Don’t Overlook the Economic Impact of Your Reports Process
Generating reports is one of the key functions of solar monitoring software. Having robust reporting capabilities allows users to quickly get the right information to the right people at the right time, promoting better informed decision making and faster issue resolutions. Poor report generating processes consume unnecessary labor hours resulting in longer issue resolution windows. Yet despite these inefficiencies, decision makers rarely cite reports and report functionality as major factors in their purchase criteria for monitoring software. This can be a costly mistake.
There are obvious pain points associated with report generation. In a recent Solar Power World webinar on big data, nearly half of the attendees complained that it takes them too much time to generate the reports needed to manage their PV assets. Many industry professionals still lose time to activities like manually cleaning data sets and moving data among platforms. In a worse case scenario, it may be necessary to pay the monitoring provider for professional services any time a report with new parameters is needed. Some monitoring platforms have limited or no capability to immediately generate reports on demand. This leads to unacceptable delays in sharing information during production impact events, resulting in diminished asset availability.
We’ve identified 3 critical factors to look for in a report tool that can directly improve your bottom line:
Is your process efficient?
- Is there a full featured do-it-yourself report tool, or do clients have to engage professional services from the monitoring provider to generate new reports?
- Does the platform include templates for common reporting needs?
- Can users quickly select sites, devices, data points and calculations to create custom reports?
- Can users quickly export data displays, such as tables & charts, as reports?
- Can users save custom created reports as templates for future use?
Do you have the ability to create scheduled reports & reports on demand?
- Can users create reports for automated scheduled delivery (such as quarterly performance reports, PPA invoices, etc)?
- Can users create reports for immediate download or delivery?
Does your system integrate with other platforms you use?
- Can users create report templates from Excel spreadsheets?
- Can the software platform reporting tool capture all the desired data points from devices on site?
- Can reports be exported in spreadsheet or PDF format?