Ad hoc reporting is a business intelligence model in which reports are generated by end users in real time, rather than being pre-designed according to a template. In ad hoc reporting, express reports are created by business intelligence users, not IT specialists.
The reports can be simple one-page tables or complex interactive multi-page crosstab reports. They can have sorting, filtering, and drill through options, as well as various ways to visualize data on charts, heat maps, etc.
The main purpose of ad hoc reporting is to give more power to end users in retrieving and analyzing the business data they need and at the same time relieving the IT staff of the tasks related to creating various on demand reports for different departments. Therefore, using ad hoc data analysis tools is especially important in enterprises with many teams that need different types of reports.
Advantages of Ad Hoc Reporting
In the ever changing business environment, ad hoc reporting offers a number of advantages that make it critical for the companies that want to stay afloat and keep improving to always cater to their customers’ needs. These advantages are:
- Flexibility. As ad hoc data analysis provides options to define the structure of reports in real time, as opposed to being based on templates, it allows end users to accommodate to new market conditions and client needs faster.
- Saving time and money. No special training or IT experience is required to work with ad hoc reporting tools. End users can start creating reports right away, which saves business owners a lot of resources.
- No technical skills required. Reports are generated by non-technical end users on demand, which means less workload for IT staff.
- Data sharing and collaboration. Ad hoc reporting offers wide options for collaboration among various teams within a company, which ensures that all employees are always on the same page.
Do You Need Ad Hoc Reporting Software?
Even without knowing the specifics of your business, it is easy to say that you most certainly do.
The market is changing so rapidly nowadays that it is of utmost importance to constantly improve your data analysis and reporting. However, ad hoc reporting will be especially useful in a company that has a lot of teams that often use different reports, and which doesn’t want to maintain a lot of IT staff for these purposes.
Ad Hoc Reporting and OLAP
Many OLAP tools are specifically designed to provide wide options for ad hoc data analysis and reporting. Allowing creating interactive reports through simple drag and drop user interfaces, they empower end users to ask their own business questions and analyzing data without burdening the IT specialists with such tasks.
Ranet OLAP, being such tool, provides its users with opportunities to create interactive OLAP reports on the fly, export and save them, and share them with other users.
You can try these opportunities right away using the online demo.