Reports are often not looked at
Although the number of reports in companies is continuously increasing, they often do not correspond sufficiently to practical requirements and are therefore only used to a limited extent. This is the result of a survey conducted by Actinium Consulting among more than 250 business managers from companies in German-speaking countries. According to the survey, only one in six business unit managers uses the reports that concern them very intensively, even though they are among the decision-makers and depend on such sources of information. In an additional one in five cases, they at least look at them frequently. In contrast, reports are used by almost 60 percent only when necessary or even sporadically.
The Actinium survey identified a major discrepancy between practical requirements and the existing reality of reports as a major source of cause. For example, 78 percent of business managers expect it to provide them with concrete decision support, but this requirement is only actually met according to 58 percent. For example, there is often a lack of user-friendly clarity and concentration of content. There is even a discrepancy in the topicality of the reports, and there is also a lack of individualization options and flexible provision. Representatives of middle management criticize yet another aspect: in their opinion, the various reports they have to deal with on a regular basis usually have little structure that is too different to make for easier perusal.
On the other hand, the survey also revealed that despite their criticism, business managers have by no means positioned themselves against reports. On the contrary, 62 percent of them assume that they would use them more intensively if they were more in line with their personal requirements. Only just under a third of them would change little in their current usage behavior even in such a case. For Actinium CEO Klaus Hüttl, these results clearly indicate a need for action. “There is no doubt about the necessity of reports, because the complex conditions in companies cannot be transported for planning and decision-making in any other way.” At the same time, however, he emphasizes that he, too, has noticed a need for improvement in the acceptance of reports in the companies. “Presumably, their content quality and user-friendliness can be significantly optimized in many cases. There is undoubtedly still a lot of catching up to do here. But this circumstance should not be used as an alibi for using the reports only very cautiously. Because in this way, one evades important information processes with potentially far-reaching negative consequences.”