Several years ago a client propositioned us to create a new ad hoc reporting tool for them which we later called Prospector. The product they were looking to replace with Prospector was slow to process requests and was often unavailable. From this, we created Prospector to be extremely fast at querying the retailer’s data and have a rock solid up-time. We knew it was a solid product, but we were even more surprised by how much the client loved it. In some of the subsequent months since launch, they exceeded a thousand runs of the system. When reports take only a second or two to run and get results, users don’t mind asking a lot of questions from the system.
For the uninitiated, ad hoc reporting is a type of reporting that lets users create their own reports from available selections. They are basically given a sandbox to play it. It is like a PivotTable in Excel, but in Prospector’s case, it’s on the web. Users make new reports and can modify existing ones from scratch without using up development resources. This saves on cost and time as the usual iterative communication between IT and users doesn’t need to happen. Further, users don’t need to compromise as they get exactly what they want and don’t need to rely on templates that were meant to satisfy the masses.
A product like Prospector is quick and intuitive and requires little training to get utility from it. In less than 5 minutes, a user can create from scratch the following reports and have them completed:
- A trended view of sales for a product by region at the retailer
- A brand scorecard showing each brand’s performance in the latest 52 weeks and latest 4 weeks and growth versus year ago
- Performance at multiple stores that piloted a test product
- A SKU rank for a segment that isolates distribution based on stores selling
It is clear why with power like this Prospector is the best product in the market for analysts that need data the way they want it.Tags: ad hoc reporting tool, brand scorecard, retail analytics, SKU rank, ToolBox Prospector