What Is Ad Hoc Reporting | 5 mins read

What is Ad Hoc Reporting and Why Should You Care?

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Lauren Christiansen

By Lauren Christiansen

What is Ad Hoc Reporting?

The digital revolution, also known as the Third Industrial Revolution, altered so many aspects of day-to-day life. Communication, information sharing, and record-keeping are now possible online. Those in the business environment took advantage of digital tools to target prospects and identify new revenue opportunities.

Nowadays, restaurants and small businesses must acquire more reliable, timely, and attainable data to maintain a competitive edge. Big data helps to increase sales, identify new target markets, and improve internal operations. This is only possible if owners have a way to explore data and understand its implications. With self-service BI tools and reporting features, owners can drill down into data sources and answer business questions. Reporting provides a full picture of complex data in the form of graphs and charts, which makes it easy to understand.

So, how does ad hoc reporting relate to all of this? Essentially, ad hoc reporting occurs when users generate a report for a one-time aim. User-friendly intelligence software enables a non-technical employee to answer a business question and present it with data visualization. As an ad hoc reporting solution only works with a small data set, there's no need for help from IT. This reporting solution makes it much easier for an average worker to report on a particular query.

With hoc reporting solutions, business users across the supply chain can create reports, present the information, and ensure essential stakeholders stay informed. This maximizes efficiency and allows decision-makers to quickly solve problems and resolve inefficiencies. Read ahead to understand the benefits of ad hoc reporting software, along with examples that demonstrate best practices.

Importance of Ad Hoc Reporting

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Hoc reporting solutions and business analytics expedite data-driven decision-making. They also reduce much of the workload for IT so they can focus on more critical tasks. Across the supply chain, enterprise reporting is now possible. It's easy to access data, answer queries, and navigate an ad hoc platform. Here are some other benefits of reporting software -

  • Improves Agility for Business Users - A hoc reporting solution enables individuals to answer queries as needed. Users need answers to real-time data sets to address business needs. With an ad hoc report, employees can analyze specific data sets and present findings with the use of powerful visuals.
  • Makes Reporting More Flexible - Reporting tools allow non-technical users to navigate a platform with ease and identify relevant data to drill down into. With the click of a few buttons, users can visualize insights and generate an ad hoc report.
  • Minimizes Analyst Barriers - With ad hoc reporting, IT departments and specialists don't need to generate reports for one-time requests anymore. End-users can access company data themselves and report findings to address a specific business query.
  • Streamlines Operations and Maximizes Efficiency - Because IT saves time and employees quickly receive the answers they need, there is greater efficiency across the supply chain. Teams are free to pursue more critical tasks. Furthermore, managers have access to all relevant information they need to make decisions and resolve bottlenecks. This improves operational effectiveness and creates a competitive edge.

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Examples of Ad Hoc Reporting

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Undoubtedly, hoc analysis provides tremendous value to restaurants, small businesses, and large enterprises. To show the value of a hoc reporting tool, let's examine how these business intelligence platforms work in the real world. Read ahead for a few of the top examples.

1. Prevent Theft and Loss With Ad Hoc Reporting

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A reporting tool can help retailers and restaurants mitigate loss and fraud. With customized reporting analysis, users can tailor queries to shoplifting or inventory theft. Many owners use ad hocreporting software and ad hoc analysis to optimize inventory management and gain exact stock counts.

This allows managers to know the item, date, and time when theft or loss occurred. If items regularly go missing, users can look for specific patterns to pinpoint where and when the loss is occurring. This not only saves time; it can save millions of dollars.

2. Use Ad Hoc Reporting to Optimize Onboarding Processes

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Every competitive business needs to identify deficiencies within the onboarding and recruiting processes. Hoc reports can include details of recruiting procedures and all steps taken. If a business has regular issues with recruiting or onboarding, it can use an ad hoc report to pinpoint the root cause.

Problem areas may include anemic or outdated learning activities, using outdated job descriptions, or posting to the wrong sites. More serious concerns include areas of non-compliance, such as missing employee data on tax documents. Ad hoc reporting solutions can pinpoint these bottlenecks before they become bigger concerns.

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3. Employ Ad Hoc Reporting to Improve Sales and Marketing

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Without the right insights, it's hard to know whether sales techniques and marketing campaigns are effective. Modern business intelligence platforms allow users to drill down into procedures and old campaigns to identify bottlenecks. This helps business owners build better relationships with clients, which increases sales. Ad hoc reporting tools also enable supervisors to train employees better and identify low-performers, which increases efficiency.

4. Increase Profits with Ad Hoc Reporting

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Web-based ad hoc reporting solutions allow stakeholders to identify hidden revenue opportunities. For example, if a new restaurant manager reviews POS data during each hour of the morning shift. He sees that customers order a specific breakfast special more often from 7-10 a.m. Because they are not ordering other menu options, he decides to eliminate some breakfast-related inventory orders. He creates some newly revamped breakfast specials to offer in place of the eliminated items. He also instructs servers to heavily promote new and existing breakfast specials during this shift.

As a result, the restaurant gains new customers, increases sales, and eliminates waste. None of this would be possible without the data analysis and specific query features that ad hoc reporting provides.

Key Takeaways of Ad Hoc Reporting

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In conclusion, here is what to know about an ad hoc reporting tool -

  • Hoc reporting a way for average team members to get answers to specific business questions. This eliminates much of the IT workload and saves time across the supply chain.
  • Other benefits of easy use service reporting include greater agility for the end-user, more flexible reporting capabilities, fewer barriers for analysts, and more streamlined operations with greater efficiency.
  • In the real world, ad hoc reports are critical to maintaining day-to-day operations. For example, ad hoc reporting can prevent theft/loss, optimize onboarding, improve sales and marketing, and increase profits.

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