Management reporting refers to a set of reports that allow managers and company executives to evaluate the operations of a business. It can be used to analyze performance, optimize any weak or slow processes and make data-driven decisions to help move the company forward.
To create a management report, you’d have to collect tons of data from various departments in the company, track useful KPIs, and present them in an organized manner. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits, examples, and processes involved in management reporting.
What is management reporting?
The definition of management reporting has changed over the years. It’s no longer a time-consuming process that involves manual and repetitive tasks. More companies are starting to adopt the use of automated data integration platforms like Coupler.io. This improves efficiency, saves lots of time and allows all of the data to be gathered in one place.
A modern and highly effective way to present management reports is through visual formats such as dashboards, charts, graphs, etc. Such graphics are great for displaying business data because they allow managers to obtain a detailed and clear overview of their business, draw conclusions quickly, notice patterns and market trends, and track business growth etc.
Here’s what you can achieve with management reports:
- Measure and monitor metrics
The right metrics need to be measured across all aspects of a business. This helps to figure out the health of your company, compare past results with present data, and determine how well you’re competing in the marketplace.
- Make more-informed decisions
Accurate reports from every department help company executives or stakeholders to make better decisions for the company. It helps them understand the next steps to take, for example, boosting the morale of employees, new strategies, etc.
- Determine crucial benchmarks
In the business world, data reveals everything you need to know. Management reporting helps to define benchmarks and compare your results to the set goals across the company.
- Improve internal communication
The reporting process brings teams together and allows them to discuss their performance metrics. It also allows investors, executives, and stakeholders to review these reports together and converse about any significant changes.
- Boost engagement and productivity
A management report can either showcase the excellent results of every team or the slowing growth during a period. It helps everyone know what strategies worked or not. It also inspires teams to put in more work for better results.
Types of management reports
Management reports can typically include any report from every department in a company – HR, operations, marketing, accounting/finance, sales, product development, IT, etc. This helps in determining whether each department is meeting its goal for the week, month or quarter. Below, we’ll discuss the types of management reports:
- Operational reports
These are used to monitor operations as well as discover the efficiency and inefficiencies in a company’s workflow. They can help to optimize processes, lower operation costs, and improve the day-to-day running of the company. They are often created daily, weekly, or monthly.
- Sales and marketing reports
These are reports that pertain to the sales and marketing efforts of a company. They show the best-selling products or services and strategies that are driving the most revenue. The reports can also break down marketing campaigns that were conducted over a specific period of time.
- Analytical reports
These types of management reports are meant for analyzing overall business performance. All departments would present quantitative data to help analyze their numbers. They also provide qualitative data to show the reasons, logic, and results of various strategies that were used.
- Financial reports
These are crucial statements that showcase a company’s financial data. They include: cash flow statements, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, financial dashboards, etc. They help to manage cash flow, optimize operations, determine budgets, and prepare tax reports.
- External reports
These are management reports for an external audience such as investors, creditors, bankers, etc. They are mostly for reporting performance, financial records, and other related information. They also help to compare business results to other competitors within the same industry.
- Internal reports
These are reports on projects or plans within departments. It can help to track the progress or status of assigned activities in a team. Some internal reports are centered around company workflows, while others are based on customer behavior, customer interaction, and expectation.
Management reporting examples
Since we’ve talked about the types of management reports, it’s time to see examples. For that, we’ll use some dashboards prepared by data professionals at Coupler.io, an all-in-one data analytics and integration platform.
Through Coupler.io, you can hire data experts to build custom management reports with the tools of your choice. Although they don’t describe an entire business, they are interactive and self-updating dashboards that are quite focused on the crucial aspects of a business.
Each of these dashboards are automated reports that are built once, connected to your data sources, and then updates automatically so your report is basically evergreen and always up-to-date.
Let’s see these comprehensive examples below:
- Sales dashboard
These dashboards help to track sales metrics. First, we have the Sales Overview report. You can view sales by week, quarter, region, state, category, and total sales during a period.
Next, we have the Sales Performance by region dashboard that helps managers to analyze sales across different locations.
- Paid advertising dashboard
There’s also the Ad groups performance report to help analyze key metrics for every ad group such as clicks, CPC, impressions, CTR, etc.
- Customer service dashboard
The Customer Success dashboard is meant for tracking the performance of support teams. You can see open and closed cases, top case closers, and customer satisfaction levels.
- AARRR product metrics
AARRR stands for metrics such as acquisition, activation, retention, referral, and revenue. This performance metrics report helps to analyze conversions between the stages of the product funnel.
- Cohort analysis dashboards
The cohort analysis dashboard can help to compare different sets of users and see trends for particular cohorts. The first section shows the repurchase rate of customers per month.
