4 Benefits of Creating Ad Hoc Reports with a CRM Solution

Business reporting can be divided into two unique groups – formal and ad-hoc reports. With formal reporting the reports are developed by one group and delivered to a second distinct group for analysis. These reports, by their very nature, are generally time specific, such as quarterly or annually, are lengthy in nature and are designed with a particular objective. Often formal reports, also called management reports, focus on trending information rather than distinct data points.

Ad hoc reporting, alternatively, places the information in real time into the hands of the end users. Ad hoc reporting allows end users to get answers they need on questions they have designed. End reports contains only the information they required. With any ad hoc reporting solution the user needs to be directed. According to business analytics an ad hoc reporting CRM solution should:
  • Be intuitive – have a wizard based interface for report creation. 
  • Provide multiple types of reports – cross tabulations, pivot tables.
  • Provide a variety of easy to use charts and graphs. 
  • Be exportable to other systems as PDF, Word or Excel. 
  • Be interactive in its ability to drill down. 
  • Provide basic and advanced statistics and statistical calculations. 
  • Contain standard features for saving, archiving, editing.
Many of these features are drawn directly from the formal reports your management has been used to viewing. It is not unusual then, that they would require these same features in any report they would build for themselves.

Why use ad-hoc reports?
Ad hoc reports are an empowering tool for the end user. Not all end users have the knowledge or the desire to be able to design a formal report. They want information in real time to answer real time questions. With a web based CRM solution ad-hoc reporting system this is possible. The ability to use every day terminology makes most end users comfortable with the process.

Ad hoc reports are a convenient tool for the end user. Once a report has been created the user can then run the report on a schedule useful to them. They can adjust the report to include new economic or market factors as required. And, with web-based technology they can access their specific reports from any location.

Ad hoc reports are also productivity tools. Because the end user controls the information contained in the report the analysis of the data the actual use of the data becomes more dynamic. By analyzing specific client information a sales call is likely to be more productive than if the information remains unknown.

What are the benefits of ad hoc reports?
Actionable intelligence is the key to well informed decisions and ensures accuracy in meeting customer and partner expectations. Each organization has its unique sets of information that needs to be sliced-and-diced to formulate responses to critical questions as reports. An effective report usually ensures clarity for stakeholders to foresee outcomes from existing strategies, here are 4 vital benefits of customized reports:
  1. Efficiency: Gets the right information to the right people in the shortest amount of time. Timeliness of information affords timely decisions.
  2. Slice-and-dice: Facilitate customization not available in formal reports. By creating their own reports, users can solve problems unique to their customer environment or answer one time queries which would be impractical to build into a formal report. 
  3. Cost-effective: By allowing users easy access to a CRM solution the need to train on all underlying data is eliminated. By reducing the need for formal IT intervention the company saves time and money and allows the IT department to focus on more important data aspects of the firm.
  4. Share information: With web based technology, reports created by one user can easily be shared with others who may benefit either from the actual data or from the report format.
CRM solutions enable creating ad hoc reports quickly with options to specify filter criteria, visibility and type of graphical representations. Once configured, these reports will display real-time data for maximum effectiveness and can be added to a report scheduler for sending to relevant users with required data.