You can’t make smart business decisions in today’s high-tech environment without SQL reporting tools that help you understand data.
Businesses gather enormous amounts of data about customer behaviors, purchases, sales cycles, advertisements, and pretty much everything else. Having so much information helps companies understand their customers and markets so they can make informed decisions.
When you consider how much data your business collects, though, you quickly realize that you need software to analyze the information. To a human, databases look like nonsensical numbers. The right SQL reporting tool can turn the chaos into business intelligence that leads to success.
Finding Trends in a Chaos of Data
To understand why you need SQL reporting tools, let’s look at one of the world’s most data-intensive companies: Google.
When privacy journalist Nicole Martin wanted to learn how much data Google collects, she downloaded her personal history from the search engine. She discovered 2GB of information, which comes to about 1.5 million word documents.
Google doesn’t say how many active users it has. In 2017, though, it did announce that it reached 2 billion monthly Android users. Using those numbers, you have to assume that Google has at least 4 billion GB of data. Normal business leaders don’t even know the word for that much data.
Why would they? How can anyone do anything with that much data?!
Of course, your company doesn’t collect that much information. But you do have so much data that you need software to analyze it. Even your best analyst can’t spot useful trends without help from software.
That’s where SQL reporting tools become essential for your business.
What You Should Expect From SQL Reporting Tools
You’ll find various features from the top SQL reporting tools. Some options matter more than others, so you need to look for them before you make a commitment to any software.
For example, you need your SQL reporting tools to analyze your marketing funnel. Most tools will also generate reports that help you visualize how well your marketing funnel targets specific consumers.
The best tools will give you insights into how many people advance to the next stage of your marketing funnel. Interpreting the results takes some experience. Without the software’s analytics, though, you will never discover the opportunities you missed.
Other features that you should expect from SQL reporting tools include:
- Features that don’t require coding or technical knowledge to use.
- Strong customer support.
- A dashboard that lets you quickly generate new reports or find past reports.
- The ability to search and analyze large amounts of data.
- Unlimited rows, columns, and search queries.
3 of the Most Popular SQL Reporting Tools
There are dozens of SQL reporting tools. You can save time by focusing on three of the most popular options. One of them will almost certainly meet your needs.
SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)
Microsoft’s SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) stands out as one of your best options for business intelligence reports. A lot of people love it because the software:
- Can generate mobile-specific reports.
- Exports data to Excel spreadsheets.
- Has controls that let you set global and local permissions.
- Gives you exceptional control over everything from data parameters to fonts.
- Doesn’t have a problem analyzing even the largest data sets.
SSRS’s comprehensive tools also create its biggest drawback. Most people find that it takes a lot of training before they can master all of the software’s features. Don’t expect to hit the ground running with SSRS.
SAP Crystal Reports
SAP Crystal Reports works well for small businesses and corporations with offices all over the world. It doesn’t feel quite as heavy and complex as SSRS, but you still get the features you need.
Some reasons to choose SAP Crystal Reports include its:
- Attractive reports that look great to investors and owners.
- Templates for a wide range of data reports.
- Scheduling that will automatically generate reports when you need them.
- Simple interface that helps new users find the tools they want.
- Integration with other popular apps.
Some users complain that the latest version of Crystal Reports works slowly. Expect it to take longer with large data sets and complex queries.
Jet Reports has been around since 2002, so it’s developers have had plenty of time to optimize it to user needs.
You might like Jet Reports because it has:
- A customizable dashboard that makes future projects easier to set up.
- Automatic report generation that can include future projections.
- Features for sales and marketing reports.
Compared to other popular tools, Jet Reports won’t blow you away. It’s a low-cost, easy option for business intelligence, though. If you’re just getting started, you should give Jet Reports a close look.
Pull All of Your Data Together With Iron Focus
SQL reporting tools are essential to business intelligence. You’ll need more than one software suite to beat your competitors, though.
Reach out to Iron Focus to talk to an expert who can help you make a comprehensive plan that makes the most of your sales and marketing data. Request a conversation even if you think you have the data game figured out. Our audit may uncover the missing link that pulls all of your data together.