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From startups to big enterprises, businesses are collecting more and more data every day and, it is no secret, that whoever is not taking advantage of it will simply stay behind. For decades now, companies have benefited from monthly reports to share the insights they extract from their data, their accomplishments, current tasks, and goals, but mostly to keep every relevant stakeholder invested and informed, as this is a key requirement to succeed in today’s crowded and fast-paced world.
While traditional reports often include a summary, body, and conclusion in a written format, this post will focus on interactive monthly reports created with a professional dashboard creator. Powered by intuitive data visualizations, these kinds of modern monthly progress reports assist managers and team members in managing their data in the most efficient and effective way possible while enhancing collaboration and healthy business growth.
To put the power of monthly reporting with interactive online dashboards into perspective, here we will cover the definition of a monthly report, tell you why are they important for business development, give you some tips and tricks to consider when creating them, and cover 9 powerful monthly report templates for different functions, industries, and platforms.
Let’s get started!
What Is A Monthly Report?
A monthly report is a data analysis tool that provides a summary of the performance of several business processes. Armed with powerful data visualizations, managers and team members use these reports to track progress and performance against their business goals.
There are several business scenarios in which monthly reports are useful. For example, managers use them as a tool to monitor the status of a project or the performance of employees. On the other hand, monthly performance reports can also serve as valuable tools for client reporting. By providing a clear visual representation of how strategies are performing, clients can quickly see the value of their investment.
To continue putting the power of interactive reporting into perspective now we will discuss some of the main purposes for which businesses use these reports on a monthly basis.
What Is The Purpose Of Monthly Reporting?
As mentioned above, businesses produce massive amounts of data hiding powerful insights waiting to be untapped. For this purpose, companies use monthly reports to extract the maximum potential out of their data, but mostly to track the status and progress of their strategies and goals. Traditional means of reporting are tedious and time-consuming, reports take hours or even days to be completed and they usually require a lot of work from the IT department. With modern self service BI tools, reports can be created with just a few clicks by anyone without the need for technical skills. Let’s look at some other benefits of using these reports.
- Improved decision-making: By providing real-time data from several sources, reporting monthly will significantly improve the decision-making process. Extracting business insights based on factual data and not just simple intuition will lead companies to optimize several processes and ensure sustainable development.
- Evaluate status and progress: As mentioned, one of the most relevant reasons for which monthly reports are so useful for businesses is to evaluate the status and progress of their strategies based on specific business goals. This enables them to fine-tune strategies and implement new ones to ensure healthy and efficient business growth.
- Benchmark performance: Thanks to historical data, generating reports monthly provides insights that enable businesses to generate targets to use as performance benchmarks. Like this, you can closely monitor your current values and compare them with the expected targets to find improvement opportunities and boost your performance. Additionally, you can also use them to compare your business performance to competitors or market standards.
- Manage budgeting: Another of the great purposes of interactive monthly performance reports is that they are invaluable tools to justify the budget used in front of investors or other relevant stakeholders. And not just that, by getting a visual overview of all budgeting elements you can also ensure that every dollar is being spent correctly as well as monitor the remaining amounts for other actions.
- Mitigate risks by constantly monitoring data: Modern monthly progress reports created with an online reporting tool provide a quick snapshot into a business’s most important performance indicators. By getting this level of insight every month, companies can significantly mitigate the risk of errors by spotting inefficiencies and solving them before they become bigger issues.
Now that you know what is a monthly report and what its main purposes are, we will go through a list of 9 business monthly report templates for different industries, functions, and platforms. All these reports were carefully created with an intuitive BI dashboard software.
Top 9 Monthly Report Templates & Examples
1. Monthly Financial Report
Our first example is a monthly financial report tracking relevant metrics for a Chief Financial Officer (CFO). CFO’s are in charge of the company's fiscal wellbeing, meaning they need to focus on monitoring key financial KPIs but also any other external factors that can affect business finances such as customer retention or employee satisfaction. This monthly report template consolidates all this fundamental fiscal data in one central place to ensure healthy financial growth. Let’s look into it more in detail.
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This monthly progress report template focuses on 4 main areas for any CFO: costs, sales goals, gross profit, and net promoter scores. Starting at the top, the dashboard provides a quick overview of relevant metrics such as revenue, gross profit, EBIT, operating expenses, and net income. Each of these metrics is displayed in a gauge chart that compares the current value of each metric to a set target with colors green and red to quickly understand if the value is negative or positive. Getting these insights at a glance on a monthly basis is useful as it allows CFO’s or any other stakeholders to quickly visualize how the numbers have improved since the last period. If something dropped drastically from one month to the next you can dig deeper into the reasons.
Next, the monthly financial report provides a breakdown of the costs and revenue of different business departments for the month of march allowing you to closely monitor expenses and budgets. Paired to this, we see two charts displaying the NPS for employees and customers. It is important to revisit these scores every month as unhappy customers or employees can bring severe financial hardships.
