You are asked by your boss to build a detailed report for next week.
You think it’s a good idea to show him sales trends, with Year over Year trends, ROI projections with lead sources, conversions, cost per lead, and make a nice high level summary dashboard with pretty charts and graphs.
But, where should you start?
Although it varies from company to company, there is one thing that you can do to assure you are working on the right thing.
The better way to start is by stating what are your boss / company trying to accomplish with this report:
- Do they want to discover significant variances on sales trends?
- What level of granularity are they looking for? High level (overall sales for the company) or hyper granular data (details for each product / salesperson)?
- In what frequency do they need it? Yearly, quarterly or monthly?
- Do they want to know why numbers are behaving a certain way?
- Is there a problem with sales that they are trying to solve?
- Is this report going to be used to make a critical decision?
When you state the problem and know what the objectives of the work you are doing are, you will be able to make a report that gives value and makes you stand out.
So don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions and go and ask your boss straight up what he needs.