Harald Schirmer - es kommt nicht nur darauf an, was wir tun, sondern WIE wir es tun!

Rethink reporting – and focus on business improvement

Reporting is dead - dashboards are here
Reporting is dead – dashboards are here

Isn’t it funny: people keep telling me, they have „no time“ to learn or do „cool stuff“, because they are so busy with their work. In this article, I want to show another example where many people in HR, Controlling, IT and many other functions can save enormous amount of time! Let’s check this aspect of the Digital Transformation and what WE can gain from it.

Let’s talk about REPORTING!

Management just loves numbers, traffic lights or graphs showing where we are and what might come next. Before any project, investment, or just on a regular basis, there are thousands and thousands of people creating reports to satisfy this need to reduce risks, provide a planning base or justify investments.

I had to do quality reporting in our electronic development for years back in the 90’s – and even back than,

the manual reporting process felt
„dis-respectful“ to a intelligent life-form.

Let’s take a look how reporting has been done:

You export data from systems, clean up in Excel, make them look nice in Powerpoint to finally send out via eMails (or upload to CloudStorage).

reporting - digital transformation to live dashboards

Now we are almost 30 years later… in times of „deep-space-mining“, „real-time-feedback-smart-watches“, „autonomous robots“… many people still do the same manual process?
(nothing against healthy habits, rituals or mindfulnes by repeating things – but at work…really?)

There is a better way: LIVE DASHBOARDs

There are many tools around to simply create a Live Dashboard, which can do

reporting in real-time on any data base,
across databases – even mobile – including drill down.

LIVE Dashboards with Drill Down - the better way of reporting

Setup of such a Dashboard can be done by „anyone“ with a little bit of curiosity. It typically takes as much as 2 regular reporting done manually. After that has been created, all wanted data is available instantly, without effort, in a nice user interface…

… and yes, if you really need dead trees… you can get a print out or digital copy (think about our environment, resources!).

You can have ANY data
up to date visualized
on ANY device
at ANY time!

Example Microsoft PowerBI:

Detailed Intro to KNIME Dashboards (GERMAN)

FEAR! Will I loose my job?

Whenever things are changing, fear of loosing job comes up.

Change turns experts (of the old systems)
into beginners (in new systems, processes, tools).

It is our collective task as Leaders, HR and the Organization, to make such transitions not a horror movie.

Let’s be open and transparent: Many jobs will dramatically change within the upcoming years – in fact this has been true since a long time!

  • Who is still writing on type-writer machines (Assistants feard to loose their jobs)?
  • Who is doing calculations by hand?
  • Who is maintaining paperback archives (ok, some still do 😉,
  • Who is writing letters, faxes, creating overhead foils
  • or „burning“ CDs in business?

Change (specifically in a connected, global world) in the digital age is „normal“, and it does not come over night!

technology, change, innovation

Video Conferecing is around since the 90s (I had my first 1996 from USA to a German Radio Station)Video Training is arround since the 1960s!, Chatting more than 20 years, Social Networks 15 years, the iphone started more than a decade ago. Live reporting is done (in sports) since decades too… so things are not so completely surprisingly new. It all comes down to OUR ABILITY to be curious like all kids are. Curiosity is the fundament of learning.

What do you really REALLY want to do?

Coming back to the thousands of colleagues, doing reporting on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly basis:

Wouldn’t it be a lot more interesting to see how we can improve the numbers, investigate in finding root causes, collaborate with people to understand the origin or those numbers, joining forces to make our daily work life better and our customers happier?

Is your job description „use Excel, PowerPoint or eMail“ or is it „improve business outcome„?

Is wasting time by repetitively
„creating same reports“ over and over again
really your purpose?

…exporting, cleaning, making look nice, sending out?

or would your expertise be much more valuable,
making sense out of those numbers,
giving advice, driving conclusions,
making recommendations, shaping our future

Digital Transformation is about reflecting on what do we (humans) have to do, because of our human super powers and delegate those „dis-respectful“ tasks to machines, robots and artificial intelligence or just software.

Use the time, freed up by technology efficiency, to learn, to exchange, to get inspired or inspire others, to share and … having time for more relevant things!




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