Getting Rid Of Boring Reports - LMS Reporting And Measurement

Is Your LMS Reporting And Measurement Boring? Time For A Change

Reporting is an essential, but perhaps sometimes boring, part of any business. The thought of sifting through data and doing complex calculations can make even the best of us break out in a cold sweat, but nevertheless it needs to be done.

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Administrate present the importance of reporting and how it can be used for optimal results.

Reporting is vital to so many different parts of the business, so you can’t simply put it on the back burner just because it’s not the most exciting task. Instead, why not make reporting as easy as possible, and something you actually look forward to!

You may not believe me, but a little forethought and research can help make your reporting process pretty painless meaning it’s not something you dread every time comes around.

Get The Right Data

The first point to making your reports more interesting is to actually focus on the information you need. Think about what you actually need to report on, and get really granular on those aspects if you need to, but don’t just report on anything and everything because you think it’s the done thing.

There is no bigger time waster when it comes to reporting than doing reports for the sake of it. And who wants to read mountains of reports that don’t really tell them anything important? That’s where boredom can creep in, and pretty soon people will stop reading the reports you send them, as they won’t be able to separate the vital information from everything else.

You need to think about what business question you are trying to answer every time you make a report, which will hopefully ensure that every report you create is an essential one. If you’re trying to answer more than one question with a report, you may want to take a step back and decide how you’re going to split the questions up. Then, you can create a report focused on each business question, so you won’t muddle up you’re data. If reports are too confusing to read, people will quickly lose interest and switch off.

This may mean a little extra work, but remember, you want to create useful reports that focus on specific data every time, so it’s worth putting in the extra effort to get the answers you need.

If you want to make your reports interesting, you need to focus on the data that people are actually interested in. And this links nicely into our next point.

Know Your Audience

The data you’ll want to include in a report may be different depending on who you are producing the report for. Is it for an entire team, your board, or an individual? All these different audiences will need different overviews of different parts of the business, and will only be interested in certain selections of data.

If you’re producing a report for a certain audience, ask them what they want included before you create the report, so everyone gets a report that’s totally relevant to them and their interests. When it comes to course sales, your accounting team will be interested in how much profit you’re making and how much venues cost, whereas your tutors will be interested in how many students are going to be in their upcoming classes, so they can plan their class content accordingly. It’s basically the same sections of data both audiences are looking at, but they’re focusing on different aspects of it. Make it easy for your audiences and filter the data down for them, so they immediately see the data they need and care about.

Use The Data

Reporting is all well and good, but what’s the point if you’re not going to do anything with the data! If people think they’re supposed to be spending a lot of time creating and reading reports just to get an overview of the numbers and nothing else, they’ll probably start to tune out after a little while.

That’s why it’s really important to make sure people are using the data presented in their work going forward. This ties back to both the points of getting the data you need and knowing what audience will be viewing each report. It’s important you arm people with data that is relevant to their day-to-day work and will help them improve in the future.

For example, you may want to produce a report on how many students are attending a certain class for your training administrator. This may highlight the fact that only 20 students have been attending this class for months, but it is booked into a venue that can seat 40 students. By relocating this class to a smaller venue, this could save the business a lot of money. If a report highlights an important issue like this once, it’s more likely that the audience for that report will start looking for things like this to focus on in the future.

However, if this small detail had been buried in a huge report that takes hours to read, it could have gone unnoticed for a long period of time, effectively wasting the company money for no reason!

Looking at reports and working out how you can use the data included should become a regular task that everyone within your business gets used to doing as part of the reporting process. This will encourage reports to become part of your company culture, as opposed to dull emails that people dread receiving.

Automate It

Reading boring reports is one thing, but what about the person who has to create those reports? Trudging through data every month doesn’t sound like the most fun in the world, and if you’re not excited to create those reports, how can you expect anyone to be excited about reading them?

The best way to make creating reports interesting it to make it as easy as possible! The data itself isn’t boring – it’s vital, but the whole reporting process can be a bit dull. Here at Administrate, we’re all about making reporting as easy as possible, and that’s why our reporting engine lets you create automated and customised reports to get exactly the data you need, when you need it. Use our reporting engine to cut through all the facts and figures and get straight to the info you really need.

Timing

If you have to create a lot of different reports, chances are they all need to be done at different times. Whether they need to be done weekly, quarterly, annually or on a certain day of the month, it can be hard to keep track of what reports need created and when. Administrate gives you the ability to have reports automatically created exactly when you need them, repeated when they need to be, and even sent to everyone who needs to see them automatically.

Data

Our reporting engine also gives you the ability to construct, create, and save reports quickly and easily from any of the data you have saved within the Administrate system. It’s as easy as dragging and dropping the data you want to include, and then we do all the hard work for you! Having all the data you need right at your fingertips within the Administrate system also means you don’t have to waste time collating data from different sources from all over the business.

The University of York recognizes how important this is, because sometimes it can be challenging to merge lots of data from different sources in a useful way. Amanda Selvaratnam, Head of Corporate Training, commented:

"It’s been very hard to accurately bring together all the various bits of information from across the university on an annual basis. The wonderful thing about Administrate is it brings together the client information, the course information and the financial information into one reporting system, which means we now know what’s going on across the institution".

Store

All the reports you create within Administrate will also be saved for future use, so you don’t have to worry about trawling through loads of previous reports to find the one you need. You can even export them to Excel or CSV files.

Conclusion

Reporting may never be your favourite thing in the world to do, but hopefully we’ve shown you there are ways to stop it being thought of as a boring task! As with a lot of things, it’s all about planning, and making sure you’re putting the effort in where you need it and not just doing lots of admin work for the sake of it.

Then, you can get to the exciting part; actually studying and using the data produced to highlight things that need to be worked on and improve your business!

Originally published at www.getadministrate.com.

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