When people see the price tag on a quote for a custom report, many times the first reaction is, “wow, that’s expensive” or something similar, and the next reaction is to decline the report.
But how did you know if it was too expensive? Was it based on a cost assessment you performed or a gut feeling? In fact, by doing even a quick cost assessment you may actually save money!
To do an assessment, answer these questions first:
* Will the custom report automate/replace a report we already have?
If so, determine the time and effort (including cost of not doing something else) it takes to complete the report each period (month, etc). This is the money you will continually save as opposed to the one-time cost of creating the custom report.
* Is the custom report something we need to help drive better business decisions?
Ask your stakeholders if this report will save them time and the company money by assisting with better business strategy/decisions. If so, try to determine the amount of money that will be saved.
* Will the custom report allow us to combine/consolidate reports into one?
Custom reports pull data from databases, and can sometimes easily pull in other data points, eliminating the need for multiple reports. If that additional report took time and money to prepare, add that to your potential savings.
* Are you/your coworkers overworked?
We all have those things that we want to make better but they just languish on our To-Do list. We know that life would be easier if we could just get these things done, but there are so many other priority things to do. Creating custom reports may help you cross off those To-Do items or free up your time to accomplish more.
If you can pull together an actual picture of potential savings and benefits for your company you will be able to make a more accurate determination if custom reports are worth the price.