Top
Sparkrock Research Report

You Need to Know Where You Stand – Why Good Reporting Tools Matter

BlogReportingHuman Services

From frontline workers all the way up to strategically focused executives, having the right information at the right time is key for making optimal decisions. Whether those decisions affect internal strategy or external reporting to clients and stakeholders, you can’t afford not to know what your data is trying to tell you.

Unfortunately, many organizations don’t.

In September 2019 we asked 50 nonprofit, education, health, residential care, and public sector organizations about their current back office technology, including reporting tools. The results of that report – Are You Doing Enough? The Role of Enterprise Technology in Social Impact Organizations – show that access to effective reporting tools remains a struggle for many.

How much of a struggle?

Just shy of 80% of social benefit organizations are dealing with poor reporting capabilities. Internal and external reporting is a consistent requirement, but most orgs are hampered by not being able to get and visualize the data they need. Especially when seeking information in a form that’s both digestible and actionable.

Why does it matter specifically to you? Because:

Accessible, Actionable Data Helps You Maximize Your Impact

Whether it’s statistics, trends, forecasting, client data, or other pertinent information, you need access to clear, scaleable details about every aspect of your org at every level:

A manager with the latest budget reports makes informed decisions about what resources they can buy for their team, and where best to use them.

An Executive Director armed with clear numbers on program investments and outcomes is empowered to make better decisions for the coming financial year.

And access to accurate, searchable, cross-referenced data reporting doesn’t just benefit you. That data at your fingertips has a ripple effect all the way from how you report to funders straight up to how you reinvest in the programs that had the biggest impact. Because you can’t keep making an impact if you don’t know where you’re at your most effective.

Accurate Data Makes Your Org More Agile and Improves Internal Communication

Trying to utilize bad or incomplete reporting data leads to mistakes that can be hard to recover from. You have limited resources, and you can’t afford to put them in the wrong place. It’s why having up-to-date data, interactively accessible to all departments, is so important. When everyone can see the data they’re working with, it prevents departmental siloing – the kind of siloing that can stall projects or kill initiatives before they ever get a chance to prove their worth to your community.

Effective enterprise resource planning helps minimize the risk of reporting issues. How does having an ERP change your reporting capabilities? The right all-in-one system allows cross-functional data visibility and analytics, getting you high-level insights. And modern solutions mean reports are easy to run.

Take the case of Rehoboth Ministries, which supports people with disabilities. Their implementation of an ERP allowed them to go from quarterly to monthly reporting because of automation and ease of use. And the difference between orgs employing ERPs and those who don’t?

Just 5% of people operating without an ERP say they have the reporting capabilities they need to do their jobs effectively.

95% of organizations don’t have necessary data to excel in day to day roles and tasks. Let alone the kind of data needed to project successful approaches and outcomes for long-term projects and goals.

Good Reporting Tools Empower Your Team to Succeed

Without data-driven decision making, your org is left guided by gut feelings and good intentions. That’s no good for you, your employees, or your clients.

You make better, faster decisions with the right information at your fingertips. Empowering your teams, from Finance and HR to managers and your frontline employees, with accurate, real-time data helps streamline necessary reporting, better measure program impacts, and ensures optimized budgets.

It lets you plan for the future so you, and the communities who rely on you, don’t get left behind.

Looking for more specific numbers, case studies, or a broad overview of how public sector organizations are planning their futures through better reporting? We can help. Download our full digital transformation report below, and start building your own transformation roadmap.

  • Get this content

Subscribe to the Sparkrock Blog

Get regular updates and insights from Sparkrock, including the latest trends and best practices for nonprofits, educational institutions, and other social impact organizations.