Among medium-sized businesses, Cloud reporting software is suddenly proving very popular. At a stroke, such businesses are finding that they can leapfrog traditional on-premise BI solutions, and go straight to cutting-edge technology. And to technology, what’s more, that is acquired—and paid for—as a service, rather than as a hefty piece of capital expenditure.
Even so, no business wants to buy something unnecessarily, however attractive the business model. So it’s important that an investment in Cloud reporting software meets real business needs, and delivers a real ROI.
So how to tell if Cloud reporting software is right for your business—and that your business is right for Cloud reporting software?
With a high degree of reliability, three signs usually point the way.
Cloud reporting software: goodbye spreadsheets
The first indicator that Cloud reporting software might be called for is when the business finds itself reliant on multiple spreadsheets for business reporting.
Because while spreadsheets make excellent modelling tools, they aren’t ideal for reporting.
How so? Because it’s far too easy for errors to creep in, far too easy for businesses to waste enormous man-hours maintaining and tweaking spreadsheet reports, and far too easy for conflicting multiple versions of the truth to emerge.
Instead, what the business wants is error-free reporting, a single version of the truth, and simple-but-powerful reporting tools that don’t require intensive low-level formatting and intervention.
Cloud reporting software, in short.
Cloud reporting software: tomorrow’s technology, today
Many businesses move to Cloud reporting software in order to escape an overloaded and out-of-date IT infrastructure. What to watch for?
On an elderly server, reporting that slows down the speed of transaction processing on the business’s ERP system, for instance.
Or reports that must be run against the ‘live’ ERP database, rather than an optimised-for-reporting data warehouse—again causing severe performance degradation.
Or reports that must be coded in low-level SQL, creating a backlog of work in the IT department, which is the only function within the business with the IT skills to write such reports.
At a stroke, Cloud reporting software allows businesses to leave such problems behind. Powerful servers in the Cloud run reports against a Cloud-based data warehouse, driving user-friendly dashboards, and finally allowing users to run reports ‘on demand’.
Cloud reporting software: the information you need, when you need it
Knowledge is power—and potential profit. And nowhere is that more true than in the world of business.
Yet many medium-sized businesses are badly hobbled when it comes to acquiring and possessing that knowledge.
To be sure, that outdated IT infrastructure doesn’t help. Ditto the spreadsheets, and the endless—and ultimately pointless—debates over whose spreadsheet is correct.
But there’s more to knowledge than being able to run reports faster.
Self-serve reporting, for instance, which literally puts reporting and query power in the hands of end users, thanks to simple ‘point and click’ tools.
Dashboards, displayed to mobile devices and desktops alike, which give end users not only instant status reports on their chosen key business metrics, but also a ‘drill down’ ability that lets them see the precise cause of any highlighted problems.
Big Data, for another—one of our customers has a 600-million row sales analytics data warehouse, growing at a million rows a week. That’s Big Data, by any definition.
And so on, and so on. Cloud reporting software, in short, isn’t just about Cloud reporting software, but also about bringing data to life, and turning dry numbers into profit-enhancing insights.
Cloud reporting software: the bottom line
Convinced? As you’ll have gathered, many of our customers have been.
Quite simply, Cloud reporting software allows them to leave outdated reporting paradigms behind, and move squarely to cutting-edge technology that leverages the power of the Cloud, delivering powerful analytics as a service, at an affordable price.
To learn more about the power of Cloud reporting software, download one of our free e-books, or check out our customer case studies.