When your boss (or any other executive in your company) asks for a web report, what do you create? Do you create a standard web report that displays the necessary data, includes some interactive charts and graphs, and lets the user drill down to more details?
Those are all nice features, but they’re fairly standard. What can you do to make that report really stand out? What can you do to make your boss say, “Wow!”?
1. Adapt to mobile devices
What if you could create web reports that recognized and adapted to the user’s device automatically? And no, I’m not talking about responsive design, which just adjusts the page to fit on the mobile device. I’m talking about automatically delivering a different interface to each device.
For instance, when a user accesses the report on a PC, it automatically displays the PC version. But, when they access the same report on a smartphone or tablet, it automatically displays the smartphone or tablet version. If that sounds confusing, check out this demo. While each button links to the same report, notice how they look different depending on the device.
2. Deliver real-time notifications (via sms/email)
What if your reports automatically notified the user to important changes in the data? What if the report immediately delivered an email or sms message to the user if certain criteria were met?
For instance, suppose the report sent an email or text message any time a customer requested an account cancellation…or any other similar time-sensitive business problem. This would let the appropriate manager immediately step in and take measures to fix the situation. While that’s just one example, wouldn’t real-time notifications make your reports infinitely more useful?
3. Adapt to the user
What if your reports automatically displayed different data, user options, or interfaces depending on the user? What if a single report delivered a different experience to 10 different executives? Or, what if each user could organize the report’s interface to their liking? Wouldn’t that set your reports apart from ordinary reports?
For instance, suppose the report displayed all the data to the CEO, but only HR-specific data to the HR manager. Additionally, suppose the sales manager and the sales team had access to the same report, but only the sales manager had the option to update sales projection data. Of course, features like these require a reporting tool with a sophisticated set of security options, like the features outlined in this article.
4. Integrate into their existing routine
User adoption is always one of the most difficult aspects of reporting. Sure, you can create the reports, but you can’t make people use them. But, what if you could bring your reports to the users? What if you could integrate your reports into the software or applications they already use?
For instance, maybe your executives log into a CRM or ERP system every day. Why not embed important data tables, charts, or graphs into those systems? Rather than ask your busy executives to use a new reporting application, you fit the report into their current routine.
5. Be ready when (and where) the users want them
What if your report automatically delivered itself to your boss when he/she wanted it, and in the format they wanted it in?
For instance, suppose your executives want to see their reports when they come into work every day. But, some want the reports delivered via email, while others want them automatically printed on their personal printers. Why not set the report to automatically run and deliver itself on a pre-determined schedule? Wouldn’t that make your reports stand out?
Do you want to impress your boss, or any other executive in your company? Give them more than they expect. So, the next time you’re asked to create a report, why not include a couple of the features I’ve listed above? Don’t you think that would make your reports (and you) really stand out?
If you’re unsure how to include any of those features in your reports, check out our web application development platform, m-Power. It will let you include most everything mentioned above automatically. You can learn more about it here, or even sign up for a free trial right here.