What are Reporting Tools?
A reporting tool, also known as a software reporting tool, is a system that collects data from various sources and presents it in tables, charts, visual presentations, and other formats to make the information easier to understand.
The decision-making process is assisted by the reporting tools. Detailed insights will provide more visibility over data in an appealing manner, making data more readable, useful, and presentable.
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Reporting tools are essential for analytics teams to generate up-to-date snapshots of critical business areas that require attention. These valuable insights are then shared across departments and teams for monitoring and other purposes.
Why Are Reporting Tools Important?
Reporting tools are important because they can assist a company in collecting and organizing data. These tools can generate data visualizations, allowing different business departments to better understand data sets and make business decisions. These tools can also make data analysis easier because they frequently collect data and generate reports automatically.
What Are The Types Of Reporting Tools?
Determine your business goals to see which aspects of your marketing strategy you need to cover using reporting tools to determine the type of tool you require. Reporting tools are classified into the following categories:
- Finance or expense management
- Application performance
- Business intelligence
What Are The Benefits Of Reporting Tools?
- Generate reports with the precise parameters you require.
- Reports can be visualized or integrated with visualization tools.
- Find insights in raw data
- Accelerate the reporting process
- Enhance decision-making
Top 10 Best Reporting Tools
The following is a preselected comparison list of the top reporting tools on the market, along with their important features, disadvantages, and pricing:
1. Wrike– Best Tool For Collaboration On Project Reporting
Wrike is a data reporting tool that is primarily used in project management. The software can track productivity, metrics, and overall project progress, and it can also support collaboration between multiple users. The software is also customizable, so your company can create its custom dashboards with widgets relevant to its specific projects. You can also choose from project reporting templates to generate reports quickly if you want.
- Suitable for groups of five to an unlimited number of team members
- Tool for project management reporting that is simple to use
- Workflows, dashboards, reports, request forms, and other features can all be customized.
- Project management software that is highly configurable
- Users can also schedule reports to be delivered to their inboxes and share them with stakeholders.
- Allows users to select from 12 different metric visualizations
- Wrike is pricey.
- Wrike’s Android or iPhone app is not as good as the desktop software on which it is based.
- When you are managing multiple projects, this tool can be incredibly challenging.
- Cannot be assigned comments to team members.
- Enterprise-grade software is complicated with a steep learning curve.
- Project tracking features are limited.
- Lack of built-in idea management features.
Wrike costs $9.80 per user per month and has a free version for up to 5 users. Paid plans also include a 14-day free trial.
2. Proworkflow– Best Tool For Graphical Data Reports
ProWorkflow was created in 2002 as a project management solution that supported analytics and reporting requirements. When you log in to this tool, you are greeted with a user-friendly dashboard that displays a graphical summary of your current stats for active, completed, and upcoming work.
- Ideal for creating graphs
- Provides drag-and-drop functionality for organizing projects and workflows.
- Allows users to quickly create quotes, invoices, and other reports by enabling features.
- The software requires enhancements.
- There is no pause button on the timer.
- The service could be improved.
- Multiprocessors are not supported by the service.
ProWorkflow starts at $10 per user per month, with a maximum of 10 active projects.
3. Hive– Best Tool With Interactive Dashboards
Hive is a project management reporting tool that consolidates data from various sources into a single location, allowing you to see how your entire business functions. Hive can be used to build interactive data dashboards that track data in real-time. Because this software is cloud-based, you can access your data from any device that has access to the internet. This software is also compatible with other popular project management software programs, allowing you to streamline your data reporting process.
- This tool is useful for creating visual workflows.
- It is capable of working with simple text formats, unstructured data types, and time-series data.
- It enables you to use various domain tools.
- Best tool blending and features of data
- It can connect to a variety of databases, including Oracle, Microsoft SQL, and Apache Hive.
- Many users report that using Hive is difficult and takes some time to get used to.
- The mobile app is less responsive than the desktop version.
- It is not capable of generating dependent tasks.
- Each project lacks a search function.
- The notifications are disorganized.
- The deletion of files is irreversible. Hive cannot track history.
Hive starts at $12 per user per month.
4. Tableau– Best Tool For Professionals With Little Or No Coding Experience Use For Embedded Analytics
Tableau is a well-known data analytics and visualization tool with something for everyone in the organization. It is ideal for data teams on the go because it provides robust mobile experiences. Tableau also includes over 150 built-in functions and a wide variety of pre-built data connectors to help you perform ad hoc analyses quickly. Its drag-and-drop functionality aids in the creation of interactive dashboards with advanced visual analytics.
