Excel reporting is a staple in the world of business. In fact, Microsoft Excel is far and away the most widely used spreadsheet program. It’s easy to see why. From data entry and sorting to the many available types of reports in Excel, the spreadsheet model makes organizing data and presenting it easier, so that decision makers can take informed action.
But are users taking advantage of all of Excel’s tools? Sure, most people can create the layout of a color-coded spreadsheet, input their data, and integrate a few formulas, but are they familiar with some of the more advanced functions when it comes to reporting data? What are types of reports in management? What are the types of analytical reports? How can I make sure my team is getting the most from Excel? In this blog, we answer these questions and more.
What Are the Different Types of Reports in Excel?
Using tools in Excel, you can create nearly any kind of report. What you create depends on what type of data you’re using, who you’re presenting to, and what the purpose of the report is.
What Are the 6 Most Common Types of Reports in Excel?
Even though you can create almost any kind of report from your data stored in Excel, most of your reports will resemble one of the following 6 types:
- Ad-Hoc Reports: These “as the occasion requires” reports present information that isn’t detailed in your business’s usual reports. Ad-hoc reports can be especially useful in times of testing the effectiveness of change. For example, you could generate a report to analyze the click through rate of a new landing page.
- Analytical Reports: The purpose of analytical reports is to make sense of your business’s qualitative and quantitative data so you can make decisions based on it. To get to the heart of the issue, analytical reports focus on a few key performance indicators (KPIs). They pose the questions of how are you performing in important areas, and how can your business do better?
- Financial Reports: These reports present your business’s financial information, such as your revenue, assets, and liabilities. Common examples are balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, statements of shareholders’ equity, and waterfall charts.
- Management Reports: Management reports focus on specific aspects of your business so the manager can stay informed and make important decisions. For example, a management report may track how long it takes to onboard a new employee or the cost of the team’s events over the past quarter.
- Operational Reports: These reports take a more nuts-and-bolts approach and break down data about a division’s or department’s daily operations. Examples of operational reports include daily production logs, daily account adjustments, and timeliness of tech support.
- PivotTables: Pivot Tables summarize extensive data into a chart to make comparisons easier. Technically, pivot tables aren’t full reports, but readers still receive valuable information. The key function of these tables is the ability to “pivot” or sort your data based on different criteria. For example, you could analyze your customer lifecycle from different perspectives by looking for connections between unique combinations of data points. Is there a relationship between the time of year and a prospect’s willingness to buy? Does the dollar amount of their first purchase influence how long it takes to make a repeat purchase?
There is a report option for every decision making process. The key to choosing the right report is knowing how your audience best receives information.
How Do You Create a Report from Data in Excel?
Once you have an idea of the type of report you want to create, you can start Excel’s step-by-step report generation process:
- Choose which tables you want to use as your record sources.
- Use the report tool to generate an outline and see how your data can shape your presentation.
- You can also use the report wizard tool for a more guided experience or the blank report tool to start from scratch and have full creative control.
For more detailed information on how to navigate Excel’s report generation tools, visit Microsoft’s support site.
Create Insightful, Interactive Excel Reports with XLCubed by Fluence
While Excel has many options for creating reports, it is far more difficult to keep data current without having to manually update it. With XLCubed, you can create dynamic reports that automatically update to reflect your most recent data. You can also connect to secure databases even outside of Excel, so your data stays current—and safe. Here’s how XLCubed exceeds your reporting needs:
- Integrates your information from secure databases with Excel’s familiar formulas and functions to ensure you are always presenting with accurate, up-to-date numbers.
- Comes with built in layouts and professional templates, so you can spend more time analyzing than preparing.
- No scripting or IT requests needed, so you can focus on reporting instead of troubleshooting.
Contact us for a demo and see for yourself the difference that XLCubed can make in your reporting.