2. Customer Retention Monthly Report Template
Customers are the beating heart of any business and providing the best-targeted service for them can make or break a company. Our next example is a dashboard focusing on retention metrics. Acquiring new customers is way more expensive than keeping your old ones and this monthly report sample will help you do just that.
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Armed with powerful customer retention metrics, this monthly report template provides all the needed information to track the performance of your retention strategies as well as find improvement opportunities to skyrocket your business retention rates.
The dashboard focuses mainly on 4 metrics: the net promoter score (NPS), the loyal customer rate, the % of premium users, and the customer lifetime value (CLV). Each of them is compared to the values of the previous month so you can quickly understand if you improved or decreased since your last report. Next, the service dashboard provides a detailed breakdown of each metric for the last 12 months. As mentioned, including historical data in your reports will help you get a bigger understanding of your performance, find trends and patterns in your data, and boost your strategies based on factual information.
3. Monthly Sales Report
This monthly sales report is used to monitor, analyze, and determine sales trends and performance every month in order to run the sales department successfully. Its main focus is on high-level sales KPIs that are most interesting for c-level executives, managers, and sales VPs.
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Going a bit more in-depth with this monthly sales report sample we first get a glance at critical sales numbers such as revenue, profit, and costs. Each of them is compared to a set target as well as the performance of the previous month. Like this, you can easily understand if the business is reaching its goals and strategies are being successful.
Next, we have more detailed breakdowns of these metrics with current and past performance. This is invaluable information to include in your monthly status report template as it provides managers with a complete perspective on every sales process, allowing him/her the possibility to dig deeper into the data to find opportunities for sustainable business development. For example, by looking at the incremental sales monthly you can understand which channels are bringing the most revenue and exclude the ones that are not. If this would be tracked on a quarterly basis the business could not notice on time that some channels are not worth the investment.
4. SaaS Monthly Management Report
The next monthly report example focuses on management, specifically in the executive level operations of a tech-driven Software as a Service company. The most relevant areas in which any SaaS business should focus are customers, recurring revenue, and operational costs and this dashboard provides an overview of each of them.
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Armed with historical data from the last year, this monthly management report provides in-depth insights into performance and costs, keeping executives informed about every relevant indicator that can help the business stay profitable. The left part of the dashboard displays a line chart for paying customers, lost, and churn rate. The goal here should be to keep your churn rate as low as possible with efficient strategies that need to closely be monitored and improved every month. A standard value for churn should be roughly 0,5% a month or 5-7% a year.
Next, the SaaS dashboard provides a breakdown of the monthly recurring revenue (MRR). This is arguably one of the most relevant metrics to track for any SaaS business as they need to generate increased revenue to be able to grow. As you can see, these are all fundamental metrics to be tracked every month as they give you the ability to delve deeper into your ongoing operational costs to optimize your processes and understand your customers on a higher level.
5. Project Monthly Report
Our next example is an extremely valuable monthly report form for project controlling. This interactive dashboard provides managers and team members with every single detail about the development of a project keeping everyone informed about the different stages and the performance of each of them.
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The value of this monthly reporting template created with professional KPI reporting software lies in its interactivity. First, you get small boxes indicating the client's name, project status, and time period you want to visualize. This can all be filtered upon the need to get deeper insights about previous stages or projects. Next, we get an overview of 3 key figures related to costs and revenue with an actual and expected value to quickly understand where the project is going in terms of money.
Paired to these cost-related metrics, the project dashboard provides KPIs related to tasks and time planning. Getting this level of detailed insights in a visually appealing way will help teams stay connected, perform their tasks better, and subsequently make the project more efficient.
6. Monthly Social Media Report
Social media never stops. In a world where each day people are more connected to their smart devices and their social accounts, brands who don’t extract every drop of potential from their channels will simply stay behind. This monthly media report full of relevant marketing KPIs will help you do just that.
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Armed with powerful metrics such as followers, impressions, engagement rates, clicks, and more, this monthly social media report provides an overview of the performance on 4 main channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Each channel is divided into 7 fundamental metrics that are tracked against a set target and a previous period and displayed in colors red or green to quickly understand if the value is negative or positive.
This insightful monthly marketing report is the perfect tool to test the success of your social media strategies as well as what type of content your target audience enjoys the most. Tracking these on a monthly basis will help you deliver accurate progress reports to your managers or as a monthly client report while giving you enough time to fine-tune your performance and deliver the best social experience for your audience.
7. Energy Monthly Report
Our seventh monthly activity report template focuses on the management of an energy company. From the total sales and consumption by sector to the production costs and the number of power cuts, this energy dashboard gives you a big picture of the different plant’s performance.
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The monthly report template starts with a breakdown of the total energy consumption by each sector. This is a valuable piece of information to include in your reports monthly as it tells you who are your main consumers so you can prepare your resources and production in advance to answer their needs. Next, you have sales and cost-related data by sector and energy source which provide you an even deeper understanding of which should be your focus points. In this case, renewable energy is the most desired by households because of the trend in consumers switching to more sustainable lifestyles.
