Ad hoc financial analysis is a subset of ‘self-service business intelligence’ systems collectively known as “ad hoc analysis.” In simple words, financial analysis of a company is available to the people who need it, whenever they need it, without needing any experience in the software’s working. Once an ad hoc financial analysis system is in place, a detailed report of any aspect of the company’s fiscal status can be obtained.
Ad Hoc v/s Structured Reports
Some reports are considered to be “canned,” like sardines. It simply implies that you don’t have to go fishing every time you want to access them; just open the file when needed, and there it is. These types of reports are perfect for those everyday business questions that remain consistent. Some aspects of a business’s finances will have to be referred to frequently; for such situations, a structured report is perfect.
Ad hoc reporting tools can link the field to as many criteria or data points as the concerned team needs to draw the most accurate and informed conclusions. Ad hoc analysis and reporting offer real-time glimpses into the data that is important at that moment. In a fast-paced global economy, your company’s BI dashboards and reports need to be as agile and flexible as possible. Ad hoc reporting makes this possibility a reality.
IT and Reporting
It is evident that without the IT department and their technical knowledge, all this would remain impossible. Hence, it is important to be aware of the demands on their time and workloads. Furnishing a bunch of new ad hoc reports for every unpredictable need from a business analyst will just add to their burden. Rather than restricting the breadth of information available to the non-technical professionals, ad hoc reporting exemplifies flexible reporting for non-IT personnel, who often have a better semantic understanding of the data.
They are clear about what they need from a report, and communicating all that to IT can lead to significant delays, multiple rounds of revisions, and more time for creating data reports instead of using them. Business users require access to reliable ad hoc financial reporting to avoid turning IT into a reporting bottleneck.