Building Report Templates That Stand the Test of Time

While more and more organizations are adopting agile methodologies to help them deliver product faster, getting a report out the door is often a major bottleneck. When a project is nearing completion, there’s often no time to go back and update the report with changes that may have occurred, and there are rarely enough resources to handle the effort. There’s a simple solution to this: use a report template.

The people behind Precision Marketing have written a book that will teach you how to use report templates to create an effective customer relationship management system. You’ll learn how to create templates and templates for each stage of the customer relationship, including the relationship initiation stage, relationship stage, relationship closure stage, and customer loyalty stage.

Report Templates have become a critical part of modern marketing. They’re often designed to be used for various purposes and are usually provided to a client as a means of creating a consistent look and feel. They’re even used to create a bespoke report, as much as to create a standard template.

In 2014, when we established our analytics practice at Portent, reporting for our clients looked very different than it does now. We had an Excel spreadsheet template with pivot tables and macros, but entering the data was a completely manual process that took our teams the first week of the month.

We needed another solution: This allowed us to automate the data collection process. This allowed us to add narrative context to the data. This has allowed us to improve our coverage as new platforms and technologies emerge.

Between 2014 and 2016, we tested several reporting tools: Domo, Funnel.io, and a few others whose names I’ve forgotten. They were solid, but we couldn’t get the team to accept them for a number of reasons. They were not connected to all the data sources we needed to integrate. They didn’t offer enough white label options. They were not user-friendly enough to make minor changes without breaking the records.

Then, in the summer of 2016, Google Data Studio (GDS) went into beta, and everything changed. Not necessarily because GDS was an absolute idea at the time. That’s not the case. There were bugs and gaps in functionality that were annoying to use at first. But we learned a lot from trying to implement several other platforms, and the GDS was a clean slate we could use to improve implementation across the team.

My team started using control lines in our reports to show year-end projections and client goals, as well as historical actuals.

Share your unfinished work with clients as early and as often as possible. Don’t be afraid to create a new version of the 75% feedback report. They will give you feedback as you develop to make sure you don’t put your models in a corner.

And above all, don’t be afraid to question your ideas of what reporting should be. The tool used can be anything – GDS, Power BI, Tableau. The design you use should serve you and your customers, not the other way around. If relationships are not sacred, anything is possible.Reports can be such a vital part of your marketing plan, yet so many get overlooked—either the creation and design, or the content. It is vital that you think through what information you need to present in your reports, and then determine the best way to present it – that is the most important part of creating reports.. Read more about field report topics and let us know what you think.

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