- User-friendly and code-light
- Connects to data stored virtually anywhere and in any format
- Can generate data visualizations from structured query language (SQL) code
- Effective for gathering business analytics
- Allows users to quickly share insights across the organization while controlling access
- There are no custom visual imports.
- A parameter is static, and it can only be used to select a single value.
- Users complain about conditional formatting and limited 16-column table displays.
- Preprocessing of data is limited
- If the tableau developer’s screen resolution differs from the end user’s screen resolution, the layout of the dashboards is thrown off.
- Does not offer the option of automatically refreshing reports via scheduling.
- Scaling a high-priced product across a large organization is prohibitively expensive.
Tableau pricing starts at $70 per month, with a 14-day free trial.
5. Thoughtspot– Best Reporting Tool For Beginners
ThoughtSpot is an artificial intelligence-powered business analytics reporting tool. The software can connect to cloud databases and provide real-time business analytics. ThoughtSpot is especially beneficial for those who are new to data reporting because it requires little coding. Users of all skill levels can use this to explore their business analytics.
- There are no complicated report design tools to fiddle with; only implementation.
- Each visualization includes AI analysis and simple feedback to improve results.
- The simplicity of collaboration alleviates the burden of reconciling reports and communicating data insights.
- The ease of use of a search bar to find answers to data questions is a wonderful concept.
- Because of the solution’s quick performance, users can quickly share information across the enterprise.
- Time and technology investment is required to achieve the bliss of business users discovering their insights.
- To answer business questions about systems that are not currently in use needs to figure them out for yourself.
- Because Thoughtspot is a newer tool, it may be more difficult to find experts who can use it effectively.
ThoughtSpot charges a subscription fee based on data capacity requirements in 250 GB increments. All pricing includes an unlimited number of users, and customers can choose between private/public cloud or on-premises deployment. For a quote, contact ThoughtSpot directly.
6. Octoboard– Best Tool For Automated Reporting For Businesses Of All Sizes
Businesses and marketing agencies use Octoboard as a reporting tool. The software can collect data, generate insights, and generate automated reports. Because this software is cloud-based, you can access it at any time and from any location, making it simple to share reports with clients. Octoboard can also be linked to a variety of popular social media networks and analytics tools, making it simple to generate reports from whatever systems your company employs.
- Plans that are affordable for any size business, whether it is small, medium, or large.
- Several brand integrations
- More than 2500 metrics are available.
- There are no contractual obligations.
- Users are free to create TV dashboards and remotely control their TV monitors and other devices.
- All products are fully white-labelled, which means you can add your company’s logo to all reports and dashboards.
- There is no phone number for customer service.
- Octoboard is an entirely web-based platform.
- There is no mobile app for iOS or Android.
- There are no simulation models in the data visualization.
- Inadequate predictive analytics
The starting price for an Octoboard business is $17.05 for the Stater Plan, $28.42 for the Growth Plan, and $44.33 for the Teams Plan.
7. Zoho Analytics– Best Tool For Easy-To-Read Charts
Zoho Analytics is analytics software that allows users to create data dashboards. This software is incredibly beneficial for sales and marketing because it can compile reports from multiple sources, and it also has project management applications. You can use Zoho Analytics to produce metrics reports for your project as well as collaborative progress reports.
- Charts, pivot tables, summary views, KPI widgets, and custom themed dashboards provide a wide range of visualization options.
- Augmented analytics with an AI and ML-powered intelligent assistant that recognizes natural language queries.
- Unified business analytics that evaluates data from multiple business apps at the same time.
- Smart data alerts and forecasting are provided by the tool which employs AI, ML, and NLP technologies.
- White label solutions for embedded analytics and business intelligence/analytics portals.
- There are more than 100 connectors for popular business apps, cloud drives, and databases.
- They want more advance notice and training on updates.
- The dated dashboard design is disliked by users.
- More customization is desired by users.
- When updates and improvements are rolled out, some users report issues.
Free Plan is offered. Zoho Analytics starts at $22 per month for Basic Plan, $45 Standard Plan, $112 for Premium Plan, and $445 Enterprise Plan.
8. Hubspot Marketing Analytics– Best Tool For Large Enterprises and customer-facing teams
With powerful built-in analytics, reports, and dashboards, you can track the performance of your entire marketing funnel in one place. HubSpot Marketing Analytics includes everything you need to become a more knowledgeable marketer.
- Accompany the customer’s journey from an anonymous visitor to a loyal customer.
- Close the loops and focus on revenue opportunities to aid marketing efforts.
