Reports and Formats for better data analysis

When top notch strategies, knowledge and personnel is poured in to a business, it ought to be hitting the target. But how are we to measure it?

Data analysis holds a pivotal role in progress of a business. Proper analysis is ensured only with meticulously formatted reports and charts. Any software, for example – a CRM software must be capable of giving a formatted output which will provide detailed insights on the performance of the team, of the product and of the strategy.

Some major factors which a report should comprise:

  1. Flexibility to customize
  2. Category wise, period wise data formatting
  3. Cumulative and differentiative sum display
  4. User access and control
  5. Automation

Let’s deep dive –

Flexibility to customize

Variation in businesses and it’s performance measurability is wide beyond limit. Even though 2 businesses are exactly the same, there will be atleast a couple of parameters which differ in terms of analysis of the performance.

To get an insight on Sales done, Profit / Loss, customers acquired, category of products / services, etc. , reports must be flexible enough to allow the user to customize it as needed. What should be the format of data to be seen, the content in it, grouping, naming, etc. every datafield should be custom configurable. If a CRM software is being used, it should be ensured that custom report generation caters to the requirement.

Category wise, period wise data formatting

A report doesn’t mean ling, unending lists of data in form of a single table flowing till the world’s end.

There must be proper categorization- based on :

  • Source of Sales
  • Executives in charge
  • Category of product / Service
  • Time Period

This will help get a clear, simplified picture of the data under analysis. Simple representation is the best to comprehend when it comes to reports.

Cumulative and differentiative sum display

What does ‘report analysis and data insight’ term ultimately aim towards? Monetary gains – isn’t it right?

It’s unwittingly obvious that a report must display cumulative sum of the financial flow. And not stop only at this, it should also be able to show the ratios, proportions, fractions and differences as and when applicable.

Numerous report types demand data display in terms of percentages, sums, fractions, etc. Easily reports must be generated with these conditions.

It’s always recommended to use a for the purpose, since data can be pulled from the system with Sales, invoices and payments ready at disposal.

User access and Control

Now, wouldn’t it be useful if reports to be seen by the management are isolated from the common pool of reports which can be seen by all the team members? After all, data viewing and analytics is not recommended and not useful to each and every cog in the machine.

Generation of Administration level reports should not be open to everyone and only the concerned authority must be able to access them.
There must be a proper classification as to whom the report should be available, who can create, edit and who can only view it.

Even report downloading should be leashed. In the interest of data protection, it’s not recommended to give download permissions to every member of the team to have an access to entire data.


Reports must be automatically triggered at the set time. Daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, etc.- all should be made available automatically once set.

Also, reports must land in the concerned authorities’ mail inbox regularly. Only then is it said to be a properly configured and ‘Automated’ system. This automation will eliminate all the errors of manual report generation and can work by itself.

When we give so much effort and importance to improve the business, same importance has to be given to report generation too. Gaining clarity in data and insight on future prospects becomes a much easier task when you use a CRM software for Sales and Process management purpose.

Buyer’s guide – how to choose the best software for your business

How a single right (or wrong) choice can affect your entire business structure

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Choosing a software for your business is lot like choosing a car for your commute.

You need to look at all the factors- Very first – usability. Then comes budget. You also need to consider the features and specifications- do they match to your requirement? Or is there any thing less or more? How will it suit you in the long run? How much will be the annual maintenance cost? Lastly- the looks! (Yeah, for some, this can be the first factor. But what if looks come at the cost of features and usability? )

All of these factors help you decide the best car for you and you’ll be happy with your choice only if all of these criteria are met.

With a software, the choice has to be much more careful. There cannot be any toying around or hasty decisions especially when the software will be imbibed in your everyday workflow. It’s going to be a part of your every day work life, your heavy dependency will be on the software. That’s why, it’s of utmost importance to make a well-thought decision.

Following prime factors MUST be considered before going for any business software:

  • Software Provider Competency and Customer Support

The company / organization who’s promising you the deliverance of your required software must be tested for their own competency. Is the company expert in the field? Do they have a strong customer support team for after- sales service?
Customer support is another major factor to consider, since sale happens only once, customer support is needed for lifetime!

So be very, very careful of choosing the provider. For example, if you’re purchasing a CRM software for your business, check the history of the provider. Check their support policies, ask questions till you are convinced that they are capable enough to give you a solid solution.

Check how Maple CRM

helps you get the best out of your Sales and Process Team

  • Usability of the software

Now that you’ve zeroed down to a provider, ensure that the software which is being suggested by them suits your requirements COMPLETELY. The software should be easy to use, least complications and major tasks must be most easily accessible.

Features of the software must be thoroughly studied to check their function and relevance to your requirements.

Some websites which give a good review of softwares:

  1. Google (Obvious, right?)
  2. Software Suggest
  3. Techjockey
  4. G2
  • Flexibility and Customization

The software should be flexible enough to fit in your criteria, not that you need to bend and shift your workflow to fit in the software. Maximum customizability and minimum adjustment- that’s what makes the software the best choice.

  • Budget

Of course, this is THE deciding factor. But be very careful- Cheapest are not always the best.

Budget has to be considered as one of the deciding factors in a software- not the only deciding factor. What if the software costs less at the beginning, but creates huge dents in your daily operations- which results in multiple times wreckage in the business?

There are plenty of softwares which are at rock bottom price (some are even FREE. Think – why would any company give anything for free?). But decisions must be taken with a holistic approach, not a one-sided consideration.

  • Your team’s capability to adapt

This too is a good criterion to consider. How well does your team adapt to the software? It gives you the report card of the software in the form of it’s user-friendliness, adaptability and simple user interface.

The real capability of a software is in what lies underneath. Just like a Lotus flower- beautiful and simple on top, expansively complicated under the water. A software should be most simple for the user’s eyes, but highly technical, interconnected and feature packed to address the main concerns.

  • Data Security (that’s where an established software provider ranks higher)

Data security and privacy – these are the most commonly used, yet underrated words in today’s world. While it may not cause any concern for any bought out items, it’s of utmost importance when it comes to a business software. Data entered into a software is the property of the company which buys the software. So should be maintained with high security, ZERO breach and user authentications.

There are plenty of companies which say that they commit to data privacy and security. Wise choice would be to deep dive into the technicalities of it, have a word with the concerned technical person and be 100% sure that your data will be safe.

  • Reviews and Customer references

This is the good old method. Humans tend to believe what others, of their same requirements, have to say about a specific provider.

Go ahead. There’s nothing wrong in it! Get the reviews checked online, call upon customer references and shoot your concerns. Once convinced, only then make the right choice!

Hope this helps gain a good understanding of considerations in choosing the right software. Great choices lead to great results! Be wise!

Maple CRM is the best choice among CRM software providers. With 12+ years of Industry experience and global spread of customers, Maple CRM has been ascending towards becoming the top rated CRM provider with great features, great pricing and unparalleled Customer Support.

Get in touch with Maple CRM expert today and get your Sales and Process management sorted!