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Get The Most Out Of Smart Business Intelligence Reporting

BI reporting blog by datapine

Big data plays a crucial role in online data analysis, organizational information, and intelligent reporting. In our fast-paced digital age, companies must adjust to the ambiguity of data and act accordingly. BI reporting is the answer.

Spreadsheets no longer provide adequate solutions for a serious organization looking to analyze and utilize every strand of relevant data gathered accurately.

So, that’s where business intelligence reporting comes into play - and, indeed, is proving pivotal in empowering organizations to collect data effectively and transform insight into action.

Reporting in business intelligence provides the possibility to create smart reports with the help of modern BI reporting tools, and develop a comprehensive intelligent reporting practice. As a result, BI can benefit the overall evolution as well as the profitability of a venture, regardless of niche or industry.

To put the business-boosting benefits of BI into perspective, we’ll explore the benefits of smart reports, core BI characteristics, and the fundamental functions companies can leverage to get ahead of the competition while remaining on the top of their game in today’s increasingly competitive digital market. We will finish with some crucial tips on creating the best BI reports and exceeding your business goals. 

Let’s start by asking, "What is business intelligence reporting?”

What Is BI Reporting?

Business intelligence reporting is the process of gathering and analyzing data with the help of modern BI tools. Powered by BI, businesses can extract actionable insights and present them using data visualizations to inform their most important strategies and ensure growth.

BI report example of a financial CFO dashboard

Online business intelligence and reporting are closely connected. If you gather data, you need to analyze and present it effectively, no matter which industry or sector you operate in. That means integrating every relevant stakeholder into the process to implement a collaborative data-driven approach regardless of background or location. 

Consequently, you can develop a more strategic approach to your various organizational decisions and gather insights that would have otherwise remained overlooked. 

Types Of Business Intelligence Reports

When discussing business intelligence reporting, we are not necessarily talking about a specific type of report. BI reporting can have many different characteristics depending on the particular use case. Below we list some of the most common types and functionalities. 

  • Self-service BI: As you’ll learn later in this post, the basis to achieve efficient business intelligence in an organization is to involve every relevant player in the process. This means giving both technical and non-technical users the ability to interact with data and generate reports without writing a single line of code. That is what self-service BI does. It provides a user-friendly interface so that any type of user, regardless of background, can generate stunning reports and explore the data in them with just a few clicks. 
  • BI reporting dashboards: Expanding on the previous point, we will now discuss modern data dashboards. These analytical tools are composed of interactive visualizations that make your most critical KPIs more accessible and easier to understand. BI dashboards also have a self-service approach as they can be generated using a premade template or via drag and drop, which takes less than 5 minutes. These tools have become the most effective and popular way of reporting in the past years as they are visually engaging and provide real-time insights as soon as they occur.  
  • Embedded BI reports: Embedded BI enables companies to integrate an entire BI reporting software into their own system, portal, or website. This allows every individual in the organization to use data and reporting within their familiar interface without jumping to another application. Plus, embedded BI reports are white-labeled, meaning users can customize the entire appearance of the report to meet their company branding. 
  • Mobile BI: Another increasingly popular form of BI reporting. It takes a static report or interactive dashboard and transforms it into a mobile screen. This is an extremely valuable and relevant use case in today’s business world, where employees work from multiple locations.
  • Static BI: Last but not least we have a more traditional form of BI reporting. Static reports are not so popular anymore because of the fast-paced at which businesses need to make decisions today, but they still prove useful in some scenarios. For example, you can print a static report and use it to support discussions during meetings with clients or any other relevant stakeholder. 

Now, let’s see in more detail what the benefits of these kinds of reporting practices are, and how businesses, whether small or enterprises, can develop profitable results.

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Benefits Of Business Intelligence And Reporting

Benefits of business intelligence reporting: 1. Increasing the workflow speed, 2. Implementation in any industry or department, 3. Utilization of real-time and historical data, 4. Customer analysis and behavioral prediction, 5. Operational optimization and forecasting, 6. Cost optimization, 7. Informed strategic decision-making, 8. Streamlined procurement processes, 9. Enhanced data quality, 10. Human resources and employee performance management

Now that we’ve explained the role of data reporting in business intelligence, let’s look at the benefits.

There are a number of advantages an organization can gain if they approach their reporting correctly and strategically. The main goal of BI reports is to deliver comprehensive data that can be easily accessed and interpreted, and provide actionable insights.

