How to Automate Reporting Workflows in Your Business

Automated Reports

We all love automated reports, having useful reporting dashboards at our fingertips in the workplace. They show us where the business is growing, where sections are underperforming, and if we’re on schedule to meet our objectives when done correctly.

Creating reporting dashboards, on the other hand, can take a long time. Compiling up-to-date, accurate, and meaningful data requires time and effort, not to mention the learning curve required to understand what data to collect and how to do it.

Automated reports are one of the most cost-effective areas for your company.

Furthermore, implementing automated reports routines does not have to be difficult.

Here’s how to automate your company’s reporting workflow so that dashboards are constantly updated without you having to do anything other than put them up.

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Reporting Workflows: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

So you’ve decided that strong data reporting is important in your company. But how does this look in practice?

Examine the characteristics listed below to see how your company’s data workflows are currently doing.

The Good:

Look for the following characteristics in the most effective reporting workflows:

Without the clutter and vanity metrics, clear tracking of the most critical KPIs is possible.

A dashboard that your team can access from any device

Data that is often updated and does not require time-consuming and error-prone manual imports and exports

The Bad:

Reporting workflows that need to be optimized and automated, on the other hand, look like this:

Reports that rely on you (or someone else) to update them

Uncertainty about the accuracy of the data in your business reports

Only a few people have easy access to siloed reports.

The Ugly:

Here’s what you should avoid if you want to save time, increase data accuracy, and eliminate inefficiencies:

Copying and pasting data between sheets and presentation slides, or manually importing and exporting data between programs

Dashboards that are out-of-date or extremely complex and don’t deliver any meaningful benefit, or dashboards that lack clear data

Being aware that the data on your dashboards is incorrect

Top Pick for best Automated Reports

How can you make your reporting have more of the good and less of the bad? From basic to highly configurable, here are some of the finest ways to automate your reporting and generate intelligent dashboards with the most relevant and up-to-date KPIs:

Google Data Studio
Supermetrics
Built-in reporting for your CRM and key apps
Google Analytics
Google Sheets

Built-in reporting for your CRM and key business apps

Many complete CRM solutions have strong reporting capabilities. Some feature native connectors that allow them to pull data from other important apps.

HubSpot, for example, integrates with Google Analytics to supplement the data you currently have in your CRM. This makes displaying website interaction stats with lead and customer information a breeze.

Google Analytics – for an up-to-date view of your website data

Google Analytics provides a simple, yet strong, platform for automating reporting on website engagement and conversion goals.

Begin by optimizing the data you’re gathering. Make sure the tracking code is properly installed on your website, and consider creating Events to track the conversions that matter to your company, such as e-commerce purchases or visitors landing on your sign-up confirmation page.

You can then use custom widgets to add these essential metrics to your dashboard and determine how they are visualized. You may tailor your reports for the best overview with bespoke dashboards, taking into consideration the most essential KPIs for your team.

Create a straightforward mechanism for sharing or exporting your dashboard, such as a URL that anyone in your organization may access without having to log into Google Analytics. You could also automate Slack notifications that share the GA dashboard every week to take your automation even further.

Google Sheets – for a simple spreadsheet powered by Google Analytics

For automating your data reporting, Google Sheets is a relatively basic but efficient approach.

Enabling the Google Analytics add-on and automatically pulling data into Google Sheets is the main scope for automated reporting with Google Sheets.

Here’s an example of a simple report you can make in Google Sheets utilizing Google Analytics data:

Select Add-ons > Google Analytics > Schedule Reports from the menu bar to enable your reports to update automatically (and prevent having to click “refresh” to pull in new data from Google Analytics).

The Supermetrics interface with Google Sheets, which also allows you to link data from non-Google business apps, is another wonderful option for automated reports in Google Sheets.

Tip: If you use Google Slides to present business meetings and reports, you may automatically sync charts and data views in Google Sheets with Slides (and Docs) to save time before each meeting.

Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio is a platform that allows you to connect, visualize, and share your company data. It’s simple to set up, but there’s a lot of room for customization and intricacy if that’s what you want. You can use the tool to:

Using built-in and partner connections, link data from the apps you use every day. Built-in connections with Google products like Google Analytics, Sheets, and Ads, as well as partner connections with apps like Copper, Mailchimp, and Facebook Ads, are among the 500+ data sets.

Interactive reports, charts, and dashboards help you visualize your data in compelling ways.

Supermetrics

With public visibility, you can share your reports and dashboards and engage with individuals, teams, or the entire world. Your Data Studio reports can also be embedded on any web page.

Supermetrics is a scalable system that brings all of your marketing metrics, such as PPC, SEO, social media, and site analytics, together in one location.

Supermetrics may be used in conjunction with these technologies to integrate all of your marketing data insights into each platform:

Google Data Studio
Google Sheets
Excel

Automated Reports Best Practices

There are a few best practices to keep in mind when automating your business reporting activities, regardless of the tools and methods you employ.

Focus on these three aims when designing your reporting automation:

Accessibility: Don’t keep your data locked up in silos. Using a public dashboard pinned in a Slack channel, make sure your team members have easy access to the data they need to track performance and execute their best work.

Simplicity: The simplest reporting methods and dashboards are frequently the most successful. What is the most important data to track for your company? Maintain a focus on a few key performance indicators (KPIs) and ensure that data is automatically updated, accurate, and accessible.

Data accuracy: If the data in your source apps is wrong, even the best-automated reporting routine will fail. Clean up your databases and use an iPaaS to automatically sync data between your apps using conditional rules.