Businesses have long understood the importance of data analysis and the advantages it offers; business analysts do a great job of synthesizing data and using it to implement policies and procedures. However, data reporting is an important resource that often goes underutilized. Many people think data reporting and analysis are the same thing, but they both function differently, and they have different purposes.
In the UTC online MBA program, degree candidates study the differences between data reporting and data analysis, as well as how these two facets of business work hand in hand to increase profits and reduce costs. Raw data can be convoluted and difficult to understand, which is why effective reporting is so important.
What Is Data Reporting?
Simply put, data reporting is gathering information and organizing findings in an easily understood manner. Data reporting professionals sift through massive volumes of data and extract information that is relevant to a specific task or subject.
Data reporting helps raise questions about what is happening in a specific area of the business. This gives decision-makers the resources to monitor different sectors of the business. For example, data reporting acts as a parameter for the business. The information in a data report establishes an expected range. As a result, when reporters turn data into information, and something falls outside this range, it is easily identifiable. This information can then lead to informed business decisions.
Data reports take many forms. Customized reports address a specific subset of information. General reports provide a broad perspective on findings and figures. Alert style reports take the information from a general report that falls outside the established parameters and isolate it for analysis.
How Data Reporting and Analysis Work Together
Once specialists gather data and synthesize it into information, further action is necessary. This is where data analysis comes into play, which is a crucial step before decision-makers take action based on the findings. Whereas data reporting asks specific questions about key data, data analysis seeks to answer those questions.
Who Does Data Reporting
Generally, the same person who performs data analysis is also responsible for data reporting. This has its advantages. When someone does both jobs and becomes familiar with the subject matter, it is easier to make correlations and extrapolate possible outcomes. A single employee performing both data analysis and reporting is good for companies from a financial standpoint, as long as there are adequate resources available to the employee.
Data analysis and reporting are both important for solving business problems. Understanding the need for both reporting and analysis is also key in running a healthy, well-rounded business. Working knowledge of how reporting and analysis work together will help students determine how to use both types of data synthesis. This knowledge will empower students to make sound, effective business decisions.
Learn more about the UTC online MBA with Business Analytics Concentration program.
Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.