This energy monthly report would not be complete without some operational KPIs, the number of power cuts and their average duration tracked each month will help you plan and schedule supervised downtimes and alert your clients, as well as be prepared if any unwanted downtimes happen.
8. Monthly Service Report
Our rundown of sample monthly reports would not be complete without a platform-specific example. This Zendesk dashboard tracks the customer support team performance for the last 30 days with metrics that are specific to each agent as well as general to the team.
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With metrics such as the occupancy rate, the net promoter score, average first contact resolution, among others, this monthly progress report template provides support managers with all the needed information to ensure the best customer service experience. Customers can make or break a company, so ensuring you support them in each stage of their journey is fundamental for business success. Taking this into account, reporting monthly on these Zendesk KPIs is fundamental as any inefficiencies need to be addressed immediately. For instance, if a support agent is underperforming his or her manager can provide training opportunities so that it won’t affect the performance of the whole team.
9. Google Analytics Monthly Report
Our last monthly analytics report template is one of the most useful Google Analytics dashboards and it aims to monitor the performance of a website by tracking metrics such as sessions, new users, bounce rate, goals completion, among others.
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Although standard Google Analytics monthly reports are widely used by marketers, they do have some limitations such as choice of chart types or advanced analytical features. The example above was created with a dashboard designer that has advanced filtering options so you can play with your data intuitively and interactively.
This monthly report example, not only provides data for the last 30 days but also on a daily and weekly basis so you can get an even deeper understanding of your performance. Seeing how the data fluctuated depending on the country or channel will help you fine-tune your strategies and allocate your resources in the most efficient way. For example, here we see that the USA has the highest number of sessions, meaning this is a country in which you should focus your conversion efforts.
Now that we have provided you with powerful monthly report templates you can apply for different areas and functions, we will see a few key elements that you should consider to create successful reports monthly.
What Does A Monthly Report Contain?
A successful monthly report should be concise and easy to understand to keep all relevant stakeholders engaged with the analysis process. While the format and KPIs containing the report will vary depending on the topic or department you are addressing, there are a few standard elements that need to be included in your monthly progress reports for them to be efficient and successful. For instance, before creating them you need to ask yourself important questions such as: who am I addressing my report to? Which KPIs are the most relevant to track my goals? What data sources do I need to include to make my report complete? Among these questions, a successful report should contain:
- A summary of current performance: It might seem like an obvious point but is actually the most important one. As mentioned throughout this post, the sole purpose of a monthly status report is to provide information about the current performance of your business based on specific goals. It is important to consider that not all KPIs will be useful to portray your goals, so you need to carefully pick each metric that will help you tell your data story in the most efficient and clear way and not overcrowd your reports with useless data.
- Expected targets: Measuring progress against set targets or goals is a great way to motivate team members to improve their performance as well as to measure how far are you from completing your goals. For this purpose is that benchmark values should always be included in your reporting monthly. Popular targets are usually the previous month’s performance or industry standards. Here you should make sure that your benchmark values are realistic and attainable to your business.
- Past performance: Historical data plays a fundamental role in monthly reporting as it provides invaluable insights to improve current performance. By analyzing your historical data you can find relationships, trends, and patterns that can help you gain a better understanding of several aspects of your business. For example, your customers' behaviors.
- Interactive visualizations: Interactive visualizations not only make your reports more understandable at a glance but also provide context to your data so that you can dig deeper and extract relevant insights. As you saw with our list of monthly report templates, a good set of data visualizations enables you to tell your data story in a comprehensive and accessible way, making it easy to understand for anyone who sees it. Be aware that a line or bar chart is not always the best visual for all performance indicators. When building your reports with professional online data visualization tools, carefully choose the visuals that will most accurately portray your KPIs and business goals.
- Goals for next month: Tracking your data would be useless if you don’t extract conclusions from it. For this purpose, your monthly reporting should contain clear goals for the next period. Like this, you will have a clear understanding of where to focus your efforts in the coming month and avoid wasting time and resources on outdated strategies.
Key Takeaways To Revolutionize Your Reporting
By now you should be aware of how creating interactive reports with the help of modern solutions can take your business reporting to the next level. Throughout this insightful article, we provided you with powerful reasons for why you should implement monthly reporting in your business, and gave you a list of interactive examples including sales, finances, and monthly marketing reports. If you want to take a look at other examples such as IT monthly reports or Human Resources monthly reports browse our list of dashboard examples for several industries and functions.
To summarize, creating interactive reports on a monthly basis will lead your business to improve its performance by enhancing the decision-making process, and most importantly, will keep every relevant stakeholder involved and engaged on each stage by providing a deeper understanding of trends and patterns thanks to powerful data visualizations.
If you are ready to start creating interactive monthly reports to skyrocket your business performance with the help of a professional BI dashboard tool, then try our 14-day trial completely free and start benefiting from quality reports today!