As a business continuity or disaster recovery professional, reporting is an ongoing responsibility. Having an efficient and effective means of accessing and distributing information to the right people at the right time is an essential process of any business continuity or disaster recovery program striving for operational resilience.
Given the importance of reporting for your program, a crucial consideration when evaluating business continuity management software is whether the solution includes reporting as part of the platform. There are many advantages to having a built-in reporting tool in your software solution that has been collectively designed and developed as an integral feature of the solution. Some of those advantages are:
Ease of use
When your reporting tool is closely aligned with your software and its data structure, your ability to create reports is simplified by optimized data sets and report structures that fully leverage the relationships across the platform, pulling multiple pieces of related information together for better user consumption.
Additionally, external “bolted-on” third-party reporting tools can be confusing and cumbersome to use. Third-party reporting tools often require users to think in database terms of queries, series, sets, and joins, which puts demands on your time for writing reports instead of working to make your program better.
In-line, contextual, and current
An integrated reporting tool enables you to work with reports within the context of plans, assessments, and incidents directly in the product itself.
Regarding plans...let’s face it...plans in binders are memorials to “history.” With in-line reporting, you can “visualize” the plans you are building" as an on-screen representation of your plan output...in real time...with data that is always the latest and greatest.
And perhaps most significantly, an integrated in-line reporting solution can drive better plan maintenance with the capability to update plans on-screen within the visualization of your assembled plan content. Do away with separate third-party authoring tools or red-pen-to-paper; instantaneously see your plan updates in the “virtual” report within the product itself.
Seamless program management experience
When reporting is developed as part of the product, you minimize the need for training on a separate tool. With a reporting tool that is designed and unified with the overall user experience of the software, you can intuitively and seamlessly create and maintain reports for your BC/DR program without having to launch a separate application.
Furthermore, a reporting tool that is purposely designed for the common platform upon which the solution is built allows you to create management reports that uniquely leverage the relationships among your program’s data in ways that no third-party add-on can, giving you improved insight that facilitates more timely and more accurate decision making.
Actionable real-time insights
Stakeholders want to understand if you are prepared and ready to bounce back into regular business operations, and executives and managers often need to monitor key business processes and quickly know what is recovered. When a reporting tool is built into the same platform where you develop plans, perform assessments, and manage incidents, you are empowered to fully leverage the rich data captured for your program to provide this information in a real-time, easily consumable manner.
With charts and models that can visually represent metrics, an integrated reporting tool can communicate critical crisis management response and recovery information in a summary, at-a-glance view, with key indicators such as critical path dependencies, recovery time objectives vs. actuals, and recovery statuses for impacted entities.
Reporting is an absolute must have for any business continuity or disaster recovery program. When assessing and comparing business continuity software solutions, insist that the reporting tool be part of the solution, not an added-on afterthought.
For AssuranceCM, native in-product reporting has been a tenet of development since its inception. Built in-house and on our platform, AssuranceCM has reporting features that are easy-to-use and provide current, actionable results that maximize the rich inter-connected data built into our platform.
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Topics: Business Continuity
Written by Ted Marquardt
Ted is in Product Marketing for Assurance. With over two decades of experience in Software Development, he appreciates the daily challenges customers face and the need for solutions to get the job done. Along with the rest of the Product and Sales teams, Ted strives to understand the concerns of BC/DR professionals and articulate how Assurance services and solutions can help solve them. In his free time, you'll find Ted trying to keep up with his busy kids, while squeezing in some time for walking the dog and playing guitar.