Let’s see what the crucial benefits are:

1. Increasing the workflow speed

Managers, employees, and important stakeholders often can be stuck by waiting for a comprehensive BI feedback presentation from the IT department or SQL developers. Especially if an enterprise connects its data from different data sources. The process can take days, which slows down the workflow. Decisions cannot be made, analysis cannot be done, and every department is affected.

Centralizing all the data sources into a single place, with data connectors that can provide one point of access for all non-technical users in an organization, is one of the main benefits a company can have. The data-driven world doesn’t have to be overwhelming, and with the right BI tools, the entire process can be easily managed with a few clicks.

2. Implementation in any industry or department

Creating a comprehensive BI dashboard or tool can be a daunting task for any department, employee, or manager. The goals of writing successful, smart reports include cost reduction and improvement of efficiency. One business report example can focus on finance, another on sales, and the third on marketing. It depends on the specific needs of a network or department.

For instance, a sales report can act as a navigational aid to keep the sales team on the right track.

Business intelligence report made for sales performance in the form of a dashboard

**click to enlarge**

As seen in the image above, this sales performance dashboard can give you a complete overview of sales targets and insights on whether the team is completing its individual objectives. Of course, the main goal is to increase customers’ lifetime value while decreasing acquisition costs. Let’s see another example.

Financial analytics can be kept under control with its numerous features that can remove complexities and establish a healthy and holistic overview of all the financial information an organization manages.

Business intelligence reporting depicting financial performance of a company

**click to enlarge**

On the financial dashboard template above, the financial overview is concentrated on how efficient is the overall spending of the capital. The balance sheet gives an overview of the main metrics which can easily define trends and the way crucial assets are being managed.

It doesn’t stop here. Another business intelligence report sample can be applied to logistics, one of the sectors that can make the most out of business intelligence and analytics, therefore, easily track shipments, returns, sizes, or weights, just to name a few.

Enhancing the recruitment process with HR analytics tools can bring dynamic data under the umbrella of BI, making feedback, interviews, applicants’ experience, and staffing analytics easier to process and derive solutions. This is just one business intelligence report sample that can be developed in more detail by establishing the right KPIs and developing a strategy and goals.

3. Utilization of real-time and historical data

With traditional means of reporting, it is difficult to utilize and comprehend the vast amount of gathered data. Creating a simple presentation out of voluminous information can challenge even the most experienced managers. Reporting in  BI is a seamless process since historical data is also provided within an online reporting tool that can process and generate all the relevant insights needed.

Another crucial factor to consider is the possibility of utilizing real-time data. The amount of sophistication that reporting in BI projects can achieve cannot be compared with traditional ones. A presentation written as a Word document will not provide the same amount of insight and benefit as real-time data analytics, with implemented alarms that can forewarn any organizational anomaly. That kind of support software will consequently increase operational efficiency and decrease costs. Establishing a whole department to manage and implement this process is not crucial – numerous presentation software can assist on the way.

4. Customer analysis and behavioral prediction

There is no brand or venture in the world which doesn’t concentrate on its customers. They are ultimately the ones that provide revenue and define if a business will survive the market.

Customers have also become more selective towards buying and deciding which brand they should trust. They prefer brands that can resonate between perceptual products and self-psychological needs. If you can tackle their emotional needs and predict their behavior, you will stimulate purchases and provide a smooth customer experience. BI reports can combine those resources and provide a stimulating user experience. The key is to gather information and adjust to user needs and goals, as shown in the picture below.

User experience is combined by gathering information, respecting users' needs, and adjusting to business goals


Today there are numerous ways in which a customer can interact with a specific institution or organization. Chatbots, social media, emails, or direct interaction; the possibilities are endless.

The increment of these kinds of engagement has increased the number of communication touchpoints and, consequently, sources of data. All of the information gathered can provide a holistic overview of the customer, evaluate why a certain strategy worked or failed, connect the cause and effect of customer service reports, and, thus, improve business operations.

5. Operational optimization and forecasting

Every serious business uses KPIs to measure and evaluate success. There are countless KPI examples to select and adopt in a strategy, but only the right tracking and analysis can bring profitable results. Business intelligence and reporting are not just focused on the tracking part but include forecasting based on predictive analytics and AI that can easily help avoid making costly and time-consuming decisions. Reporting in BI is, therefore, highlighted from multiple angles that can provide insights that can otherwise stay overlooked.

