December 1, 2023

Why high-quality performance reporting is so essential?

If you can’t measure it…

There’s an old management maxim: if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Many will have heard this oft-used phrase during their careers and think it is somewhat of a cliche. But there’s a hard truth in this dusty old saying that encapsulates the vital nature of performance reporting.

By proactively comparing current performance against targets, goals and expected outcomes, organisations can identify strategic successes, innovations, quality improvements, corrective actions, or risk mitigations to enhance future business progress.

This is why high-quality performance reporting is so essential.

The importance of managing performance

Business reports provide a wealth of management information that helps firms to plan better and improve decision-making. With luck, these reports will indicate that things are going well, but the reports can also help find emerging trends, quality improvements or spot data irregularities that need addressing.

As well as guiding decision-making, business reports create a historical record to show how much progress has been made and gives vital clues as to where strategic choices could have been better. This information is also productively used as indicative data for new annual budgets, sales, forecasts and planning initiatives.

In many cases, business reporting is a regulatory imperative, especially for publicly funded organisations or firms, like healthcare, where an audit trail of the end-to-end processes is essential, especially in relation to product failures or concerns. 

Types of performance reports

In any modern business, you’ll find performance reports abound. They are the lifeblood of how a firm operates, covering areas such as strategy, finance, product, marketing, stock reports, health and safety, online interactions and, customer satisfaction, to name but a few.

Each report has its place in the corporate structure, helping departmental leaders to understand how their team is performing and to make interventions and improvements to achieve objectives or KPIs.

Performance reporting in healthcare

As mentioned above, it’s evident that performance reporting in the healthcare sector is of enormous importance. Whether it’s patient care, drug efficacy, treatment effectiveness, product sales or value for money, performance reporting is essential in identifying quality improvements and mitigating risks.

Without this data, urgent corrective actions could be missed, resulting in unintended outcomes for healthcare organisations and their clients.

Performance reporting best practice

Before undertaking a performance reporting project, it’s helpful for managers to understand the thought processes that promote an outcome that achieves its aims. In summary, these are:

Know your audienceunderstand who will use the report and what they need to get from it.

Define objectives: what does the report need to achieve? E.g. challenge existing practices or highlight future improvements.

Assessment: this is the core section of the report and includes data discovery and manipulation.

Visual Presentationusing visualisation techniques to help readers get to the heart of the report’s findings.

ProofreadingEnsuring spelling, grammar, and document flow are appropriate to avoid distracting or irritating readers.

An Executive Summary: a short précis for busy executives to rapidly understand the report and its broad conclusions.

Following these guidelines should make for a highly actionable report that decision-makers can use to guide their thinking.

Make data dashboards work harder

The data that supports performance reporting is usually captured and presented using Business Information (BI) dashboards.

Most businesses will develop a suite of dashboards representing different aspects of the organisation, each dealing with metrics important to every department. These will include marketing, clinical teams, research and development, sales and human resources, among others.

These digital tools are purpose-built to extract data from corporate datasets automatically and, using filters and algorithms to present the data as an illustrative single-page document replete with graphs, infographics and charts.

Most managers would agree that dashboards are undeniably helpful as corporate governance tools.

Once produced, this data can be fed directly into a company-wide or departmental performance report, and the report writer can draw appropriate conclusions from what they find.

Data discovery using conversational AI

Based on the above, the potential for dashboard overload is high. For example, the number of dashboards in complex healthcare organisations could be in the hundreds. So how can busy managers faced with this glut of data find the information they need to support their report compilation, let alone their decision-making?  

Here we find some of the weaknesses of using dashboards for performance reporting.

With a typical dashboard, bespoke data visualisation is an intricate process requiring users to hunt for and pull data relevant to their reporting needs. This will mean flipping between many different dashboards hunting for a specific data point necessary for the final report. Not only is this frustrating to users it can mean essential details are missed.

In some cases, too much information can be as detrimental as too little. When dashboard data is used to make decisions there’s an urgent need for innovative ways to make that data much easier to work with.

Ariya, phamax’s AI-powered digital assistant, is designed simplify your data discovery snd manipulation processes.

AI in healthcare performance reporting

Recent research indicates that digital assistants are growing in the healthcare sector. For example, a study by Juniper Networks states that an increase in the use of AI-powered digital assistants could deliver operational savings of up to $4 billion.

Installing Ariya, will enable healthcare organisations to capture, process and leverage internal information. And well-considered data always underpins quality improvement and world-class business management practices.

Ariya simplifies the way healthcare firms work with dashboard data. Our team has designed the AI to discover precise data points buried deep in the datasets and automatically visualise these as bite-sized snippets. As a result, managers can analyse or compare data points in real-time to add to their report or share with colleagues.

Ariya is more than a conversational digital assistant; she’s an ‘on-call analyst’, always ready to instantly find the data that makes for a genuinely actionable performance report.

Contact us at or schedule a demo to discuss how Ariya can transform your performance reporting processes.

Indu Behera

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