Data Driven Reporting
Automate your use of BI and get a step ahead of your competitors. Monitor critical KPIs and send alerts to relevant resources when necessary
Data Driven and all Hyped Up
The term “Data Driven” was coined long before it was hijacked as the latest buzz phrase designed by hungry marketing departments in the IT sector to generate more revenue. And the concept of utilizing all the information (a.k.a. Data) at your disposal, to make qualified decisions that affect (Drive) your operations and maximize performance and success, wasn’t born from this recent marketing pitch. It’s been going on for a very long time, in fact every respectable Business Consultant has been promoting the concept of exploiting the full potential of your data in the decision-making process, since their very first day on the job.
There are infinite ways of making your company more data driven, and while these are exciting topics that we’d love to discuss with you, this page focuses on some more hands-on and practical applications of the concept, which can utilize your data to automate daily tasks and streamline processes – using technology to monitor and alert relevant resources whenever needed, and send out tailored reports with targeted content for specific recipients.
Data Driven Process
One usage case could be the creation of Power BI alerts that utilize Microsoft Flow. Microsoft Flow is an Office 365 service for workflow automation between services. Used in conjunction with alerts in Power BI, Flow can be leveraged for many types of automation, such as:
- Sending customized e-mail alerts or text messages.
- Creating tasks in tools such as GitHub, Trello, or a SharePoint list.
- Posting a message on forums such as Teams or Slack.
- Generating requests for approvals.
- Triggering another workflow.
Another usage case could be quality checks of your master data. Our framework has an in-built cleansing engine where you can configure and set thresholds for when an alert should be triggered. Maybe the cleansing engine is configured to send an e-mail to the relevant responsible data steward, who after receiving the alert will add or correct the missing data.
Data Driven Subscriptions in Retail
Yes, that’s what it was actually labelled as – “Data Driven Subscriptions” – way back in the early 2000’s, when introduced as a feature of Microsoft Reporting Services. It’s come a long way since, refined and streamlined, but the concept is the same – deliver the same report to multiple recipients on the same schedule, but with targeted content, for the individual recipients.
Take the case of large Retail companies who may need to send Sales Reports for specific stores to their respective district managers. Each manager needs the same report, but with targeted content that only includes the stores that he or she is responsible for.
This often results in the same report stored several times with different filters on the stores, and whenever there are changes in the workforce or there’s a shift in grouping of stores, or new layout is requested, then all these reports need to be updated and republished every time there is a small change.
It would make more sense to make the report “data driven”, where filters are set dynamically based on your Master Data, ensuring that only one report needs maintaining. The reports subscription list will then automatically apply the relevant store filters before distributing to each individual subscriber.
If you already have reports that could benefit from this, then give us a call for help in implementing this relatively quick win.
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