Crystal Reports is the outstanding market leader in reporting software for professionals. It provides exact results with minimum development times and is the most widely supported Business Intelligence product in the world.
But despite all of the Crystal Reports’ user support features, and the commercial expertise available, it is still often not used to its full potential.
Automate All Your Data Analysis
Too many businesses use Crystal Reports purely for data extraction and carry out time consuming manual analysis in Excel.
Crystal Reports is a great choice for routine analysis and is fully capable of handling any breakdown and summary needed for your business.
Information is useless unless it is communicated to the right people.
Deciding which information is useful to who is straight forward enough. If a team or individual’s efforts affect the results in the report, or may be affected by them, then they need to see the information. There will always be exceptions to this, but it provides a strong starting point.
Until recently, distributing reports generated through Crystal Reports has proven expensive. However, the standard tools supplied by Business Objects (SAP) for report scheduling and distribution are not the only option, and cheaper alternatives do exist.
Business Objects now also provide a free means of allowing anyone to view the output of a Crystal Report which is suitable for small to medium businesses.
One of the most common mistakes is holding departments or individuals accountable to a monthly report, without supplying them with weekly updates or even making clear to them which factors are being measured.
Access and Reference All Your Information
It seems to be a rare company that keeps all its data on one system. Crystal Reports can access multiple data resources at once and then link and illustrate the information in a meaningful way.
If you are new to Crystal Reports or programming, it is worth embarking on the learning curve – there are many good quality resources available to make things easier and your investment in time and money will be repaid a hundred times over.
Even expert consultancy is very cost effective when used carefully, but I do recommend taking the time to learn Crystal Reports yourself (and I am a consultant for hire!). It seems every report created prompts five more questions, so a basic knowledge is helpful.
Crystal Reports is the most popular reporting software in the world, and with good reason. When used properly, it can be a powerful ally in your business’s fight for survival.
Jason Dove is a senior consultant at Scry Business Intelligence and instructor who has specialised in Crystal Reports and Business Intelligence his entire career, utilising it for everything, from selling paint to counter-terrorism. He has provided Business Intelligence consultancy for some of the world’s leading companies and is currently making the same service available to smaller businesses. He is also the author of 'Crystal Reports Formulas Explained', a step by step guide to creating and using formulas for the industry leading BI reporting software.