User-centric reporting is an effective way to communicate

A dark haired man wearing glasses looking at reports on the table and on a laptop with a smile

There is a lot of talk about user-centric reporting, but what does it mean in practice? How do you ensure the user-friendliness of your reports? It all starts at the report design and definition stage, as you need to identify user groups and their needs as precisely as possible. How well does the user group know the data; is there a different amount of data visible to different users, and what is its relevance for reporting? 

The key is not to try to solve the needs of all users with a single report. If one report is used to meet many needs, there is a risk that the most important information is lost in the report, and it doesn’t meet anyone’s needs. Sometimes it makes sense to produce different reports on the same topic for different audiences. When everyone has easy access to the source of information, smarter decisions can be made within an organization based on real information.

How do you build user-centric reporting?

When your goal is to build user-centric reports, start with the following steps: 

  1. User-centric reporting is an important part of working with data. If users are not taken into account in the design and implementation of reporting, there is a risk that the reports do not serve them, and the information may be left unused. So start by identifying the target users, key needs and objectives of the report.
  2. A report is first and foremost a communication tool. What message do you want to convey to a group of users through the report? What action do you want to generate through the report? Does the user group understand the concepts used in the report in the same way as you do? These questions will help you on your way to more effective reporting.
  3. Next, involve representatives of the target group in the design of the report, and put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Think together about the use cases for the report – when and how will it be used? Will it be presented in a meeting to a larger group or will it become an active tool in the daily life of a specific group of users? What kind of drill-down capability should the report have? Which descriptors would best convey the message, and what is the most effective way to present the information? Visualization allows even complex reports to be summarized in an easy-to-use and understandable format.

The most effective model is to involve the users of the report all along the way: in the design, testing, finalization and further development. The value of the finished reports is significantly increased when users are involved and committed to the development of reporting and understand the importance of using data in their work.

A partner to help develop reporting

If your goal is more comprehensive reporting development or the introduction of a new reporting solution, you should choose an expert partner to support you. BI experts can help you identify how to slice and dice your data and which reporting needs should be addressed first. An experienced partner can offer perspectives on data visualization, the potential of the reporting tool, and the implementation of data-driven action.

Have you become interested?

We developed a user-oriented data storage and reporting solution for the Helsinki University Hospital. Find out how the huge amount of data and numerous user groups were taken into account in the development of the reporting solution: Pinja is developing one of Europe’s largest healthcare data warehousing solutions for the Helsinki University Hospital

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Business Intelligence

Hanna Salonen

Hanna Salonen

I am a knowledge utilization professional with twenty years of experience in the IT industry and knowledge-based management. The most important thing for me is that the goal set together with the customer is realized, the solution is long-lasting and easy and pleasant to use. My free time is spent e.g. with family, versatile exercise and nature.

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