Table of Contents

What is report automation?

Why should you automate your reports?

Automated Reporting in Business Scenarios

How can you automate your reports?

Report Automation Tips and Best Practices

Key Takeaways:

Automate Reporting and Save Your Time with Narrative BI

How Report Automation can Boost Your Productivity

Report Automation

Timely and accurate reporting is critical for success in today's fast-paced business environment. Manually creating and sharing reports based on massive amounts of data is time-consuming, and the risk of human error is likely. Reporting automation is a game-changer, empowering businesses to leverage real-time data analysis and present data insights in understandable, visually engaging formats. This blog post explores report automation and how it can improve your reporting process. We consider various business scenarios and dig deeper into how to automate reports effectively for your business. Keep reading to discover the revolutionary potential of report automation.

What is report automation?

Reporting automation uses software tools to generate and share business reports. Report automation software solutions can create and automatically update reports based on pre-set metrics defined by the user. With automatic report generation, you can share specific information with a select group of people at pre-determined time intervals. Reports can include data and visualizations empowering you to deliver up-to-date business insights without manually inputting information for each report. Eliminating the need for manual reporting reduces the risk of human error and frees up valuable time. In addition, automated report generation speeds up the reporting process, increasing access to vital information for stakeholders.

Speaking of automated reporting, Narrative BI has generated more than 4 million automated reports for 1,500 companies. Our reports give you the narrative behind the raw data and help you to make informed decisions to grow your business.

Automated report

Our easy to use platform alerts you with automatic updates that matter and help you to get rid of the clutter.

Why should you automate your reports?

Manually extracting data from multiple sources to create reports is time-consuming and tedious. Not only do you have to extract data and decide how and where to distribute it, you often have to use the same data on different reports, presenting it in multiple formats to meet reporting requirements. It is a challenge that calls for advanced tools like reporting automation.

The reasons to implement reporting automation are endless. We have chosen our top four reasons to automate your reports.

Time Efficiency

Compiling reports is time-consuming when you do it manually. Automation technology can process and analyze massive amounts of data in real time, something outside the scope of human capabilities. Also, manual reporting carries the risk of human error. Manual errors mean more time sorting out data, finding originating sources, and verifying the accuracy of corrections. Automated reporting reduces the risk of errors, saving time and building stakeholder trust.

Report automation eliminates the need for your team to gather and sort out information for reports. Another way report automation saves time is through the use of standardized formats and templates. Pre-defined formats for reporting data reduce time spent creating reports and offer visual consistency for recipients. Implementing business intelligence reporting not only streamlines operations but also significantly enhances time efficiency.

For example, imagine getting automated emails with a detailed update on a variety of custom-selected metrics so that you can instantly get a deep view of your ad, website or app’s performance:

Automated emails with a detailed update on a variety of custom-selected metrics

What if you could enable daily or weekly reports as well? This would save time and ensure that you don’t miss the forest for the trees. That’s exactly what you get with Narrative BI and our custom reports.

NBI Custom report settings

Get notified with all the data you need and “mute” the metrics you don’t need to hear about.

Increased Productivity

Saving tons of time with automated reporting means your team will have more time to focus on high-priority work. Without the need to focus on tedious, repetitive tasks, your team can focus on tasks requiring more creativity and critical thinking. Team members free from mundane tasks can use their free time to drive innovation. Report automation also improves transparency and communication among team members. Seamless communication and access to data through report automation boosts productivity company-wide.

When it comes to teamwork and productivity, many organizations rely on Slack as a powerful platform for collaboration. Did you know that you can get automated reports on your site’s vital metrics without ever leaving Slack?

NBI Slack notifications

At Narrative BI, our platform provides Slack notifications with rich message layouts so that you can always stay up to date.

Cost Savings

Understanding reporting costs for your organization will help you understand the cost savings of report automation. The costs of manual reporting add up through resource allocation dedicated to repetitive tasks. Another cost savings involves reducing errors. Data errors have cost US businesses $3 trillion dollars combined in years past. Using automated reporting technology and significantly reducing costly errors can help safeguard your cash flow.

