At its core, strategic reporting is the complex process of gathering and analyzing data pertaining to an organization's performance.1 The resulting data, taken from different departments, is used to create a comprehensive overview of a business and its goals to aid leadership in making more calculated decisions.2 For network operators, it helps drive plans regarding network expansions, budget allocation, operational processes, etc.
However, a trend is emerging where departments and teams are increasingly involved in decisions pertaining to operations and resource allocation, signifying a move away from exclusively concentrating on strategic reporting to adopting a more comprehensive approach—reporting strategically.
Reporting strategically can be thought of as getting the right information to the right people at the right time.3 This not only helps accelerate and improve decision making but can provide a competitive advantage by fostering an agile working environment.4 The emphasis lies in creating a strategy around extracting and sharing reports in a way that benefits all. Let’s discuss some ways to adopt a more strategic approach to reporting across the enterprise.
1. Collaboration and coordination
Avoid creating reports in isolation—both within and outside of individual teams. Working together and establishing alignment on report deliverables guarantees a comprehensive and cohesive reporting approach. Additionally, recognizing the interdependence of their roles and responsibilities better allows team members to nurture a collaborative environment that extends beyond the department.
2. Set up recurring review sessions
The nature of reporting is dynamic and often shifts as project needs change. Setting up recurring review sessions ensures ongoing relevance and effectiveness. Ultimately, we want to ensure our reports are still meeting their intended purposes.
3. Choosing the right data sharing method
When it comes to fiber management, not every stakeholder has access to the primary asset management system, such as 3-GIS | Web, or can easily analyze the data contained within. Exploring various methods of securely exposing data outside of the system, whether through dashboards, Esri™ Portal pages, or internal websites, while maintaining data integrity is crucial.
4. Maximizing report capabilities
Explore and exploit the full capabilities of your current reports. Configuration plays a crucial role in report effectiveness; consider additional fields and configurations that can enhance the extraction of relevant information.
5. Align reports with stakeholder needs
Reports should not be one-size-fits-all. Tailor reports to meet the diverse needs of stakeholders. Extracting relevant information minimizes clutter and contributes to better overall understanding of the data. For example, though the marketing and design teams may both use geospatial data to make decisions, the marketing team relies on the data to determine the next marketing campaign, while the design team uses the data to make buildout decisions. Handing both teams the same map with the same data layers may make deciphering information much more challenging.
Reporting strategically is more than a process; it embodies a mindset that goes beyond the conventional idea of sending data upwards. It involves creating a strategy around tactical reports, ensuring they serve the needs of teams and individuals across the enterprise. Embracing this perspective fosters an organizational culture where teams not only prioritize information exchange but also actively seek ways to align their efforts with overarching objectives.
This post is based on our recent webinar Strategic reporting: Steering projects to success and keeping stakeholders in the loop. Miss the live session? Access the recording of the webinar here.
1 Databox. “What Is Strategic Reporting? Draw Inspiration from 4 Report Examples To Be Inspired By.” Databox. https://databox.com/strategic-reporting#definition
2 Capital Business Solutions. “When to Consider Strategic Reporting.” Capital Business Solutions. October 13, 2022. https://www.capitalbusiness.net/resources/what-is-strategic-nonprofit-reporting/
3 PEGA Academy. “Defining a reporting strategy.” PEGA Academy. https://academy.pega.com/topic/defining-reporting-strategy/v1
4 Microsoft. “Create a reporting and analytics strategy” Microsoft. https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/guidance/implementation-guide/business-intelligence-reporting-analytics-reporting-analytics-strategy