8 Report Types for Better Information Delivery

An important distinction to keep in mind while designing and building your management operating system is the classification of information and reports in the Gather process.

Classifying helps you assign the right process, tools, data, and resources to information, reports, and the Gather process. Without an overt classification, you can end up delivering information inefficiently, or worse, incorrectly.

Here are some common classifications:

  • Financial. Usually relates to items found on the Profit and Loss statement, balance sheet, or cash flow. Content can be at a detailed or summary level.

    Enterprise Performance Management, A Management Operating System, EPM, Ron Dimon

    A Management Operating System

  • Operational. Usually contains information about volumes, units, headcount, inventory levels, and so on. Can also be at a detailed or summary level.
  • Executive. Typically cross-functional information at a summary level.
  • Sustainability. Information relating to environmental, health and safety, and community and social issues.
  • Management or Internal. Includes flash reports. Typically contains information managers need to make business decisions before being transformed for external consumption.
  • Statutory or External. Information that has been transformed according to GAAP or other regulatory standards.
  • Canned. Standard reports that are used over and over again.
  • Ad Hoc. Usually one-time information that’s situational and does not need to be retrieved later— although if found useful across different audiences and at different times can quickly find its way into a canned report.

You can learn more about EPM and how it can help your organization build a common business process to execute its strategy in my book Enterprise Performance Management Done Right: An Operating System for Your Organization (Wiley CIO)

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Data Consumption is undergoing a major shift

A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.
—PLATO

As EPM practitioners, our job is to help deliver better insights to the business, and the starting place is delivering useful information: on time, at the right level of detail, to the people who can use it to make a decision that helps improve short and long-term results.

With the plethora of data we’re getting, and with the speed at which change happens and transactions occur, it’s getting harder to find out exactly where you stand. How, when, where, and why we consume data is undergoing a major shift: Read more of this post

Information Qualities

© Ruth Dimon, 2013

Photo © Ruth Dimon, 2013

When thinking about turning data into information, you have to consider all of the different qualities of that information. The following list is not exhaustive, but it’s more complete than we usually get when planning how and when (and where) we gather our data and transform it into something people can use.

This list is especially useful when designing business intelligence systems and planning on how to gather data and turn it into useable information.

Business Qualities of Information

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