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Static vs Business Intelligence (BI) reports

This is the year that you’re going to futureproof your business to better prepare you for constantly evolving market conditions. You know that business reporting is the best way to position yourself at the forefront, but you can’t decide between static reporting and business intelligence (BI) reporting as your best solution. In this article, we’re going to look at the differences between the two so you have a better idea of which works for your business.


What is a static report?

This is a business report that includes static information related to operations such as resource use and management over a period of time. Because they are static, the information is set within a timeframe such as the last quarter of results. This is historical rather than real-time data.


What is a BI report?

Also known as real-time or dynamic reports, BI reports included the latest business information at any given time. It draws on data from a range of sources and provides you with interactive features for informed decision making. Many dynamic report systems draw on machine learning (ML), making it incredibly intuitive.


What are the key differences?

While both are effectively business reports that provide the user with information related to ongoing operations, there are a number of ways static and BI reports differ. Here are a few…


1.     Analysis

While the static report provides you with a really great summary overview which could indicate some of the more dominant trends, it’s nowhere near as detailed as BI reporting. With BI reporting, you benefit from high-level reporting with the option of clicking on the data for more details on elements such as localised sales, employee performance, and other key trends that could be leveraged for business opportunities.


2.     Accessibility

Static reports are most often generated through data sourced from ERP systems which means they’re solely accessible through your IT department. BI reporting is much more accessible across the business spectrum with users able to customise reports for specific departmental use. These can then be shared with team members, allowing for much more accessibility to this useful data.


3.     Resources

Generally, static reports draw on data from a single source. If more than one data source is used, these will need to be combined in a spreadsheet format which can lead to errors. Even one mistake in a spreadsheet can impact the final results – and it is also difficult to identify. BI reporting consolidates data from various sources into one location for a more visual-centric report and more accurate results


4.     Time

Because of the way in which static reports draw on data sources, more time needs to be spent manually analysing the insights before compiling a report. It is much more text-focused and relies on manual processes which can take your team a lot longer to collate. BI reporting allows you to access a dynamic dashboard from any device, making analysis simpler and faster for businesses.


When is static reporting useful?

Many businesses feel comfortable relying on static reporting as it provides a simple, historical overview of operations. This is useful for businesses looking to assess past business performance in relation to:

  • Your brand: How the brand is doing in terms of sales and awareness;
  • Your product: How the product or service is performing;
  • The market: How your brand or product compares in relation to competitors.


Examples of static reports

Just to give you a clear idea, here are two examples of static reports you’ll come across in business.


Daily reports: This is a static report on the production day for an indication of how things went. These are often sent out as automatic emails or used in post-production meetings.

Weekly/monthly reports: This gives managers and employees an overview of more long-term performance for strategy making.

Read More: What You Need To Know About Business Intelligence (BI) And Reporting


When is BI reporting useful?

Most businesses now require real-time reporting for accurate insights on what’s happening so that business decisions can be made. This is particularly useful for:

  • Manufacturers looking to make critical inventory decisions.
  • Dealing with customer service queries.
  • Determining delivery times.
  • Determining opening and closing hours.
  • Influencing marketing decisions.
  • Assessing public relations and reputation management.


How do you benefit from both static and BI reporting?

By working with a leading organisation like Canvas Intelligence, you can get the best of both static and BI reporting through a comprehensive system. Get in touch with them today to discover how you can put your business on the right path in 2022.