What Is Ad Hoc Analysis?

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Generate ad hoc analyses and reports.

Data is growing exponentially and according to Forbes, more than 90% of global data was generated in the last two years alone. Companies all across the globe are also finding more innovative ways to generate and capture data from their users. However, this results in challenges associated with processing, generating insights, and visualizing data in an easy-to-understand and meaningful way. Ad hoc reporting and analysis is one of the most commonly used and effective processes in business intelligence. It allows data report generation and helps in performing further analysis. 

In this article, I’ll discuss ad hoc reporting and analysis along with its organizational goal. I’ll also give you some major benefits and use cases of using this reporting and analysis. Finally, you’ll learn what you need to look for before choosing a service. 

Now, let’s learn more about what ad hoc analysis is and how it works.

Ad Hoc Reporting and Analysis: What Is It? 

Ad hoc reporting is the process of generating meaningful, easy-to-understand, and parse reports backed by corporate data on an as-needed basis. For instance, you can easily generate a specially curated sales performance report for any sales team member. This reporting is also in a visual format. As a result, you can perceive and understand data in an easier way. 

Ad hoc analysis, on the other hand, is a Business Intelligence (BI) process you can tailor to cater to and address very specific business queries. To do that, it analyzes the company’s data. These queries could be sales analyses, inventory management, and more. To simplify, ad hoc analysis is a quick and easy process to help you find answers to a specific question

This process goes beyond traditional data analysis since it can focus on generating context-specific insights for your company. In effect, this helps you pinpoint the potential cause or reason for an action or trend in the firm. For instance, this analysis can help you understand sales trends

Image of traditional data analysis and reports on paper vs on a tablet screen.
Get meaningful data to guide your decisions.

Let’s look at the goals of ad hoc reporting and analysis in the following section.

3 Goals of Ad Hoc Reporting & Analysis

From the definition, the primary goal of ad hoc reporting and analysis is to help firms take accurate and data-backed decisions. Here are some of the major goals of ad hoc reporting and analysis.

1. Empowering Organizations with Data

One of the crucial and most important aspects of ad hoc reporting and analysis tools is its usability. Everyone in the company, and specifically decision-makers, like C-level executives, can tap into the data to get insights on specific business aspects. They won’t need to have any technical expertise. They can also pass down the work to BI developers or data analysts. Generally, this makes the turnaround time short and the process frictionless

2. Inspiring Leaders to Explore Data

Data is an inspiration for almost all businesses. Corporate numbers also describe the success, failure, growth, or decline of any company. To this end, Ad hoc tools can help businesses and their leaders to access robust, quantifiable, and data-backed business metrics. These enable business planning and strategizing. Leaders can also use these tools to track trends, spot inconsistencies, make projections, etc.

Infographic of cloud generated data.
Analyze data with ad hoc analysis.

3. Streamlining Decision-Making Process

Finally, Ad hoc reporting and analysis can help you make better decisions. It can also help you streamline the decision-making process. Using ad hoc tools, you can get as granular as you want. This allows you to better manage and control your company, including all teams and departments.  

Now, let’s take a look at some major benefits that this type of reporting and analysis offers you and your business. 

Benefits of Ad hoc Reporting & Analysis

Companies should be able to make fast-paced business decisions to grow. To this end, ad hoc reporting and analysis helps you make those data-driven business decisions every day. Here are some of the major benefits of having this reporting and analysis in place.

Image of data in a dashboard format.
Data reporting is easier with ad hoc reporting.
  • Workload Management: Ad hoc tools and services can help you get visibility on any specific portion of the company. As a result, you achieve better workload management
  • Adaptability: You can adapt the reporting and analysis to different domains and use-cases 
  • Ensures Scalability and Flexibility: Ad hoc reporting and analysis help you take data-driven decisions to scale your business
  • Easy to use: Ad hoc procedures are easy to follow, learn, and implement 
  • Saves time and costs: The easy-to-use nature can help companies save time and cost 
  • Customization: You can customize all reports to meet the different demands and industry-specific requirements

Due to these benefits I mentioned, you can implement such reporting and analysis tools and use them in several domains. For example, these domains include sales, insurance, healthcare, banking, automobiles, human resources, supply chain, finance, retail, and e-commerce industries. 

Convinced that you can use ad hoc reporting and analysis for the growth of your business? Well, then, let’s look at what options you need to look for in these reporting and analysis tools.

What to Look for in Ad Hoc Reporting Tools

Before you choose a reporting and/or analysis tool, here are some of the important things you should consider: 

  • Availability of customizable reports and analyses
  • Ability to work with multiple data sources
  • Data visualization capabilities
  • Ability to integrate with different platforms
  • Report and analysis sharing options
  • Licensing and usage costs 
  • Feature sets you’d want for your firm

The Bottom Line

Ad hoc reporting and analysis can help you better manage your resources. It can also help you in making the right data-driven business decisions based on any configurable factor you want to consider. Generally, ad hoc reporting and analysis has more benefits. But you should also consider your business needs before selecting Ad hoc reporting tools!

Do you have more questions on ad hoc reporting and analysis? Check out the FAQ and Resources sections below!


What are some of the ad hoc reporting and analysis tools?

Jira reports, Calumo, Workday Adaptive Planning, Orbit, Ubiq, and Spruce are some of the leading business intelligence and ad hoc reporting and analysis tools available in the market. All these tools are easy to use, powerful, and feature-packed. They can help you make business decisions. 

What is Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence (BI) collectively refers to the tools, technologies, and strategies used by companies for data analysis and reporting purposes. Ad hoc analysis is also a part of the BI solutions that any company could use for business development and growth. 

What is data visualization?

Data visualization is an interdisciplinary practice of transforming raw data into meaningful, easy-to-understand, visual representations. This is to make it easy to understand the data trends, patterns, and changes. Ad hoc reporting can also provide easy-to-understand visualized reports. 

Are ad hoc tools domain-specific?

No. As I mentioned above, such reporting and analysis tools are industry and domain agnostic. You can integrate them with any company, regardless of its field of operations. These tools will integrate with your internal systems and databases and help you to generate easy-to-understand visual reports and data analyses. 

What is a static data report?

A status data report or a traditional data report offers snapshots of data trends over a time period. You can automate static reports and also produce them regularly to report the ongoing activities. Static reports usually need a dedicated resource such as a data analyst or BI developer to generate them. 


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