Next, we can evaluate the monthly revenue and lifetime value of every cohort.
The last section of the report measures the average order value of each cohort per month.
The management reporting examples above were made by data professionals from Coupler.io. You can grab them for your use or get in touch if you need help building a custom dashboard.
Management reporting processes
Management reporting goes beyond collecting data from every department or self-managed teams. It includes visualization, analysis, regular updates, and the use of automation software. Let’s discuss some management reporting processes here:
- Data integration
Companies gather a lot of data everyday and it can be hard to stay on top of everything. However, data integration is an important process that involves collecting data from different sources and storing them in a primary destination. This helps to efficiently manage, analyze, and gain actionable insights from management data.
Coupler.io’s data integration solution allows you to automatically pull data from sales, marketing, and customer service into data destinations like Google Sheets, Excel, or BigQuery. You can also power dashboards in data analysis tools like Looker Studio or Tableau.
- Data visualization
In management reporting, visualization makes all the difference. It’s not advisable to present raw data to colleagues and executives. Rather, you should create reports or dashboards that can effectively tell a story with your data.
There are tons of data visualization techniques to utilize – pie charts, histograms, bar graphs, area charts, Gantt charts, etc. Make sure to use simple designs and color schemes, as well as pick the visualization that can interpret your data best.
- Key performance metrics
Every aspect of a business has its own KPIs to accurately measure progress and success. When creating a management report, you need to determine the correct indicators to use. For example, important metrics in sales include: revenue, average customer lifetime value, opportunity win rate, sales cycle length, etc.
Marketing metrics may also include: number of qualified leads, social interaction metrics, CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost), Conversion rate, Return on Investment (ROI), number of trial signups, and many more. You need to measure the right KPIs in your report so everyone can understand whether strategies are truly working or not.
- Interactive reports or dashboards
Managers can extract data and create management reports in spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations. However, BI tools and dashboards have proven to be more efficient. They can transform your data into valuable information and allow you to have a unified view of crucial business metrics or KPIs.
Dashboards aren’t static pages that simply display information. They are meant to be flexible, easy to navigate, and interactive. You can use interactive filters to sort through and view relevant metrics. For example, drill-downs allow users to explore specific data.
Coupler.io’s data consultancy team can build comprehensive reports and dashboards for your business. You can rely on their custom dashboards for relevant business metrics, eye-catching visualizations, interactive filters, and self-updating capabilities.
- Reporting automation
Management reporting encompasses several reports within a company. This means you’d have to work with more data than possible. The entire process can consume lots of time and is very much prone to errors and inaccuracies.
Therefore, automation is a great way to streamline your dynamic reporting tasks and get more done in less time. Coupler.io offers self-updating dashboards that can be regularly updated without any manual effort. It allows you to populate your report with fresh data weekly, hourly, or every 15 minutes.
Best practices for management reporting
A management report is an analytical instrument that helps managers and business leaders to analyze the performance of several aspects of a business. It’s crucial for monitoring growth and making strategic decisions in a company. Here are the best practices for anyone looking to create efficient management reports:
- Understand your reporting goals
It’s important to start the management reporting process with your goals in mind. You should know why you’re making reports, the intended audience, and the exact purpose of reporting in your company. This helps to determine how to structure your report and the KPIs to include.
- Tell a story with your data
It’s safe to conclude that data depicts the true picture of a business. Although it may look like numbers and stats, your business data is much more than that. You need to use data insights to improve your understanding of current figures. Time periods, historical data, and contrasting metrics all help to tell a story with your data.
- Use reporting software tools
Manual workflows are repetitive, inefficient, and subject to human error. You should incorporate online software tools in your business to simplify and automate several management reporting tasks. There are free and affordable tools that can help with processes such as data integration, data storage, business analytics, and visualization.
- Implement data automation
Every department within a company amasses large amounts of data on a daily basis. They shouldn’t wait until it’s reporting time before organizing data. It’s a good idea to encourage teams to process and store data effectively. This adds consistency, accelerates a strong work ethic and overall team productivity. To start with automation, you can find tools to help with data collection and transformation.
Management reports: DIY or outsource?
There’s so much data to analyze in a company. From sales to marketing to operations, you need to monitor the performance metrics. This allows managers, executives, and stakeholders to make necessary data-driven decisions.
When it comes to preparing management reports, you can do-it-yourself by leveraging online reporting tools such as Coupler.io. There are dashboard templates for your ease of use. If you don’t have the expertise to build a reporting pipeline your company needs, then consider hiring data experts to deliver the solution you need. Get in touch for a free consultation.Back to Blog