What Is a Report Builder?

What Is a Report Builder?


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Updated on December 28, 2023.

What exactly is a report builder?

As the name suggests, this is a tool that is used to build a report. Of course, this leads to another question. What is a report? This term often gets confused with dashboard, but there are very different distinctions between the two. We must understand these differences before we delve deeper into report builders.

Reports vs. Dashboards

A dashboard is simply a collection of visual components. This might include charts and graphs, for example. It will also often include tables, which are used to consume information.

Reports, on the other hand, are singular tabular views of data via a table. Users can interact with the data and slice and dice it any way they want. They can also save different views they may want to view later, share them with others, or download them. The reports are typically used to answer a single question or a set of questions that need to be answered regularly.

Let’s look at a couple of examples. 

  1. You could build an HR report that lets you know who took time off during the month and how much time they took off. 
  2. Another option would be to build a finance report that lets you know how much you spent on Uber/Lyft during the quarter and the cities where they were used.

As you can see, a report builder has countless uses that can help to provide you with a deeper and more insightful look into many aspects of your business.

Who’s Using Report Builders?

More and more companies are starting to make use of report builders. However, they have become especially popular in HR and finance. This makes sense, as those areas tend to have data that needs to be analyzed frequently and in a tabular fashion. Let’s look at a few HR companies that are using this tool.

·         Rippling – The company was founded in 2016 to help eliminate and simplify the administrative work of running a business. They offer time and jobs reporting, custom hiring reports, audit logs, and activity reports.

·         BambooHR – BambooHR is a technology company founded in 2008. They provide HR software as a service to help make many admin tasks much simpler. They offer a range of reports including PTO and time tracking.

·         Zenefits – Zenefits has been around since 2013. It focuses on cloud-based software as a service for companies managing HR. Some of the types of reports offered include time tracking, employee enrollments, and employment and compensation information.

·         Gusto – Founded in 2011, Gusto is another company offering cloud-based HR management software as a service. Some of the types of reports offered include payroll journals, benefits reports, and YTD reports.

What types of reports are being used? Below are a few examples of the types of reports that can be generated.

·         Compensation report

·         PTO report

·         Activity report

·         Employee Satisfaction (NPS) report

·         1099 Tax Forms report

Why Do SaaS Companies Need Report Builders?

Companies want to ensure their customers have an easy way to explore all of the data on their platform. After all, they are generating a lot of useful data that can be actionable and insightful. This is valuable to the customers, but trying to build reports every time one is needed with a data dump can be expensive and time-consuming. Having report builders will simplify and speed up this analytical process. Additionally, it has the potential to be a valuable differentiator against competitors and even a potential contract upsell.

Let’s look at Rippling as an example. Many companies choose to use them for their HR system, which manages payroll, reimbursements, PTO, and more. HR teams at these companies want to know answers to questions that will help improve the company’s processes.  For instance, who is taking a lot of time off and who isn’t; who is taking a lot of sick days; and where they are located (perhaps a colder climate).

This information HR teams want to analyze can help them to improve their PTO policy. It can help them to ensure employees aren’t burning out. Tactically, they can institute mandatory PTO days for teams that haven’t been taking enough days off. They can also ensure that people aren’t taking too much time off relative to what they are allotted.

Report Builder Resources?

Here are some common report builder resources:

Get Your Report Builder Tool Today

Now that you have a better understanding of what report builders are and how they could help your company, it’s time to start using one. Explo's industry leading report builder can be embedded and white-labeled onto your company’s platform in days. Book a demo to check it out.

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