- Identify key trends in your data over time.
- Reports for each marketing channel are detailed.
- Use key website metrics to evaluate site performance.
- Analyze the marketing funnel from acquisition to closure.
- Inbound marketing software that is all-in-one
- Their contracts are not negotiable.
- It is hard to shift the templates
- It is difficult to use because it is not an all-in-one tool
- Limited reporting.
- There is a lack of supply of A/B testing on lower-tier packages.
- It rapidly becomes pricey.
- Additional technical support is required to pay.
The majority of the features are free. There are four Marketing Hub plans available, each with different analytics features and pricing ranging from free (forever) to $3,200 per month.
9. Whatagraph– Best Tool For Digital Marketing Agencies
Whatagraph is a reporting tool that is particularly useful for monitoring social media and marketing analytics. The software can automatically collect and report on data from your company’s various marketing channels. You can use the software to create visually appealing data and analytics representations. You can also enter your marketing key performance indicators (KPIs) and track your progress toward marketing goals.
- Automation of report delivery daily, weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly.
- Report branding can be white-labelled and customized.
- Monitoring of real-time data
- Prebuilt widgets and templates make it simple to create reports.
- It does not provide as many integrations as some of its competitors.
- It may take some time to display historical data.
- There are no Tableau, Looker, or Zapier integrations.
- The data sources are not particularly deep or granular.
- The website’s speed could be improved.
- Smaller businesses may find it prohibitively expensive.
Provides a 7-day free trial. Professional starts at $119 per month, Premium cost $279 per month, and Growth cost $699 per month.
10. Sap Crystal Reports– Best Tool For Small And Medium-Sized Businesses
SAP Crystal Reports is a well-known reporting tool for small and medium-sized businesses. You can use it both online and offline because it is a Windows-based, on-premises reporting tool.
Those who put in the effort to learn how to use SAP Crystal Reports will benefit from visually appealing, dynamic, and richly formatted reports from virtually any data source. You can also deliver the output in 28 different languages and formats.
- Reports can be generated in a variety of languages thanks to the tool’s support for multiple languages.
- Without the need for data modelling, the tool can connect to data sources directly.
- It enables you to change the formatting of reports based on the language if necessary.
- Multiple languages are supported, as well as language-specific formatting.
- Many formats are supported, including PDF, Spreadsheet, and HTML.
- Content can be distributed in a variety of formats, including PDF, Spreadsheet, and HTML.
- Not user-friendly for business
- The licensing model is convoluted and expensive
- Data governance and data security weak points
- For advanced functions, you must upgrade to the crystal reports server.
- Inadequate customer service
Sap Crystal Reports starts at $495 per license.
How To Select The Best Reporting Tool For Your Organization?
You can compare the following criteria to find the best fit for your company:
Look at the prices of various services and ensure that the products are worth the features you receive.
- Report templates
Evaluate to see if a tool has a library of ready-to-use templates; if not, see how simple it is to create a report from scratch.
Determine how easily a tool can be integrated with business intelligence, visualization, or other services, as well as how many data integrations a tool provides.
- How is data processed?
A functional and practical tracks data quality connects directly to sources, and imports data automatically.
Examine how many rows and parameters a tool allows you to include in a report, the volume limits, and how long it takes a tool to collect, transfer, and process data.
Tips For Using Reporting Tools
- Figure out the best tool for your company.
- Pick a suitable format.
- Acknowledge the structure of your business.
- Define your target market.
- Analyse your reporting tools.
- Make your tools unique and remarkable.
Best Practices for Reporting Software
Most reporting software is designed to address the challenges posed by data bureaucracy that some organizations face. Users of reporting software tools only need user-level credentials to access and generate reports.
Organizations must ensure proper planning before implementing reporting software as it can potentially cause business disruptions, particularly if companies lack the necessary internal resources.
Organizations use reporting tools to enable high-performance reporting and to assist businesses in making more informed fact-based decisions. They are used to explore data and create visualizations that accurately communicate important data information while also revealing deeper insights. Reporting tools are also used to distribute and consume reports. Furthermore, businesses find them useful because they ensure that reports remain accurate, making decision-making easier. In some cases, reporting tools are also used to assist organizations in asking the “big picture” questions and gathering the data required to make informed decisions.
Users should be able to get simple, structured, and visualized answers to your questions as soon as possible to improve the quality of their decision-making. Data reporting tools can be extremely useful, but they differ greatly in terms of functionality and pricing. Ensure that the tool you choose can meet your business needs and serve as a reliable basis for decision-making