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6 Things Every Business Intelligence Report Should Include

All business intelligence reports should include information on key performance indicators, data trends, and comparisons to benchmarks.

By analyzing this data, businesses can identify areas for improvement and make strategic decisions that impact their bottom line. Without careful analysis of your company's data, you may be making decisions based on outdated or inaccurate information.

To get the most out of your BI reports, let's break down what business intelligence reporting is and what six essential components all BI reports should include.

What Is Business Intelligence Reporting?

Business intelligence (BI) is a process that helps organizations use data to make better decisions. It includes gathering data, organizing it into meaningful formats, and providing it to the right people so they can make informed decisions. BI reporting is how this data is delivered to decision-makers.

The aim of a BI intelligence report is to collect data and turn it into useful, actionable information. BI reporting is an important part of the business intelligence process and can help organizations achieve better outcomes.

Visual Representations of Data

Visual representations are an important part of data reporting in business intelligence. They help analysts and decision-makers understand data analytics more easily and make better decisions as a result. There are many types of data visualization, but the most common are dashboards and graphs.

Dashboards are a type of visual representation that typically contain several graphs or charts. They provide a high-level view of data, making it easy to see how elements of a business are performing. For example, a dashboard might show how revenue is trending over time, how customer satisfaction is changing, and what areas of the business are most profitable.

Graphs are another common type of visual representation. They can be used to illustrate trends or compare data-driven sets. For example, a graph might show how product sales have changed or how sales in a particular region have varied over the past year.

Story of What the Data Means

When it comes to business intelligence and reporting, the data is key.

The data warehouse used in BI reports can come from multiple sources, such as customer databases, financial reports, and supply chains. All these various sources of data can then combine to create true business insights.

Understanding and deciding what to do with these insights is critical. This involves examining the data to see relationships and identify trends and anomalies. Once you understand the meaning of your data in real-time, you can then create reports that illustrate how it impacts your business.

For example, if you're a retailer, you might use service BI reporting to track sales data that can help you identify which products are top sellers. You can then use this information to make decisions about product inventory.

BI reporting can also help you track customer spending habits. This would give you the opportunity to determine which products are the most popular and then adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.

Breakdown of Actionable Insights

By using BI reports to analyze data, managers can identify areas where changes are needed to improve their business. However, not all insights gleaned from BI reporting are actionable; they must be specific and relevant to the organization’s goals.

One of the most important factors in determining actionability of insights is the level of detail provided.

Insights that are too vague or general may not be useful for taking specific actions. For example, if a manager sees that revenue has decreased over the past month, this information is not useful without knowing why revenue decreased or what steps can be taken to address the issue.

The Key Elements of a BI Report

Data Accuracy

The data used for BI reporting should be accurate and reliable. This means ensuring the data is cleansed and verified before use. Inaccurate data can lead to incorrect insights and decisions.


BI reporting should be timely, meaning it reflects the latest data source(s) available. This helps ensure businesses are making decisions based on the most up-to-date information.


The data used for BI reporting tools should be relevant to the business. This means it should be tailored to meet the specific needs of the business.


The insights gleaned from BI reporting should be easy to understand. This allows businesses to quickly and easily understand the implications of the data.

KPIs and Relevant Metrics

One of the most important aspects of BI is measuring success. Organizations need to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and relevant metrics to ensure they're reaching their goals. KPIs vary depending on the business, but some common examples include sales growth, customer satisfaction, profit margins, and return on investment (ROI).

Relevant metrics vary depending on the type of business and the specific goals of the organization. However, some common metrics to track in a BI tool include website traffic, conversion rates, customer acquisition costs, and average purchase values.

Augmented Analytics

Augmented analytics is an emerging technology used to improve the accuracy and completeness of business intelligence tools. Typically, augmented analytics uses machine learning algorithms to identify patterns in data and suggest relevant insights. This can help BI users spot trends and make better decisions more quickly.

One example of how augmented analytics can be used in BI reporting is to improve the accuracy of forecasts. By identifying patterns in past sales data, for example, augmented analytics can help predict future sales trends with higher accuracy.

Important Next Steps in your Business Intelligence Journey

To get the most from your data, here's what you need to keep in mind:

  • First, it’s important to develop a clear business intelligence strategy. This strategy should define the overall goals of the BI initiative, as well as the KPIs used to track progress. Without a clear strategy, it can be difficult to determine whether BI is successful.

  • Second, businesses should develop an effective data governance framework. This framework helps ensure all data is accurate and consistent, which is essential for reliable BI reports.

  • Third, businesses should have the tools and technology in place to support their BI initiatives. This includes everything from data acquisition and management tools to ad hoc reporting and analytics software.

  • Finally, regular reviews and updates of your BI strategy and framework will ensure they're still relevant and effective. This helps avoid stagnation and ensures your BI initiative continues to provide value to the business.

Learn How to Create Business Intelligence Reports with Ease

A well-crafted business intelligence report is a powerful tool. It provides an overview of business performance, as well as specific details on areas that need improvement.

However, not all BI reports are created equal. If you want your reports to be effective, they should include certain key elements. If you’re looking for a reliable BI solution that will take the hassle out of creating reports, contact Teamworks today. We offer comprehensive BI platforms that make it easy to get accurate insights into your business performance.


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