Accessible Data

Accessible data is critical for businesses today. Report automation makes data accessible and available at all times. Accessibility means decision-makers can gain real-time insights empowering data-driven decisions. In addition to rapid access, reporting automation offers various visualization features to enhance understanding of the data presented in reports.

The automated reports from Narrative BI’s innovative platform provide a variety of easily accessible and digestible data visualizations that not only cover current performance, but also provide historical insights including year-over-year reports to give you insight into how your overall marketing strategy is working.

NBI YoY monthly report

Automated Reporting in Business Scenarios

Access to accurate, up-to-date data is critical in today's fast-paced market. Making well-informed decisions and gaining a competitive advantage is almost impossible without accurate data. Automated reporting transforms how you collect, analyze and share information with stakeholders. You can streamline operations and rapidly share critical information through automated reporting to drive and sustain success. In diverse business scenarios, BI reporting tools facilitate informed decision-making by providing comprehensive data insights.

Automated Reports in Marketing

Marketing demands constant access to updated information. Optimizing marketing campaigns requires accurate reports allowing marketing teams to see various metrics perform over time. 

Automated marketing reports can reveal the performance success or failure of various traffic channel efforts, and the Narrative BI platform is here to assist you!

And scheduling reports at set intervals saves hours of work and adds valuable insights into marketing performance.

Automated Reports in Google Ads

Automated reports for Google Ad performance help you understand crucial insights in-depth. Gaining insight into Google Ad performance helps you make well-informed decisions about ongoing ads. For example, Google Ads generates massive amounts of data regarding ad impressions, click-through rates, clicks, conversion rates and more. 

Automated reports seamlessly integrate with Google Ads, capturing and presenting data in understandable formats. Tracking the performance of campaigns using automated reporting simplifies the tracking of ad performance across various campaigns. Ad performance tracking and reporting helps you identify underperforming ads and apply resources effectively for ads with the greatest returns.

Google Ads provide a number of different alerts, but what if you could track these metrics along with all the rest of your vital analytics from one convenient platform?

Automated Google Ad report

With Narrative BI, you can track your Google Ads campaigns via email alerts and directly in our platform!

Automated Reports in Google Analytics

Google Analytics is critical for businesses relying on search engine optimization for landing pages and websites. Understanding website traffic is essential for gaining a competitive edge in today's digital landscape. Automated reporting with Google Analytics data based on pre-set website KPIs helps you understand user behavior and overall webinar performance.

If you need to track metrics from GA4 and get automated reports sent straight to your inbox, you need Narrative BI.

GA4 report

We make it easy to stay up to date on the latest insights from your data.

Automated Reports in Sales & Revenue Growth

Sales and revenue growth drive business success. Automated reporting provides real-time visibility of financial performance. With this information, you can identify trends and patterns impacting your bottom line as they occur. Gathering data from multiple sales channels like POS systems, CRM software, or e-commerce platforms, automated reports can help you monitor inventory and understand customer behavior.

Automated Reports in Facebook Ads

Facebook being the single largest social media platform in terms of active users, globally at the time of writing, it can be important to practice robust reporting when it comes to Facebook ads. Establishing important success metrics and automating reporting can provide you with a better understanding of this oft-crucial social media marketing channel and help ensure that relevant data is quickly disseminated and accessible.

Automated reporting in business is often used for tracking social media campaign performance. This can be easily achieved through Narrative BI. The reports automatically generated by Narrative BI make it easy to compare the performance of your Facebook ads over time so that you can see what works and what doesn’t.

Automated Facebook Ad report

Get automated reports and valuable insights on your Facebook Ads through our platform and be alerted on a scheduled daily, weekly, or monthly basis. That’s the power of Narrative BI.

How can you automate your reports?

