BI Reporting: A Meaningful Overview

By Kyle McNamara / CEO

February 3, 2023


Reading Time: 4 minutes

Business intelligence reporting (BI reporting) plays a critical role in any analytics strategy by providing the data and insights that organizations need to make better decisions. It is used to identify areas of improvement, track trends over time, and make predictions about future performance. But what exactly is business intelligence reporting? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at its definition and explore its key features. By understanding it better, you’ll be able to more effectively utilize this powerful, differentiating capability in your organization.

What is BI Reporting?

Business intelligence reporting is the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data from various sources to gain insight into how a company is performing. It then enables organizations to analyze that data quickly and easily to make well-informed decisions. The goal is to provide key decision makers with the information they need to make informed decisions that will help drive better business outcomes. This type of reporting typically includes data from across the business including things like sales, marketing, customer service, operations, finance, and other departments within an organization.

By gathering, studying, and interpreting data from sources from within and outside an organization, it helps to identify problem areas, spot trends and opportunities, as well as measure performance. Through analysis of the current state and comparison with industry benchmarks or historical performance, decision makers can identify areas where changes are needed in order to maximize their efforts.

BI Reporting pie chart and diagram
What Are Other Kinds of BI?

The meaning of ‘reporting’ as a category in BI has evolved over time. A decade or more ago, it used to mean pixel-perfect reports of the kind used by finance departments, such as highly structured P&L reports as one example. At that time there were various other categories within BI including dashboarding with key performance indicators (KPIs), ad hoc analysis, geo-spatial BI (GBI), and even predictive analytics as a handful of examples.

However, in the last number of years when people speak about ‘business intelligence reporting’, many times (even most times now) they are actually referring to the analytical output of BI overall- as a kind of synonym for BI or analytics, which can make it somewhat confusing for anyone who has been in the industry a long time.

The Benefits of Business Intelligence Reporting

Business intelligence reporting provides a comprehensive view of your company’s performance and helps you identify areas for improvement or further growth opportunities. It can also be used to track changes over time so you can determine which strategies are working and which aren’t. Additionally, it can help you make more accurate predictions about future performance based on current conditions and past trends. This type of reporting allows you to stay ahead of any changes in the market or industry so you can adjust your plans accordingly.

How to Help Your Company Make Better Decisions

BI / analytics is a critical way for companies to make informed, data-driven decisions. By providing a comprehensive picture of the current state of the business and delivering insights into potential trends, businesses can use self-service BI reporting to identify areas of potential growth and improvement opportunities.

With its flexible approach, it is easy to customize the analytics content to fit the unique needs of any company. From analyzing customer patterns and productivity metrics to tracking sales pipelines, it provides a differentiating set of capabilities for organizations that want to maximize their efficiency and make proactive decisions.

How to Begin at Your Organization

Learning the fundamentals of business intelligence reporting is an important step for companies looking to capitalize on their data. Getting started involves gathering the necessary data from both external and internal sources, understanding what metrics to focus on, and determining how best to visualize them for decision-making. Many powerful tools can help you with this process, however, implementing and gaining an understanding of the underlying framework and technology can take some time.

It’s important to know when to enlist the help of experts in order to ensure a smooth and successful introduction of BI reporting into your company. With careful planning, it’s not hard at all to get started on a journey toward smarter, data-driven decisions.

What are the Best BI Reporting Platforms?

In our decades of experience, the two best Bi reporting systems in the market that stand so far above the rest that we recommend really only using one of these two QlikSense (not QlikTech) and Domo. Both are available in the cloud, but Domo is the only truly cloud-native solution, and it does show when it comes to administrative overhead.

There are so many reasons, why you should avoid the big, old BI options like IBM Cognos, Oracle BI, SAP Business Objects, Microsoft PowerBI and so on, but it is beyond the scope of this article (and kind of self-evident for anyone who has used those). And while solutions such as Tableau, Looker and SiSense are also good, they cannot compare to by far the best bi reporting tools Domo and QlikSense when it comes to things like sheer performance, scalability and user adoption. Read more on this topic in these articles:


Business intelligence reporting is a fundamental building block for all organizations now to gain insight into the organization’s performance and to make informed decisions that will help drive better business outcomes. With its potential to give you a comprehensive view of your company’s performance combined with its ability to track changes over time and provide more accurate predictions about future performance, this kind of capability can be an invaluable resource for improving and differentiating your organization.

Graphable’s analytics / Domo consulting services are tailored to fit your organization’s specific needs. We will start by looking at your data and learning about your business goals before designing a solution that best fits with those objectives. Our team of experienced professionals will work with you every step of the way, from understanding what data is available to analyzing it and creating truly impactful analytics. Read here to understand in detail how to find a best-fit business intelligence consultant partner.

For related analytics and Domo-specific topics, check out these articles:

Also check out these helpful new articles: What is ChatGPT?, Analytics for ChatGPT, and What is Text Analytics?

Graphable delivers insightful graph database (e.g. Neo4j consulting) / machine learning (ml) / natural language processing (nlp) projects as well as graph and Domo consulting for BI/analytics, with measurable impact. We are known for operating ethically, communicating well, and delivering on-time. With hundreds of successful projects across most industries, we thrive in the most challenging data integration and data science contexts, driving analytics success.

Still learning? Check out a few of our introductory articles to learn more:

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We would also be happy to learn more about your current project and share how we might be able to help. Schedule a consultation with us today. We can discuss Neo4j pricing or Domo pricing, or any other topic. We look forward to speaking with you!

We are known for operating ethically, communicating well, and delivering on-time. With hundreds of successful projects across most industries, we thrive in the most challenging data integration and data science contexts, driving analytics success.
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