How to Build Custom Reporting Solution That Streamlines Document Generation Process?

November 23, 2022
7 min

Businesses run gigabytes of data across departments and often need to quickly pack that intelligence into pixel-perfect reports, ideally, in a few clicks. The latter, unfortunately, is a lost cause for those solely relying onsemi-manual tools, like Google Sheets or Excel.

To be able to wrestle with data in its full complexity companies need custom report and document generation software. That’s the new reality.

Over 18+ years in the custom software development market, we’ve heard many times from our clients that their staff used to spend over 95% of the time on data collection, approval, and design to generate reports for business analysis. All this makes report generation a durable and tiresome procedure that requires titanic effort.

Based on years of experience in building custom software solutions, we want to explain in simple terms how your company can benefit from implementing reporting software that is tailored to your business needs.

We’ll also reflect on the challenges custom reporting software solves, its benefits, types, and features.

Challenges Custom Reporting Software Solves

Challenges Custom Reporting Solutions solve

Challenges Custom Reporting Solutions Solve

CHALLENGE 1: To create a visually appealing report, you need to collect data scattered across different systems and then apply some creative thinking to pack all those insights into a visually pleasing document. If design isn’t one of your core strengths nor you have someone to delegate this precious task to, you’re doomed.

How custom reporting software helps: If you automate document creation using custom solutions, you will save colossal amounts of time and money on manually tracking, updating, and aggregating key information.

With a core reporting tool, you won’t need to jump through separate systems as it monitors data quality, can directly connect with multiple data sources, and automatically transforms data into good-looking documents.

As a result, you’re able to generate a professionally looking report without sacrificing professional output, whether it be to summarize tasks and outcomes, activities conducted, and deal flows.

CHALLENGE 2: Manual reporting increases the risk of human error. Even a tiny analytical or administrative error can be fatal.

How custom reporting software helps: Another key benefit of implementing custom reporting tools is the fact that they leave no chances for human error. With automated reporting, you will drive down the need for laborious data entry and generating documents that are digestible, accurate, and reliable in equal measures.

CHALLENGE 3: Some ready-made reporting tools are focused more on internal consumption, have low accessibility for external users, and don’t provide many formatting capabilities. There’s also a limit to what you can do with regards to graphics and presentation.

How custom reporting software helps: A reporting solution tailored to your company will pull data from a central server/database/location, providing your team with ability to generate reports with high accessibility for external users. In other words, brokers can create reports both for internal and external users on the same level.

The reporting solution also contains a large library of predefined templates and a customizable range of design facilities. Even non-tech-savvy team members can generate pixel-perfect documents in a few clicks.

CHALLENGE 4: Big companies require more functionality than that included in basic subscriptions of ready-made reporting solutions and usually end up paying more for top-tier plans. There are two dangers here: 1) the price tag of your chosen plan will be multiplied by number of your employees who are going to use the system; 2) ready-made solutions include a predefined set of features that can’t be excluded, so sometimes, you pay for features you simply don’t use. In most cases, the total cost of licenses for a ready-made solution is higher than the price of a custom one.

How custom reporting software helps: If you go for a custom reporting solution, you can toss in as many features as you want, all within your budget and business needs.

CHALLENGE 5: A limited number of report templates. Complicated and time-consuming process for designing new documents.

How custom reporting software helps: You manage the library of ready-to-use templates and can easily build any report from scratch in a few clicks. No extra costs.

Automate Document Creation with Ascendix

Our team has 18+ years of experience in building custom software solutions across industries. Contact us and let’s start cooperation.

Types of Reporting Software

Now that we’ve talked about the challenges that custom reporting solves, let’s look at the four types of reporting software. Keeping this classification in mind will help you to figure out your business goals and analyze which aspects of your business strategy you need to cover using reporting tools.

Code-Based Software

Сode-based software offers complete control over the reporting system and allows customization of certain aspects of software based on specific requirements.

Code-based reporting solutions are a good fit for big companies with IT departments. Such a solution is reliable, customizable, and flexible to changes but requires advanced technical knowledge and support.

Low-Code or No-Code Software

Low-code or no-code reporting solutions are simple to master and easy to implement. They include drag-and-drop functionality, pulling information from multiple sources (social media, emails, and spreadsheets) to create a personalized document for every client.

Such a solution is a good fit for startups and small businesses because it is effective and requires little to no programming skills. However, due to the limited functionality, these reporting solutions are challenging to scale and customize.

