Most companies have their operational and financial reporting pretty well covered. Reports about the number of outstanding orders and invoices or accounting reports are widespread, meeting the more basic reporting needs and supporting the everyday business activities. Management reporting and performance reporting, on the other hand, are often are less well developed. These reporting tools support strategic development and allow companies to perform business simulations so that they can explore their future.
To be able to run relevant strategic scenarios for the business, performance management tools need to be fueled with insights that come from – amongst other sources – cost-to-serve data and profitability-related data, from both Sales and Operations. This is valuable data about customers, channels and products that should not be locked away in data warehouses but instead is worthy of real-time processing. I’m not saying that data warehouses are no longer of value, but companies need to develop a clear vision of how they should deliver insights to the business and which tools – whether data warehouses, financial systems or self-service BI tools – optimally support which reporting needs.