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Reports - Consolidate, Innovate, Validate

Customer Experience tools including CRM are being touted as next gen ERP and not without a reason. Managers are now able to get in-depth and actionable analysis of customers and their preferences, and analytics have been a big enabler. The amount of information that any application can store today is virtually limitless. To make sense of this information and get actionable insights is what makes an Analytical tool so important. And when you get world class analytics along with CRM with industry best practices built in, it's a game changer.

Oracle CRM On Demand comes with "CRM On Demand Answers" as its analytical tool, which the users can use to get deeper and valuable insights into their data. It's easy to use and deploy with prebuilt reports that managers can use.

Using this analytic tool, a manager can slice and dice their data, see data in different contexts to make better decisions. However, like with any analytical tool, report explosion could cause its own problems. Administrators tend to create multiple reports of similar nature instead of one report with flexibility built in to see the same data in multiple contexts. This is where report consolidation needs to happen and business users as well as administrators need to work together to achieve this.

Another way of utilizing reports is to pass on information to other user groups in a clean format. Nobody likes to see a printout with tables and charts everywhere. Use of reports as forms to pass on information for e.g. creating quotes or orders document is one of the innovative use of reports that administrators can make use of.

In order to derive benefits from the above two points i.e. consolidating and innovating the use of reports, one needs to have a structured validation process in place. Whenever a new report is created questions such as the following must be asked:

Can we can use existing prebuilt out of the box reports with built in industry best practices or can we make an existing custom report more flexible to get the additional required context? At an organizational level, who will create the reports? - Is it just the administrator or also the business users to get better translation of requirements into a report?

A good validation process, if in place, will seek answers to all the above questions and more, before a new report is created. However, most of the time this process is missing.

To understand more on how we can consolidate, innovate and validate our reports, I will be speaking at an educational session titled "Driving Business Insight with Report Optimization in Oracle CRM On Demand" at Oracle Open World 2014. I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to attend my session to discuss in detail on these ideas and more. Date, time and venue details are mentioned at the bottom. Hope to see you there!

Date - October 1st 2014

Time - 11:30 AM to 12:15 PM

Venue - Moscone West - 3012, Moscone Centre, San Francisco, CA

This blog is posted on behalf of Shantanu Goswami, Senior Associate Consultant, Financial Services, Infosys.

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