Reporting automation can significantly improve your reporting process. The question is how to automate your reports. You can use several methods with various levels of flexibility and customization. We are exploring four popular approaches to report automation.

Code-it-yourself System

If you have a tech-savvy team full of experienced developers, a code-it-yourself approach may be a good option for your business. As the name suggests, this approach requires creating scripts or programs designed to extract, analyze and present data from multiple sources. Code-it-yourself reporting can use common programming languages like Python, R, or SQL. Using programming languages, developers can use custom coding for data collection, transform it and present it into reports tailored to your specific needs. Code-it-yourself reporting is highly flexible and customizable.


  • Flexibility: a code-it-yourself reporting system gives you complete control over the reporting process. Every aspect of your automated reporting can meet your unique needs.
  • Data Control: Developing code from scratch ensures data security. In addition, when coding from scratch, you can ensure all compliance requirements are met for your industry.
  • Custom Data Integration: code-it-yourself reporting allows you to write code that can integrate from any source or system you choose. Integration can include proprietary systems or legacy systems based on your specifications and your developer's expertise.


  • Complexity: Developing code can be an intricate, complex process. Developing and debugging a program may be less user-friendly than other options.
  • Ongoing maintenance: Scalability may be an issue as your business evolves. Coding requires continuous updates to accommodate growth, industry requirements, and multiple data sources.
  • Resource Intensive: A highly skilled, experienced staff of developers is necessary for building and maintaining a code-it-yourself automated reporting system.

Business Intelligence (BI) Tools

Business Intelligence (BI) tools are popular options for automating reporting. BI tools are software platforms designed for handling large volumes of data. A BI tool can accommodate large datasets, perform analysis of massive amounts of data and generate reports. Typically a BI interface is a user-friendly platform making it an excellent option for non-technical users. Users can access data from various sources and create reports using drag-and-drop features. BI Tools often have pre-built reporting templates and visualizations. In addition, many BI tools offer report scheduling, including real-time reporting options.


  • User-friendly: simple interfaces with intuitive features empower non-technical users to view and understand data insights. Users can easily create reports using dashboard views and drag-and-drop functionality.
  • Visualizations: BI tools offer multiple templates and pre-built visualizations. Users can easily present data using various formats.
  • Fast Deployment: Quick deployment capabilities due to pre-built connectors for common data sources.
  • Business Value: Report automation, powered by business intelligence and reporting, transforms raw data into actionable insights.


  • Data limitations: Many BI tools have data limitations. Extensive database capabilities may require additional optimization.
  • Cost: Many BI tools offer low-cost or free options with data limitations. Accessing more advanced features, including expanded data functionality, can be costly.
  • Customization Limitations: BI tools are user-friendly and flexible; however, customization options are limited. As a result, some specific reporting needs may not be available with BI tools.

Data Analytics Dashboard Tools

Data analytics dashboard tools allow you to create dashboards that present data based on your KPIs in visually engaging formats. If you want to visualize and monitor KPIs in real-time, data analytics dashboard tools are a great option. They provide interactive visualizations allowing you to focus on specific data points on demand. Some data analytics dashboards have automated data refresher capabilities enabling you to have confidence in viewing real-time information at all times. Data analytics dashboards help identify trends and patterns that may slip through the cracks when using static reports.


  • User-centric: Data analytics dashboards make it easy for users to interact with and navigate through data.
  • Real-time insights: Data analytics dashboards have real-time analytics capabilities. Real-time data updates give users the most current information at all times.
  • Interactive visualizations: Dynamic visualizations allow you to explore data by choosing specific data points


  • Standardization Challenges: Users create individual dashboards; therefore, organizational standardization may require more work.
  • Data source connectivity: Certain data sources may not be able to connect with data analytics dashboards, limiting data integration capabilities.
  • Limited complexity: compared to BI Tools, data analytics dashboards have more limitations when handling complex data analysis.

