top management due to less paper works that need organizing.
To help marketers deliver personalized email messages at best , they will be able to rely on sales data and adjustments made based on this information.
It also streamlines the process of communicating with employees in order to prevent behavior that may be detrimental, including: ineffective hours, absenteeism and mistakes in email addresses or phone numbers.
The company can remove fraud from their business by providing them with better identification systems for opening accounts as well as reducing human errors .
How do you set up auto reporting?
The first thing you'll need to do is make sure that the software is installed in your company. The second step will be to assign the auto-reporting function to a particular user or team.
This can easily be accomplished by assigning a button on the window's toolbar for that team to click on so they can enter the appropriate information about their billable hours, number of contacts, and case type.
You may also want to include instructions for how long that team should wait before submitting an auto-report.
This can help avoid any duplicates being submitted as well as guard against any other mishaps. And finally, it's important to make sure that the auto-report function actually works.
You should test it to see that it runs accurately and produces a timely report. It's best to set it up in a single test environment and then repeat it each time you need to run the same report.
This is a great way to monitor the performance of your timesheets but it's also a great way to see where you can cut costs .
If you can't get the report to run, then maybe you need to add some more servers to handle the load.
The key thing to remember is that without the right tools it's easy to miss some critical information.
Auto reporting process
1) Extract Data:
The first thing you'll want to do is make sure that the data coming from your time cards, mobile phone app, or online system can be summarized into a meaningful set of key metrics.
This will help ensure that your company doesn't have low quality data but it also gives teams added transparency over their performance.
You need to identify which lines are truly being used and which ones aren't; therefore characterizing every single piece of information as highly as possible can be a vital step.
As an example, might want to segment by team, department and location. While it'd be nice if you could get as much detail as possible going in-house analysis can also be very expensive.
It's always better to do some preliminary research on what your competitors are doing before diving into the auto reporting process itself!
It's important not only to make sure that all of your key metrics pass quality assurance but also identify trends within the data.
2) Auto generate reports:
The next step is to collect and analyze as much of the data coming from all of your key sources, using a strategy that provides you with the highest return on investment.
Certain metrics will be more advantageous than others depending on how important they are for your business.
Using reports within Excel - once you've made sure all information has been quantified in some exact way- can help provide an overview over what's happening across time .
Again, there's no point in trying to generate trend data when the process has just started. So predicting things that have not happened yet can be dangerous.
Therefore you should start with a multi-year sample size so enough time passes for real life trends to form. Multi-year sample size is, of course relatively time consuming process.
It's also a chance to practice project management where full attention goes towards the analysis itself and no one feels bothered by small tasks as they are unnecessary for this part .
3)Schedule your automated reports:
As with any other process, you should schedule your automated reports. This is a perfect opportunity to set up recurring tasks as it takes only minutes but can yield big gains in the long run!
What's even more important is scheduling them at regular intervals so that they start appearing on a daily basis once all of the analysis has been completed .
These reports will be the most valuable for your investment when used by you and in an area where results matter a lot.
You can always bring these into Excel, update or use them to create web applications once they are verified true (or false!).
That should lead to good profit on the long run but also reinforce your business decision making process , as people will be able of make better decisions after seeing trends outlined through data.
Cons of auto reporting:
- Auto reporting is a good tool to use in your business, but it is not without its downsides. Sometimes the group feedback gets skewed, and the feedback from the local marketers can be too specific for your needs.
- It's important to know what you're getting yourself into when considering auto reporting for your business.
- Remember, auto reporting is one of the main ways you can get great feedback, but it's not a panacea in and of itself.
- It only works if the right conditions are met. The other big concern is that auto reporting can be very expensive.
- You can end up spending a lot of money for nothing. While there's nothing wrong with spending money on something that will help your business, it's important to make sure you're getting a good return on investment.
For the most part, auto reporting is a good thing. It has the potential to be a wonderful tool in your marketing strategy.
You can't rely on auto reporting for everything of course and it sometimes will fall short. However, it's worth considering as an option - especially if you're just starting out with auto reporting and need some guidance with what it entails.
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