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Automated Reporting Methodology: How to Build Your Report the Right Way
An illustration of looping lines on a grey background, representing collaborative develompent.

Automated Reporting Methodology: How to Build Your Report the Right Way

Reporting is essential to just about any aspect of your organization, but it always comes at a significant cost in both time and effort. You don’t just want to sacrifice the insights you get from your reports, but you’re also aware of the grumblings throughout your team at the end of the month — or worse, the quarter. So what can you do? Tell them to buckle down? Not exactly.

Adopting, defining, and refining an automated reporting methodology is the key to reaping the benefits of your reports without forcing your team to work overtime to get them done. Here’s the breakdown.

What is an automated reporting methodology?

Automated reporting involves automating as much of your reporting workflow as possible. An automated reporting methodology defines how to do this in a way that’s scalable, transferable between teams, and sustainable. For example, you could use an automation tool like Zapier to automatically push important tasks from your PM tool to your report in a spreadsheet. But if you ever need to make any updates to that report, you’ll need to run the automation all over again, potentially costing the team precious time.

Compare this to using a dynamic reporting dashboard powered by Unito, a two-way sync tool that automatically keeps all your records up-to-date across tools. No extra manual work and no extensive setup. That’s the difference between automating reports in a silo and having a properly defined automated reporting methodology.

3 benefits of an automated reporting methodology

Now that you’ve had your crash course, let’s cover some of the reasons why it’s worth doing the extra work to set this up properly.

It saves everyone more time

Automated reporting is already a big time-saver, but turning it into a robust methodology can help everyone save even more time. Setting things up is a breeze — because most of the work’s already done — and troubleshooting is faster than ever. Documentation is key to get this right.

It reduces the cost of increasing reporting needs

When an organization is still growing, new reports can pop out of seemingly nowhere. Projects that ran smoothly without any reporting at all suddenly start running into hiccups, meaning project management reports become necessary. Stakeholders ask for more dashboards to get oversight on more aspects of the business. Without automation, it’s tough to meet those needs without severely increasing the workload on each team member. With the right methodology, it only takes a few clicks.

It prevents problems before they happen

If everyone on the team is left to their own devices, every automated report will look radically different from the rest. The tools used can be completely different, the output might be unrecognizable from one report to another, and the time taken to create them can vary extensively as well. By streamlining your automated reporting methodology, you can provide everyone with a clearly defined process to follow, preventing these problems.

4 challenges of automated reporting methodology to overcome

Overly rigid processes

Just because your methodology needs to be well-defined doesn’t mean it shouldn’t adapt to change. This is especially true if you’re at a smaller organization that’s trying to grow quickly. As you work out your automated reporting methodology, be sure to leave room for it to change and evolve — and try testing it once or twice.

Data integration complexity

If your reports depend on a ton of data sources, you’re going to struggle to automate everything. With most approaches to integration, you’ll have to source multiple platforms to handle each aspect of your automated reports — unless you take the time to find a platform that can do it all.

Security concerns

Not all automation solutions are created equal, and some just aren’t up to the security standards of certain organizations. Businesses in healthcare, for example, have to abide by HIPAA, one of the most stringent privacy acts — with good reason. Before adding any software to your automated reporting methodology, make sure its security standards are properly vetted by the right people.

Setup time

The more time your automated reporting methodology will save, the more time it will take to setup. Depending on the platform you use, you might also need help from people with more technical expertise — whether that’s internal experts or external consultants.

Why Unito is the best solution for your automated reporting methodology

If setting up an automated reporting methodology is a priority for you, you’ll want to consider Unito. It’s a no-code workflow management solution with some of the deepest integrations for the most popular tools on the market, including ServiceNow, Azure DevOps, Asana, Jira, Trello, Google Sheets, Excel, and more. With a single Unito flow, you can automatically push data to your reports from any tool your teams use — and keep it up to date automatically.

Companies around the world trust Unito to help them automate their reports, including:

Unito is the best way to automate reporting across tools in minutes. The best part? You can try it for free and see it for yourself.

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All method, no madness

Automated reporting is crucial for leaders who want to stay in the know without burdening their teams with extra manual work. But having a proper methodology in place ensures that everyone uses the same tools in the same way, creating consistent reports throughout the organization. By investing just a bit of time and effort at the beginning, you can create a process that pays dividends for years to come. Just make sure you get an integration platform that can scale with your needs — and we think Unito’s easily your best choice.