6. Cost optimization

Another important factor to consider is cost optimization. As every venture needs to seriously consider its expenses and ROI (return on investment), often the costs and savings are hardly measured. In the example below, you can see an interactive calculator that features yearly savings by investing in business reporting software.

Interactive calculator of yearly savings by investing in a business reporting software

You can clearly see that, in this example, the savings surpass 75.000€ per year – evident data that can be easily calculated by small businesses and large enterprises with just a few clicks.

7. Informed strategic decision-making

Whether you’re a CEO, an executive, or managing a small team, with great power comes great responsibility. As someone with corporate seniority, you will need to formulate crucial strategies and make important choices that have a significant impact on the business. Naturally, decisions and initiatives of this magnitude aren’t to be taken lightly. That’s where reporting BI-based tools come in.

Concerning senior decision-making or strategy formulation, it’s essential to use digital data to your advantage to guide you through the process. BI reports are intuitive, visual and provide a wealth of relevant data, allowing you to spot trends, identify potential strengths or weaknesses, and uncover groundbreaking insights with ease.

Whether you need to streamline your budget, put together a targeted marketing campaign, improve an internal process, or anything else you can think of, leveraging BI will give you the ability to make swift, informed decisions and set actionable milestones or benchmarks based on solid information.

The customizable nature of modern data analytic stools means that it’s possible to create a dashboard that suits your exact needs, goals, and preferences, significantly improving the senior decision-making process.

For more on the virtues of BI tools, explore our full guide to executive dashboard reporting.

8. Streamlined procurement processes

One of the key benefits of BI-based reports is that if they’re arranged in a digestible format, they offer access to logical patterns and insights that will allow you to make key areas of your company more efficient. This is particularly true if you deal in a high turnover of goods or services. And if this is the case, it's more than likely that you have some form of a procurement department.

Your procurement processes are vital to your business's overall success and sustainability, as their functionality will filter down through every core facet of the organization. Business intelligence reporting systems will allow you to streamline your procurement strategy by offering clear-cut visualizations based on all key functions within the department.

This business intelligence report sample provides an overview of the most essential metrics of the procurement department

**click to enlarge**

Our procurement dashboard above is visually balanced and offers a clear-cut snapshot of every vital metric you need to improve your procurement processes at a glance.

Working with three primary KPIs — compliance rate, number of suppliers, and purchase order cycle time — this invaluable BI dashboard is focused on improving supplier relationships, driving down unnecessary costs, and streamlining the procurement cycle, among a host of additional initiatives.

Working with interactive dashboards will empower you to summarize your procurement department's activities with confidence, which, in turn, will help you catalyze your success while building brand awareness. In the digital age, brand awareness is priceless to the continual growth of your organization.

Another undeniable benefit of BI in the modern age.

9. Enhanced data quality

One of the most clear-cut and powerful benefits of smart data analytics for businesses is the fact that it empowers the user to squeeze every last drop of value from their data.

In a digital commercial landscape where new data is created rapidly, understanding which insights and metrics hold real value is a minefield. With so much information and such little time, intelligent data analytics can seem like an impossible feat.

We’ve touched on this subject throughout this post, but enhanced data quality is such a powerful benefit that it’s worth exploring in its own right. To put this notion into a practical perspective, it’s important to consider the core features and functions of modern BI dashboards:

  • Non-restricted data access: Typically, a cutting-edge data dashboard is accessible across a broad range of mobile devices for non-restricted 24/7 access to essential trends, metrics, and insights. This makes it possible to make informed data-driven decisions anytime, anywhere, increasing productivity in the process.
  • Purity: As modern BI tools operate using highly visual and focused KPIs, you can take charge of your data, ensuring that the metrics you’re served are 100% relevant to the ongoing success of your business. These intuitive tools work as incredibly effective data curation and filtration systems. As a result, your decisions will be accurate, and you will never waste time on redundant data again.
  • Organizational inclusion: The accessible, seamless functionality of BI tools means that you don’t have to be technically minded to reap the rewards of smart data management. As it’s possible to customize each dashboard to your user's specific needs with ease and extract meaningful insights from a wealth of dynamic KPIs, everyone within the organization can improve their direct outcomes and abilities with data analytics—something that will benefit the entire organization enormously. Today’s dashboards are inclusive and improve the overall value of your organization’s data.
  • Data storytelling capabilities: If you can tell an inspiring, relevant story with your data, you can deliver vital information in a way that resonates with your audience, whether it’s employees or external stakeholders. Smart dashboards make data storytelling widely accessible. Here are some practical data storytelling examples that prove the narrative-forming power of these tools.

