Many find themselves puzzled over the difference between these two entities. When it comes down to it, don’t both of them provide visualizations for your data?
Where is the line drawn between them? And when will one offer more utility than the other? These are some of the questions I’d like to answer here.
The Key Differences
With software development, it’s easy to get confused by certain terms. Based on the information provided by individual development companies, I’ve identified that performance analytics and reporting differ in these ways:
- Data collection
- Operational versus strategic data
- User Interfaces are designed for different purposes
If your software is relying on Reporting, that means it’s collecting data from already existing datasets. These reports will present findings as they relate to your current status. Any differences between reports will not be identified.
Meanwhile, in the case of Performance Analytics, your company will identify metrics for success or any other outcome. These metrics will be used to determine specific trends and behaviours observed by the custom software.
Operational Data Versus Strategic Data
Not only is the data collection distinct, but the primary focus of each software is too. Both are designed to perform within very specific contexts, so their primary applications do stand out from each other.
Operational data generally means an overview of what is happening at present. Reporting excels at this because it looks at existing data and presents it to you. So if you want to regularly check company performance this is the best tool.
Strategic data on the other hand is more about future decision making. The findings are much more indicative of long term patterns making it possible to spot trends or stagnation through the software.
On the surface, this might seem like a shallow point to consider but realistically speaking it matters. The price point distinguishes Performance Analytics from Reporting in a big way.
Reporting is generally the best software development option for SMB’s while Performance Analytics is ideal when operating as a large scale organization that has already invested in ServiceNow.
Now that it’s clear that both kinds of software serve different purposes, even the design philosophy behind the two are distinct.
Since Reporting is a lot more affordable and carries limited applications, it boasts a very simplified and automated user experience. In contrast, we have Performance Analytics. Here you get what you paid for. There’s much more involved in the process and more variables to work with.
Definitely Not The Same
While there are some similarities here, any software development company could tell you that Performance Analytics and Reporting exist to cater to very different needs.
Based on the size of your business and its primary metrics of success, you might find more utility in one over the other. Aside from that, it really depends on the mindset behind the data collection.
Monitoring the current state of affairs is a different priority when compared to long term strategizing. And that, ultimately is where the difference between the software lies.