By Geordan Drummond, Product Manager, and Madeline De La Matyr, Financials Consultant, Alithya Corporation
Reporting is the lifeblood of most organizations. It defines the way that management views the organization, guides leaders in decision-making, and can help to shape future direction. A sound reporting strategy is paramount to how information is consumed and is critical to unlock the potential of the data generated by underlying source systems (such as ERP software).
Integrating this data, and minimizing the manual effort required to update and deliver it to end users, can greatly increase end-user adoption. Reporting tools can automate and standardize the delivery of information to help decision makers and contributors to focus on more value-added analysis. Whether the reporting outputs have an internal audience or an external one, or whether the source data is financial or operational in nature, it’s an advantage for an organization to use a flexible and integrated tool set.
This is where Oracle Cloud’s reporting tools excel. Whether you need fully formatted reports, data visualizations, or textual commentary, Oracle can accommodate just about any usage.
All organizations need structured reporting, from externally facing financial statements to internal sales forecasts. There are typically many permutations of reports that must be produced month after month, quarter after quarter, in the same format. Oracle’s cloud-based reports are designed just for that purpose, with a common template that makes it easier to run reports for different slices of data using tables, charts, or commentary. You can report on data from cloud ERP or EPM business processes like planning, consolidation and close, profitability, and tax reporting, using any given data source.
Data visualization is a way to bring information to life. Oracle’s integrated dashboards and infolets, which are built into Oracle Cloud ERP and EPM, give you visual presentation and interactive analysis of data. Whether it’s a card showing the forecasted gross margin percentage, a bar chart showing income by division, or a table showing a comparative balance sheet, there are many times when a picture is worth a thousand numbers. There are many rich visualizations available which can surface trends and outliers much better than conventional reports can.
Organizations frequently need to provide context around recent and projected results—either in internal reports like a board package, or in external reports like a regulatory submission. The narrative reporting features in Oracle Cloud EPM address any scenario; and it gives you the ability to parse out components to contributors, or assign reviewers for successive drafts. Narrative reporting pulls in data directly from source systems and links it to your documents or presentations, so you’re always working with up-to-date numbers.
And finally, you can’t talk to a finance department about analysis without mentioning Microsoft Office. Oracle’s Smart View add-in offers a range of functionality to provide real-time access to data sources for ad-hoc analysis and additional reporting capabilities, all in the context of native features that end users are familiar with.
No matter what your organization’s reporting requirements are, the rich feature set of Oracle Cloud reporting tools can meet and surpass expectations. They can help users complete reporting tasks and make adjustments quickly and easily. Stay tuned for additional posts in this series that explore each of the reporting feature sets in detail.