10. Human resources & employee performance management

Last but certainly not least in our definitive rubdown of BI benefits, we’re going to consider how BI-centric reports can assist performance management.

By gaining centralized access to ability or results-based KPIs, it’s easy to identify trends in productivity, compare relevant metrics, and hone in on individual outcomes. In doing so, you can catalyze the success of your organization in a big way. To put this into perspective, we’re going to look at human resources and employee performance management.

In many ways, your employees are the lifeblood of your entire organization. If the talent within your organization is suffering, your business will, too. Keeping your staff engaged and motivated is vital.

Role or department aside, if your employees are invested in their work, each other, and the core mission, your company will continue to thrive. But how can reporting business intelligence software assist with employee engagement and motivation?

By gaining access to dynamic visual data based on individual and collective employee consistency, it’s possible to offer training and support to your staff where needed, while implementing leaderboards to inspire everyone to work to the best of their abilities.

Offering your employees tailored support and growth opportunities, showing that you care, and offering incentives will help you increase motivation exponentially.

Employee performance depicted with business intelligence reporting processes

**click to enlarge**

As a primary duty of the modern human resources department, having the insights to manage internal talent at your disposal is crucial. Our HR-based employee dashboard offers the opportunity to drill down into essential key performance indicators, including attendance rates, productivity, training costs, and overtime hours accrued—all invaluable insights for sustainable results management initiatives.

The ability to interact with focused employee data will empower you to create strategies that boost performance, employee satisfaction, and internal cohesion in a way that gives you an all-important edge over the competition.

Improved internal communication plays a pivotal role in employee output and motivation. Find out how big screen dashboards can help improve departmental cohesion with our definitive guide to office dashboards.

Your Chance: Want to create your own business intelligence report?
Explore our 14-day free trial & benefit from modern BI reporting today!

How To Achieve A Quality BI Report

Steps to build quality BI reports

We’ve explored the key benefits of business intelligence reporting. Now, we’re going to dig a little deeper by looking at reporting best practices.

1. Define your stakeholders

The first step is to answer the question: who am I addressing my report to? For this purpose, you should start by listing all the stakeholders that will need to use the report, and based on their needs and technical skills, include only the relevant information for them. When using your BI reports as a tool for discussions, precision is key. If you include more KPIs than needed, you risk wasting time and resources or even arriving at the wrong conclusions by considering unnecessary metrics in the analytical process. 

Apart from the right information, you should also consider the type of BI report template that will be more useful for each stakeholder. Maybe some will benefit from performance-based reports with live data that they can check daily, and others from monthly reports with more detailed metrics. This way you can also plan your reporting schedule in advance and ensure everyone gets what they need in time. For this purpose, automated reporting tools such as datapine include features where you can easily schedule your reports. Here is a video to illustrate it for you:

2. Choose the right metrics 

Once you have chosen your audience, it is time to pick the right KPIs for your analysis with the help of a KPI tool. Each business is different; therefore, what might work for some, might be completely different for others. To pick the right metrics for your BI reports, you should consider the following: 

  • Your business goals, are they long-term or short-term? 
  • Your audience, what type of role do they play in decision-making? 
  • The context of your analytical activities, what metrics will help you to tell a comprehensive data story and allow you to take proper action?

Even though the possibility to utilize many sources to create your reports is a benefit that you shouldn’t ignore from BI reporting, losing time with irrelevant information is easy. Staying focused on your core aims will help you benefit from a mix of visual benchmarks to track your progress accurately. It is important to consider that from time to time you can try to include other KPIs in your reports if you see a hidden opportunity or if it can provide a context in a discussion about your main metrics.

3. Take advantage of data visualizations

As we told you in a previous point, choosing how to visualize your data is just as important as picking the right metrics. Considering that humans process visual information 60.000 times faster than text, it is impossible to ignore the potential of using powerful visualizations for your data storytelling. 

