Hasty or hoc reports
If you were to ask many people what the difference between a well thought out and concise executive summary and a hasty report, you would find that the majority would say that a well-prepared and detailed executive summary has more power. However, in a recent survey by McKinsey, it was found that only 20% of executives actually follow this advice. The reason for this disconnect is that executives often don’t trust the process of ad hoc analysis.
Ad hoc data analysis is where an individual or a team (the researchers) accesses and interprets the results of a research questionnaire and then write reports based on the information they have uncovered. The whole concept behind such reports is that such a wide range of people have access to the same information and hence it allows users to highlight their particular insights. If a firm were to do such a study today, they would first need to recruit a large number of people to be surveyed. This would involve setting up a database, interviewing them all, and then using a variety of statistical techniques to analyse the responses. Doing this on a large scale is not something that most companies are able to do.
Another drawback of relying on a database to generate such reports is that the size of the database needs to be a sufficiently large enough to accommodate the kind of detail that needs to be reported. As well, database technology needs to be robust enough to withstand the kind of load that’s placed upon it in order to provide the kind of report that’s worthy of the attention of power users. In addition to that, using a database is bound to limit the types of questions that can be asked in the research studies. For instance, in case too many questions have to be asked, the quality of the data sources will suffer. It is for these reasons that experts recommend that companies rely on qualitative methods of data analysis, as opposed to the more common quantitative data sources.
There is another alternative that you may want to consider if you’re looking at creating reports on your own. In this case, what you need to do is to turn to the resources that are available online, such as the Power Desk Research Automation System. The software comes with a number of different modules that allow you to create detailed reports out of a large database, as well as create custom questionnaires. It also has an integrated business intelligence module that allows you to access important business intelligence information that you need to create custom reports from your database.
Heterogeneous data sources, on the other hand, are a special case of enriched data sources and can make data-driven decisions easier. Enriched data sources deal with multiple dimensions in a single data set, allowing for more detailed and richer insights. For example, a bank may use the Heterogeneous Database of Sales Information to derive insights from its vast array of sales data and analyze it to make insightful reports to support strategic decisions.
Making reports from enriched data is easy – you just have to ask questions that will help you separate the “guts” from the “guts.” For example, you can ask simple questions like how sales volume changed over time to ask more complex questions, like how sales volume changed at certain points in time to get to a particular level. Heterogeneous databases make it easy to extract meaningful insights from your reports – and even more importantly, how those insights change over time. By asking the right questions, you’ll give yourself a much better chance at discovering patterns that will give you the ability to make more informed decisions as you engage in your own business environment. To get started, you’ll want to invest in a good training course that walks you through the process step-by-step. The training will also provide you with some excellent brainstorming ideas for using your Heterogeneous Data Sources (DDS) in ways that enhance your business environment.
How to Write an IHT Report
I hoc reports are short (usually 30 minutes or less) and concise executive summaries of individual discussions held during a board meeting. They serve as a summary of the topics discussed during the meeting and provide an opportunity for everyone concerned to air their views and thoughts on the subject at hand. They are useful for board members to read in preparation for more in-depth discussions on the exact matter before them. If you need a quick summary of a recent Board Meeting, I have compiled a few tips on how to write a good “I hoc Report.”
Start by asking yourself: “What did I not know about this topic?” Asking this question may bring to light some information that you had not considered, which may otherwise have been missed by others in the meeting. When writing an IHT report, it is important to keep in mind that you are giving a summary of the key points and themes of the entire Board meeting, not just one or two incidents. Write from the perspective of the Board as a whole, rather than focusing on one or two incidents.
The next step is to identify the individuals who will be reviewing the IHT report. As with most IHT reports, the individuals reviewing your report will need to sign off. Once all sign-offs are completed, you are ready to format your report. Use a plain white paper style font size that is easy to read. Never use large type to detail any board matter the idea here is to get the gist of what was discussed without all of the unnecessary details. Save all of your notes and work related contacts on a separate sheet of paper so that your IHT report does not end up in the circular file.