By Saskia Aucott and Jennifer Tristram
As a manager, being able to easily extract meaningful data about your team, your workload and your financials is an integral part of your daily work. Having the right information when you need it is not just fundamental to understanding how your team are working and what they might need from you, however. It is also valuable to your boss and the wider organisation, driving key strategic decision-making on everything from validating significant expenditure to the creation of new revenue streams.
It’s likely that you have all of the necessary information within your case management system, but you aren’t sure where to find it or how to extract it into a report. You shouldn’t need to pass this task on to an Administrator to collate the necessary information or to a Data Analyst to make sense of your data.
With management information (MI) reporting, you have the data you and your organisation need at your fingertips. Here are our top tips for getting the most out of your MI reporting system:
Don’t think about what report you want to write – instead, flip the question around and think of what you want the outcome to be.
When building an Iken case management system, we guide our clients through considering the data that their team and wider organisation currently report on as well as what they may need to report on in the future. Structuring the information that you put into your system will help you in the long run when you find that you need to report on it. Additionally, this will also need to be communicated with your senior management team. They will often be the ones requesting information from your team and will likely have overarching organisational goals in mind. Together, you can determine how these objectives apply to your team.
If your objectives are clear, you can ensure that your system will do what you want it to be able to do.
Find out what data is needed
Once you know which goals you want to achieve, you need delve into the detail and work out what data you need to report on.
This shouldn’t be something you try and figure out by yourself. Speak to people in your team and the wider organisation to see what is the best fit for everyone. Ask your senior management team what they would want to see in your department’s results and which KPIs you should aim to track based on this data. Once you have a good idea of what information you need, you can use your MI tool to extract this from your system.
You may find you want to report on information that your organisation hasn’t been storing in the system previously – you can start reporting on a new KPI quickly and easily by collecting the relevant information through Iken Workflows.
Make it fit your requirements
Define what you want your standard reports to be: which reports need to be run regularly, on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, and which should be run quarterly or once a year?
The less frequently you run a report, the less you want to think about it. By defining groups of reports that you want to run on a regular basis, you can schedule them to run automatically, which allows you to focus on more strategic tasks. Automatic distribution of these reports to management via email can also be applied, saving you further time.
Though your MI system will come with a selection of standard reports for you to use, you are likely to have at least a few requirements that are specific to your team, organisation or sector. The report building wizard gives you the flexibility to build your own customised reports whenever you want to without any knowledge of coding. You don’t have to be a technical genius – Iken MI reports are designed to be easy to use and you can update them yourself.
Evidence the value your team delivers
Whether it’s carrying out a gap analysis or a corporate risk assessment, MI reports can be used in all sorts of situations to support strategic decision-making. They can be used to grow the team, as managers can use reports to keep an eye on their employees’ workloads and highlight value for money.
When the Iken MI tool is used with Iken Workflows, staff can report on any field and review workloads and team performance for specific projects or cases. Grouping information within your reports can equally highlight trends that may otherwise have gone unnoticed. For instance, if a team decide to group data by risk in a MI report on their workload, the team manager can see who is handling the most complex, high-risk cases and where further support may be needed.
Often, people are inputting information into a database without really knowing why this is necessary or whether it will ever be needed again. When using Iken MI, our clients begin to see the value and understand why they were being asked to include all this data into their Iken system in the first place.
The insight you hold on your team can be extremely valuable to the wider organisation, helping the Board and your senior management team make important choices for the future. And sometimes, whether it is for a Freedom of Information request, or any other sort of ad hoc demand, you just need to find the answer to someone’s question instantly. If you are putting the right information into your system, you have all that data at your fingertips whenever and wherever you need it, helping you produce focused reports that provide meaningful insight to you, your team and your organisation.
Interested in gaining further insight into how MI can help to manage your team and support their ever-increasing workloads? Give Iken a call on 0117 373 0790 or speak with your Account Manager today.
Read more about Iken MI