As with any other process, choosing your data visualizations has aspects that you need to take into consideration. For example, if you are producing a client report, you can personalize it with the colors and logo of your brand to make you look more professional. You also need to consider space. Sometimes for bigger insight, you might risk making your reports cluttered and hard to decipher by adding too many metrics to them. For this reason, you should always rely on BI tools with features such as data filtering. This way you can present all the information on one screen and play with the charts depending on the discussion. Finally, with the help of BI dashboard tools, you should make your visuals adaptable for different devices such as desktops, tablets, or mobile. This will make your reports more accessible to everyone. 

The workflow of your business can be significantly increased by utilizing BI reports in the form of interactive, and real-time visual data. Each piece of information can be gathered into a single, live dashboard, ultimately securing a fast, clear, simple, and effective workflow. This kind of BI presentation tool will become visual, easily accessed, and steadfast in gathering insights.

4. Consider an intuitive design

When it comes to BI reporting dashboard excellence, making sure that your data visualizations are as digestible as possible is key.

Once you’ve carefully selected the visualizations and chart types that will shine your data in its best light, you should focus on arranging them in a frictionless, intuitive format. The best business intelligence reports not only paint a vivid analytical picture but are also logical and easy to interact with.

To achieve a dashboard design that is fully intuitive, here are some principles to consider:

  • Do not overcrowd your reports with information. Work with the most relevant insights and visualizations, trimming the informational fat where necessary
  • Customize your dashboards and visualizations so they follow a consistent and cohesive color scheme or graphical format. Doing so will make them easier to navigate
  • Leave blank space between your charts, graphs, tables, and visuals where possible to create a sense of order
  • Utilize drop-down boxes, filters, and other intuitive pieces of functionality to make it easy for users to dig deeper into specific packets of information

By following these intuitive dashboard design principles, you will ensure that every single strand of relevant data is optimized to your organization's advantage, priming it for continual monitoring. This brings us to our next point.

5. Monitor your data

Using AI and machine-learning algorithms is the ultimate value you can add to a BI report. As we’ve stated over and over again, managing big amounts of data is not an easy task. It is time-consuming and needs constant monitoring to catch any anomalies that might affect the business. To tackle this issue, datapine has developed intelligent data alerts using neural networks to find any relevant change in your data and immediately send you a notification so you can deal with it fast. 

Apart from discovering anomalies, this type of technology has pattern recognition abilities. With just a few clicks, you set a trend or a specific KPI and the tool uses historical data to predict future values and trends. Adding this type of technology to your BI reporting efforts will give you control over what drives your venture as well as save time on manual monitoring. In the image below you can see how data alerts from datapine work.

Example on how to use intelligent alerts from datapine for quality BI reports

**click to enlarge**

6. Be mindful of security

When you're dealing with valuable or sensitive digital information, prioritizing security is vital - there is no room for compromise here.

In a time where large-scale data breaches and acts of cybercrime are costing companies across sectors an average of $4.24 million, fortifying your reports is a best practice that could save your organization from the brink of destruction. 

With this in mind, to protect your internal intelligence and sensitive consumer data (if you don’t stay on the right side of consumer data compliance, you will find yourself in hot water), you need to work with the right BI report tools.

By using tools that allow you to set concrete user permissions, you will ensure the right personnel can access the right level of information at the right time, minimizing the likelihood of experiencing a data breach in the process.

Admins, for instance, will have limitless access to your BI reports, while viewers can access the information they need without saving, extracting, sharing, or altering any of the data displayed on the page. Assign different tiers to different users and will keep your data as secure as possible.

7. Consider a cloud environment

In addition to prioritizing security, considering a dynamic cloud environment for your business intelligence report is also advisable.

One of the most striking benefits of working within a cloud-based environment for your business intelligence reporting is the ease of use. Operating in the cloud will make your BI efforts swift, seamless, and easy to navigate across a multitude of devices while giving you access to endless insight 24/7. 

With cloud-centric tools, it’s possible to continue communication and conduct powerful analytical activities using mobile devices wherever you are in the world. This is a particularly prominent plus point, considering we live in a time where remote working has become the norm.

To drive the message home: modern BI tools allow you to access your reports in any format from any device. Also, by gaining access to fully optimized mobile reports, you can drill down into vital segments of information with ease, empowering you to monitor emerging trends and make informed real-time decisions even when you’re on the go.