Automated Reporting Tools

Automated reporting tools are designed to streamline reporting processes. Automated reporting tools are a great option if you want to implement report automation quickly. Often equipped with pre-built connectors to popular data sources, automated reporting tools allow for seamless integration. Without extensive coding requirements, automated reporting tools allow users to customize reporting templates, determine data parameters, and schedule reporting.

Typically, automated reporting tools have a user-friendly dashboard interface allowing non-tech-savvy users to create customized reports, including various visualization options. 

Automated reporting tools can be one of the most effective solutions for ensuring regular reporting that even highly customizable reporting can remain consistent.

Narrative BI enables you to receive regular scheduled reports, whether they be daily, weekly, or monthly, directly through the platform or sent right to their email.

Automated reporting


  • Data integration: automated reporting tools often include pre-built connectors to data sources allowing for seamless data integration without the need for extensive coding.
  • Scheduling and distribution: Scheduling and distributing reports at pre-determined intervals is a simple process ensuring stakeholders receive reports in a timely manner.
  • User-friendly: Automated reporting tools are designed with users in mind. Simple, user-friendly interfaces make them accessible to non-technical users.


  • Cost and Licensing: features and usage requirements impact cost and licensing.
  • Feature limitations: Some automated reporting tools lack visualization features and advanced data analysis capabilities.
  • Limited customization: automated reporting tools may need more customization options compared to BI tools or code-it-yourself options.

Report Automation Tips and Best Practices

Report automation can transform your reporting processes. You can receive rapid access to critical data empowering you with data-driven actionable insights for effective decision-making. Implementing a successful and seamless transition to automated reports is essential.

We have a few tips and best practices for you to consider:

KPIs and Metrics Selection

Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics for your business. Choosing KPIs that align with your goals and objectives is critical to gain the insights you need to enhance company performance. It is crucial to avoid overwhelming your reports with low-priority metrics. Focus on the metrics that will help you track progress and identify trends to help your business in real-time.

Define Your Goals

Reporting objectives must be clearly defined to achieve maximum benefits from automated reporting. With clear goals, you can design reports that give you actionable insights to make data-driven decisions. For example, you may want to monitor sales performance, understand customer behavior, or track ad performance.

Schedule Your Report

Scheduler reports at a frequency best suited to your business. Automation reporting is best when scheduled at consistent intervals allowing stakeholders to easily identify trends and patterns.

Provide Access to Reports

Determine access to reports based on your company's needs. For example, some systems allow you to set up role-based access by managing permissions. Ensure your reports are distributed to the right stakeholders, and that they have access to the reports they need.

Key Takeaways:

  • Report automation is a method of automating the reporting process. Report automation relies on software that automates the reporting process as well as pre-defined success metrics or key performance indicators.
  • Report automation offers a range of potential benefits: Among these, saving time, increasing efficiency, better equipping team members with important data, and cost-effectiveness are some of the most notable.
  • There are numerous scenarios, in which report automation can be an effective way to optimize and enhance operations—including marketing reporting, analytics reporting, growth, Facebook ads reporting, and Google Ads reporting.
  • There are a number of means through which reporting can be automated, including coding automations yourself, utilizing business intelligence tools, and data analytics tools. Narrative BI presents the opportunity for you to enhance your reporting with robust automation capabilities as well as useful integrations such as that with Slack.
  • Importantly, best-practices should inform reporting: selecting metrics and KPIS, defining clear goals, and scheduling and disseminating reporting are important considerations to take.

Automate Reporting and Save Your Time with Narrative BI

Narrative BI can save you valuable time through streamlining your automated reporting efforts. We are a powerful marketing reporting platform allowing you to effortlessly implement and automate report generation. 

With Narrative BI tools, you can quickly create engaging visualizations using key metrics and data insights. Our platform seamlessly integrates with many popular data sources equipping you with real-time data and accurate reporting. 

Narrative BI is designed to help you eliminate manual data gathering and processing so you can focus on understanding and using valuable data to make well-informed decisions and optimize your business strategies. Try Narrative BI today!

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