10 Reporting Tools (With Tips for Effective Data Reporting)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 14, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Data reporting and visualization are important components used to understand an organization's data. You may use data reporting technologies to collect and visualize business data via graphs and other visual representations. If your job involves data reporting, it's helpful to know what tools you can use to streamline the process. In this article, we explain what reporting tools are, discuss why they're important, list and review 10 of the most common tools, and discuss tips for using them.

What are reporting tools?

Reporting tools, sometimes referred to as software reporting tools, are computer applications that enable you to generate and show reports and graphs. These tools allow you to display data in an easily understandable format. Reporting systems often create tables, graphs, and other visualizations. Numerous specialists, including project managers, financial analysts, and data analysts, might benefit from reporting tools. You may select from a range of tools, such as data visualization software and dashboard applications, to determine which one is most suited to your needs.

Why are reporting programs important?

Reporting software is important because it can help a business collect and organize its data. These tools can generate data visualizations, making it easier for different business departments to understand data sets and make business decisions. These tools can also make it easier to analyze and interpret data, as they can often collect data and generate reports automatically.

Related: How to Define and Measure a Key Performance Indicator

10 reporting software programs

An organization may select from a variety of reporting software to determine which one best meets its needs. The following are 10 common reporting programs that you may try:

1. Whatagraph

Whatagraph is a reporting tool that's particularly beneficial for social media and marketing analytics tracking. The program can collect data and generate reports automatically from the company's many marketing channels. You may use the program to generate visually compelling data and analytics visualizations. Additionally, you may enter your marketing key performance indicators (KPIs) and monitor your progress toward fulfilling marketing goals.

2. Power BI

Power BI is a business intelligence (BI) tool. The program can absorb data from many sources and convert it to artistically pleasing graphics. This might simplify your team's understanding of company insights. Additionally, the program can support massive volumes of data, making it suitable for large or developing businesses looking to track their company statistics.

3. Reportei

Reportei is a digital analytics platform for digital marketing that integrates with a range of social media sites and analytical tools. The program generates reports and dashboards quickly using this data, making it a perfect tool for digital marketing experts. Reportei's basic reports are easy for clients to grasp, saving marketing professionals time on report creation.

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4. Hive

Hive is a project management reporting tool that consolidates data from several sources into a single location, allowing you to receive a holistic view of a business's operations. You may use Hive to construct interactive data dashboards that display real-time data. Because of the cloud-based nature of this program, you may access your data from any internet-connected device. This software integrates with other major project management software applications, streamlining the data reporting process.

5. Wrike

Wrike is a data reporting tool used especially in project management. The software can track productivity, metrics, and overall project progress. It can also allow multiple users to collaborate. The software is customizable, meaning that an organization can build its own unique dashboards with widgets relevant to its specific projects. You can also choose from project reporting templates to generate reports quickly.

6. Octoboard

Octoboard is a business and marketing reporting tool. The program can collect data, generate insights, and create automated reports. Due to the cloud-based functionality of this program, you may access it from any location at any time, making it simple to share data with clients. Additionally, Octoboard integrates with a variety of prominent social media platforms and analytics tools, making it much easier to produce reports from any system an organization uses.

7. Tableau

Tableau is a data analytics tool that enables the transformation of raw data into sophisticated visuals, such as data dashboards and spreadsheets. Tableau is useful for analyzing corporate data. Because Tableau is user-friendly and does not require much technical knowledge, it's suitable for professionals with little or no coding expertise. The software can convert structured query language (SQL) code to data visualizations with minimal programming.

8. ProWorkflow

ProWorkflow is a project management tool with data reporting features. The software's drag-and-drop functionality makes it easy to organize projects and workflows. The software is helpful for generating graphs. It also has features that allow users to create quotes, invoices, and other reports quickly.

9. ThoughtSpot

ThoughtSpot is a business analytics reporting tool driven by artificial intelligence. The software can connect to cloud databases and report business analytics in real-time. ThoughtSpot is especially useful for people new to data reporting, as it requires little coding. This can allow users of all skill levels to explore their business analytics.

10. Zoho Analytics

Zoho Analytics is an analytics software tool that users can use to develop data dashboards. This software is especially useful for sales and marketing, as it can use data from multiple sources to compile reports. It also has applications for project management. You can use Zoho Analytics to generate reports on your project's metrics and create collaborative progress reports.

Tips for using these tools

Here are some tips to maximize the value of your reporting software:

Identify the optimal tool for your needs

It's important to choose the software reporting tool that suits your needs. Different reporting systems are more suitable for particular sectors and organizations than others. You can research which tools are most suited for your sector, ensuring that you select one that includes all the capabilities you want. For example, if you work for a marketing company, you may want to use a tool that is specifically designed for marketing data, such as Whatagraph or Reportei.

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Select the appropriate format for displaying your data

It's important to select the appropriate format for displaying your data. Certain types of data may suit particular formats. Try to ensure that you use formats that make your data easily understandable. For instance, you may like to produce a report outlining the progress of your project in a chronological style. Additionally, ensure that you select reporting software that can generate the appropriate formats. For instance, if you are a financial analyst, you may choose to use a tool that generates line graphs.

Consider the organizational structure of the business

Another suggestion for selecting the appropriate reporting technology is to evaluate the structure of the organization you work for. Decide if your employer values cooperation or autonomy and choose a technology that complements your work style. For instance, if you work for a software development business that values collaboration, selecting a reporting tool that enables group collaboration and data collection from numerous sources is valuable.

Recognize your audience

Additionally, it's important to understand your audience. Consider the individuals with whom you exchange reports and the types of reports they prefer. This might assist you in selecting the appropriate level of complexity for your reporting tool. If you routinely provide reports to the company's finance department, for example, it may be beneficial to show data in the form of spreadsheets or graphs, so it's beneficial to choose a tool that supports these features.

Investigate your options

Once you've picked your tools, thoroughly examine and familiarize yourself with them. This might assist you in getting the most out of the tools you've selected. For instance, you may devote time to learning the keyboard shortcuts for your program to maximize its efficiency. Additionally, you might combine your tools with other business systems to improve your data reporting.

Personalize your tools

You may optimize your tools by modifying them. Numerous reporting features enable you to personalize your report templates and the application's layout. You may customize the colours and layouts of your tools to fit a company's logo and add custom fields and metrics to meet an organization's particular needs. For instance, you might customize your marketing reports by adding a new KPI and customize the report template to match company colours and fonts.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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