This immense level of frictionless efficiency means that your organization will become more productive, cohesive, responsive, and adaptable across the board while ensuring your staff is armed with the insights they need to perform optimally at all times.

8. Implement a data-driven culture in your business

One of the ultimate tips to succeed with your Business Intelligence reporting is to take them one step further. We’ve already mentioned the power a BI report can provide in terms of team collaboration. Now we want to tell you how having a permanent data-driven culture implemented internally will ensure its long-term success. Here we explain three points so everyone in your company can use BI reports to make decisions based on facts, not simple intuition. 

  • Empower your team: One of the most important aspects to consider when using data to make decisions is to empower everyone in your organization to do the same. Teach your employees that there is no need to be experts to implement data into their working processes. You can start by encouraging them to answer questions like why something happened, how did it happen, and what is the best way to move forward
  • Invest in Data Literacy: After motivating your team and introducing them to the power of data analysis you should teach them how to do it. Data literacy is the ability to analyze, read and make decisions with data. Having the ability to communicate data, understand results, and put information in context to avoid misleading conclusions. Investing in this will ensure that everyone in your organization speaks the language of data.
  • Promote accessibility: Once everyone in your organization is up-to-date with the importance of data, you should implement technology that is user-friendly and accessible for everyone. Data analysis tools such as datapine offer an easy-to-use interface with interactive features that don't require advanced skills to create powerful BI reports.
  • Keep the conversation going: Once you’ve established a data-driven culture, you should host regular workshops, offer frequent progress updates, and give your employees an outlet for offering thoughts and feedback.

9. Choose the right tool for your needs

To tie all of your planning, design, and development needs together and ensure everyone in every department is empowered with data-driven business intelligence, choosing the perfect business intelligence report template for your needs is a must.

Fortunately, we live in a time when technology evolves at a head-spinning rate. As such, countless BI tools exist to empower you through the art of smart data analytics.

But while this may be the case, there are many tools or platforms out there that are sluggish, time-consuming and don’t quite hit the mark.

To uncover emerging trends and gain the insight you need to become more innovative, adaptable, and collaborative, it’s important that you choose a tool that will help you facilitate keeping your data secure, offer the freedom of the cloud, and make visualizing and designing your visualizations completely seamless.

The best tools out there offer a wealth of BI-boosting power without requiring a huge amount of technical knowledge. So, when you’re making your choice, consider all of the best practices mentioned here as well as your specific business needs. Connecting with a platform will boost your BI prospects significantly. Also, any tool worth its salt will allow you to make adaptations and alterations based on the changing landscape around you – which brings us to our final best practice.

10. Be willing to learn and adapt

Our last point on how to achieve quality BI reports is to never stop learning. Even though you might've created the perfect BI reporting strategy, it might not be relevant tomorrow or in a week. For this reason, you should always be adaptable to change, monitor your processes constantly, and make sure that you find problems fast and be ready to tackle them.

With more and more data being produced every year, the BI industry never stops evolving. This is why another important part of your reporting process should be the willingness to adapt to new technologies that will ensure you keep extracting the maximum value out of your data and exceed your competition.

Your Chance: Want to create your own business intelligence report?
Explore our 14-day free trial & benefit from modern BI reporting today!

Common BI Reporting Challenges

Just like with any other business-related task, business intelligence comes with challenges and limitations. We already hinted at a couple in our BI reporting best practices section, but it is still worth it to go a bit deeper into the most common ones so that you can jump into the process with all the necessary information. 

  • Keeping up with technologies: The business intelligence industry is constantly evolving, with new technologies being constantly introduced. That often presents a challenge for organizations, as keeping up with the latest developments is time-consuming and expensive. That said, most BI tools in the market realize this issue and provide their users the necessary support and training whenever a new technology is introduced. But this is not always the case, and decision-makers need to find a way to keep up with new technologies if they want their reports to stay efficient. 
  • Data governance: As mentioned previously, ensuring data security and privacy remains one of the biggest challenges for businesses as the rate of cybercrimes increasingly grows. In that sense, implementing a governance framework to ensure clear roles and responsibilities regarding who can access, manipulate, and share sensitive data within the organization is of utmost importance. This will ensure data is secure, accurate, and compliant with governmental regulations while meeting the company's needs. 
  • Data literacy: We already discussed this topic a little bit earlier in the post; however, it is so important that it deserves to be explained in more detail. Regardless of its size, the biggest challenge for any organization is to integrate data-driven practices. This means ensuring everyone can work and communicate with data regardless of technical knowledge. To do so successfully, it is necessary to assess the level of literacy across the organization and provide training opportunities to ensure by the time your BI strategy is integrated everyone is on the same page. 
  • Data quality: Your analytical results will be as good as the quality of your data. It is not enough to just collect data and use it to inform your most important decisions, that data needs to meet certain quality standards to be valuable for analysis. That is why data quality is one of organizations' biggest challenges when implementing business intelligence practices. Poor data quality can not only lead the business to make inaccurate decisions that can affect multiple areas but also cost thousands of dollars which can directly affect profitability. Therefore, ensuring you have an efficient data quality management system is necessary. 

