Best Practices for IT Services Reporting and Analytics: Report Design, Presentation and Usage
Published: 09 September 2013
Service reporting is a massive opportunity to shine that most providers fail to seize. Value-based analytics-backed reporting will be a critical competency as the barriers to switching providers erode. Providers must invest now to ensure they can demonstrate their value daily.
Table Of Contents
- Step 1: Measure report value based on quality, not volume
- Step 2: Realize that agreed reporting frequency is only a guide
- Step 3: Accept that aggregation is not optional
- Step 4: Show that it's not always about the absolute numbers
- Step 5: Don't fuel the fire
- Step 6: Focus on the important stuff
- Step 7: Provide context and relevant background information
- Step 8: Look ahead; don't just look back in anger
- Step 9: Show customers how a metric behaves; don't just tell them what it is
- Step 10: Emphasize the good
- Step 11: Pump your charts with text and icons so you don't rely on a chart to tell a story on its own
- Step 12: Monetize the information when and wherever possible
- Step 13: Make reporting personal to show your relevance
- Step 14: Recognize that metrics have a finite shelf life
- Step 15: Maintain your focus on the here and now
- Step 16: Make reporting a tool for them to use
- Step 17: Ensure that graphics convey a message or else don't use them
- Step 18: Make it easy to see the trends
- Step 19: Help customers understand what is really going on
- Step 20: Be flexible
- Step 21: Show how customers are helping or hindering themselves
- Step 22: Let them look behind the curtain
- Step 23: Avoid ambiguity, make metrics meaningful
- Step 24: Monitor report usage and audience penetration
- Step 25: Provide an external benchmark view wherever possible
- Step 26: Tie metrics back to the user experience
- Step 27: Tie metrics back to business outcomes
- Step 28: Get them involved in the design process
- Step 29: Allow them to slice and dice it for themselves
- Step 30: Offer baseline templates and a metrics library
- Step 31: Recognize that "risk" is not a dirty word
- Step 32: Remember that it's not all about numbers — demonstrate the human side of the story as well
- Step 33: Take a position and make a bold prediction
- Step 34: Have a defined purpose in mind
- Step 35: Regularly check if reports are useful (and being used)
- Step 36: Mix it up occasionally
- Step 37: Use the reporting outputs in your internal meetings
- Step 38: Dedicate appropriate resources to the task
- Step 39: Actively promote service use
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