BI Reporting Software

Using BI reporting tools, you get access to valuable metrics related to every operational aspect of the organization. BI reporting tools empower automation-centric processes of your business and facilitate aggregation, analysis, and visualization of business insights on interactive dashboards that can be exported to various documents.

Such reporting tools are a good fit for mid-sized and big companies.

Our team uses modern BI tools regularly and can build a solution with a fully customizable analytical experience. After successful implementation, we provide overall training and support, so investing in a custom BI reporting solution is undoubtedly worthwhile.

 

Reporting Software Features

Advanced reporting solutions have numerous features aiming to make your working life easier. When developing a custom document generator, consider the following features to get the best out of your efforts.

Reporting Software Features | AscendixTech

Reporting Software Features

That’s the list of main features required for any custom reporting solution. Depending on your company’s size and the number of metrics that need to be monitored, you can make informed decisions on the types of features that will best suit your organization.

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Our Experience in Building Custom Reporting Software

Ascendix has many clients from the residential and commercial real estate industries. When we start discussing the main pain points that clients that they want to solve by implementing custom reporting solutions, they highlight the following:

  • Brokers spend too much time generating report templates and filling them with the necessary information.

Creating documents for one property is time-consuming compared to automated document generation in one click. Brokers have many active properties at once, and the number of documents multiplies by the increasing number of properties. To sum up, the time brokers spend on manual document generation is more reasonable to spend on increasing sales.

  • Some real estate companies hire employees to deal with document generation.

Obviously, the annual cost of custom reporting software is much lower than the employee’s annual salary.

Ascendix team created a domain-specific template editor for the real estate industry to deal with these pain points. We implemented an extensive library of templates, simplified the report design process, and synchronized the reporting tool with a CRM to allow users automatically pre-populate the template with needed data from the CRM.

Features we implemented:

  • Large library of predefined templates for various types of documents (Printable PDFs, HTML/Microsite compatible, Email compatible)

Large templates library in Composer

  • Dynamic Map (allows mapping any Location field to display a dynamic map with pins on mapped Locations). For real estate industry, this feature is vital. Not all reporting tools include this feature. Our solution includes 2 types of maps: dynamic and customizable.

Dynamic Maps in Composer

 

  • Data aggregation and calculation (users can use standard math operators to create custom formulas and display aggregated information about items in the Collection)

Data aggregation function in Composer

  • Formula bar
  • Publication settings (where users can choose document orientation, size, and margins)
  • Footer and header editing
  • Export of images from CRM
  • Insertion of dynamic variables of templates in email tools like MailChimp (users can generate a template in the reporting tool, add it to MailChimp, and the latter will automatically fill the variables with data from CRM)
  • Data sorting by setting up relevant conditional values “if”, and “then” in tables (users apply conditions to sort data that needs to be added in tables)
  • Data filtering by applying specific conditions to get relevant information
  • Integration with third-party apps (document generation from other apps)

Besides custom product development, Ascendix team also helped real estate giant – JLL. We offered a solution for automated document generation based on BIRT (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools) engine that allowed our clients to quickly generate large and visually appealing reports and promptly search and cache data.

Why Ascendix?

Our team helps clients to minimize the efforts spent on low-value operations by automating their document creation process with custom reporting solutions.

Why choose Ascendix for custom reporting implementation?

  • US-based company with global delivery capabilities
  • Long-time expertise in custom software development
  • Unparalleled experience in reporting solutions
  • Experience in SaaS development
  • Accurate project estimation
  • No long-term commitment
  • High-quality and maintainable codebase
  • 24/7 Support of your project
  • Budget-oriented engagement models that allow you to pick tech talents, a time zone, and levels of control over the development process depending on your business needs.

We have solid experience in building custom reporting solutions that are:

  • Time-effective
  • Multifaceted
  • Intuitive and simple

Let’s discuss your project and start a discovery phase to identify the best reporting solution for your business. Contact us to start fruitful cooperation.

FAQ

What is custom reporting solution?

A custom reporting solution is a system that takes in data from various sources and transforms it into PDF documents, reports, and lists. Such a solution is tailored to your company’s needs and includes a set of reporting features you need to analyze and present data effectively.

What are reporting tools used for?

Reporting tools are used for creating and sharing information with collaborators and clients. As a part of business intelligence function, reporting tools present data in an easy-to-interpret form.

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