BI Reporting Dashboard Examples

Now we move on to a glance at a powerful mix of real-world BI reporting examples. These dynamic dashboards put the power of interactive data visualizations into a living, breathing perspective - offering a truly practical answer to the question, ‘What is BI reporting?’

1. Management KPI Dashboard

In a fast-paced commercial environment, top-level strategic decisions are a daily duty for those in managerial positions. That’s where our fully-interactive dashboard comes into play generated thanks to modern management reporting tools.

A business intelligence report of Revenue and Customer Overview, displaying 4 main KPIs in order of importance and comparing to the previous year

**click to enlarge**

This insightful visual tool presents a wealth of complex data in a way that is intuitive and incredibly logical. Each chart-based KPI is designed to offer a deep level of insight into customer acquisition costs, customer lifetime value, and specific sales targets.

With this melting pot of interactive information at your disposal, you can make valuable decisions under pressure while formulating targeted strategies that improve financial efficiency, boost customer loyalty, and increase sales conversions across channels. A BI report example that every senior decision-maker needs at their disposal.

Primary KPIs:

  • Customer Acquisition Costs
  • Customer Lifetime Value
  • Sales Target

2. Customer Service Team Dashboard

Our business intelligence report example is consumer-focused. With customer service and experience being among the key drivers of ongoing commercial success, formulating smart strategies around your consumer-facing activities will push you ahead of the pack.

Business intelligence reporting example displaying metrics for the performance of the customer service team

**click to enlarge**

Our customer service dashboard is an informational hub that presents a wealth of targeted KPI-powered information related to your response and resolution times as well as your best-performing agents and key trends on unsolved calls or recurring issues.

This cohesive blend of visuals will empower you to provide training and mentorship where it's needed, motivate your agents through rewards and recognitions, and perform analytical explorations based on emerging patterns that will ultimately allow you to improve your customer service communications, strategy, and issue resolution rates.

Primary KPIs:

  • Average Response Time
  • First Call Resolution
  • Top Agents
  • Number of Issues

3. Marketing KPI Dashboard

These days, to reap the rewards of your marketing efforts and enjoy a consistently healthy return on investment (ROI), you have to adopt a BI-centered approach to your campaigns and communications.

BI report template for marketing management, with main KPIs about costs and revenue

**click to enlarge**

Created to make your marketing activities value-driven across every channel and touchpoint, our marketing dashboard is equipped with detailed campaign metrics that will empower you to understand exactly which channels are yielding the best results as well as the content that resonates with your audience the most.

Designed to offer quick “at-a-glance” insights for real-time decision-making and a range of comprehensive, comparable information for campaign improvement and strategic evolution, this dashboard will help you can optimize every one of your initiatives for maximum success.

This dynamic tool makes it possible to spot correlations between ROI, click-throughs, customer lifetime value, and acquisition costs and, ultimately, drive a level of consumer engagement that will give you a continual edge over the competition.

Primary KPIs:

  • Cost per Acquisition (CPA)
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)
  • Return on Investment (ROI)

4. Warehouse KPI Dashboard 

Real time business intelligence reporting can prove particularly useful in the logistics industry where organizations need to make prompt decisions to make sure all operations run as expected. Our example below aims to do just that by providing a wealth of insights to help optimize warehouse management.

An BI report focused on the warehouse performance in the logistics industry

**click to enlarge**

With insights into warehouse operating costs, perfect order rate, total shipments by country, and on-time shipments, operational officers are able to use this logistics dashboard to track every relevant aspect of their supply chain to ensure their facility is meeting its goals and sustains a reliable performance.

For instance, on-time shipments are an incredibly valuable metric to track as they help you understand if your order processing from picking and packing to shipment is efficient. A lower ratio here can translate into bottlenecks that will directly affect the time at which customers receive their orders. This is of utmost importance especially considering that in today's modern business world, customers expect their packages to arrive when promised and with the highest possible quality.

Primary KPIs:

  • On-Time Shipping
  • Order Accuracy
  • Warehousing Costs
  • Number of Shipments

5. Retail Analytics Dashboard 

Retail businesses are another valuable use case to put the power of BI dashboard reporting into perspective. With online sales seeing a huge increase since COVID-19 the market has become more competitive than ever. Leaving organizations in need of an efficient way to track their data and inform their decisions.

BI reporting example composed of retail analytics metrics

**click to enlarge**

This professional retail dashboard provides a valuable overview of sales performance on both online and offline channels. Being able to compare the performance of both enables you to understand where you should focus your efforts, find hidden opportunities to improve, and anticipate certain trends that can help you boost performance. For example, we can see that this company has a huge number of website traffic compared to foot traffic. This means there is a lot of potential that could be exploited in that area.

Still, we can see that offline stores have a better conversion rate while shopping cart abandonment is at almost 70%. On paper, this might look like things are not going well for the online sales. However, online sales work differently than offline, and comparing these rates just by looking at the numbers is not a good practice. For conversion rates, you need to consider that when a person physically goes into the store you can already tell they have an intention to purchase. On the contrary, people can browse online and put products in their carts multiple times but end up buying nothing. Therefore, it is important to consider these elements when comparing both sales channels.

Primary KPIs:

  • Website Traffic/Foot Traffic
  • Sell-through Rate
  • Retail Conversion Rate
  • Monthly Revenue Per Employee

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Reporting In Business Intelligence: The Future Of A Sustainable Company

Collecting data in today’s digitally-driven world is important, but analyzing it to its optimum capacity is even more crucial if a business wants to enjoy sustainable success in the face of constant change.

Reporting and business intelligence play a crucial role in obtaining underlying figures to explain decisions and present data in a way that offers direct benefits to the business. As we mentioned earlier, there is no industry that isn’t currently affected by the importance of data and analytics. We have only scratched the surface with our top benefits which any company can take advantage of and bring positive results.

In another guide, we drilled down into what the future of business intelligence will resemble in the coming years. In this bold new world of data intelligence, businesses of all sizes can use BI tools to transform insight into action and push themselves ahead of the pack, becoming leaders in their field.

Spotting business issues, with BI solutions that provide detailed business intelligence reports, can only create space for future development, cost reduction, and comprehensive exploration of the strategic and operational state of a company.

To summarize, here are the top benefits of business intelligence reporting:

  1. Increasing the workflow speed
  2. Implementation in any industry or department
  3. Utilization of real-time and historical data
  4. Customer analytics and behavioral prediction
  5. Operational optimization and forecasting
  6. Cost optimization
  7. Informed strategic decision-making
  8. Streamlined procurement processes
  9. Enhanced data quality
  10. Human resources and employee performance management

And top best practices to achieve a quality BI report:

  1. Define your stakeholders
  2. Choose the right metrics
  3. Take advantage of data visualizations
  4. Consider an intuitive design
  5. Monitor your data
  6. Be mindful of security
  7. Consider a cloud environment
  8.  Implement a data-driven culture in your business
  9. Choose the right tool for your needs
  10. Be willing to learn and adapt

Throughout the course of this guide, we’ve offered a practical introduction to the concept of business intelligence, considered the role of BI reporting in the modern commercial environment, and explored the undeniable benefits of using the right tools to improve your data analytics efforts, processes, and strategies.

By working with the right tools for the job, you will empower your entire organization to become stronger, more efficient, and of course, more intelligent. It doesn’t matter whether you specialize in SaaS software, you’re a clothing retailer, you sell electronics, you’re a mobile app provider - or anything else for that matter - if you embrace smart analytics in business today you will reap the rewards of a brighter tomorrow.

We all have access to data, but it’s those who transform information into actionable BI-driven insight that will not merely survive but thrive in the long run. If you want to accelerate the success of your organization, the time to strike is now.

Over to you: If you are eager to improve your in-house data analytics initiatives, try our cutting-edge BI reporting software for a 14-day trial, completely free.