S&OP Analytics: Reports vs. Dashboards


This blog post was authored by Kaushal Dave, Product Marketing Manager, Steelwedge.

Your sales and operations planning (S&OP) data needs to make sense, and knowing the difference between an S&OP report and an interactive S&OP dashboard—and when each should be used—can help you organize your data in a way that is both comprehensible and accessible. While Steelwedge reports and dashboards are both capable of turning collected data into useful information, they radically differ in functionality and usability.

Reports are a traditional way of summarizing data such as scenario comparison or revenue reports by geo or products, etc. Providing information based on detailed S&OP data generated from a specific search, reports tend to be detailed and complex in nature. And while they may include some visual components such as graphs or charts, they are typically text-heavy and designed to be displayed as a document or printed for distribution.

Steelwedge Excel Dashboards, on the other hand, are much more interactive in the way data is presented. Relying on visual indicators and macro-based techniques with drilldown and slicing capabilities to display an array of information—which often include condensed S&OP reports—dashboards allow online user participation to create a simple, easily accessible interface that can be accessed by virtually anyone anywhere.

Steelwedge’s Insight Excel Interactive Dashboards display only the most vital information on different phases of S&OP (Product Management, Demand Review, Supply Review, Executive S&OP, Integrated Reconciliation, Management Review and more) gathered from a big data set. And while they may not be as detailed as reports, this interactive dashboard can provide quick answers to some really big questions from just one glance.

Insight graphic

Steelwedge Insight Excel Dashboard – Sample

But even with the introduction of new interactive dashboards, Steelwedge reporting still plays an important role in delivering useful information. Knowing what kind of information you’re looking for helps you determine when to use a report and when to use a dashboard so you can successfully measure your company performance and drive your business forward.

Key Features of Steelwedge Insight Excel Dashboards

  • Data filtering using top and bottom X ranking for any geo, product, BU or country, etc.
  • Cockpit view to see all KPIs in a single place
  • Integrating the excel “Slicer” capability with dashboards enables users to perform quick filtering, root-cause analysis and data discovery

The key to making data useful in an S&OP process is not looking at every single data point, but instead, determining and focusing on key performance indicators that are truly meaningful to your plan. Steelwedge Insight Excel analytic dashboards based around those KPIs, when configured to your needs, can make even the most complex data consumable and useful.

Identifying meaningful insight with huge amount of historic and forecast time series within your supply chain can not only be helpful for you, but can also make the information you’re providing more easily understandable to others within your organization. Your top executives don’t have time to analyze various reports, statistics and spreadsheets. Pulling the relevant information together into one place, with key data at the forefront, makes your data more valuable and helps executives make better decisions.

The Steelwedge Insight Excel Dashboard, which is now a part of the S&OP Insight module within the Steelwedge solution, allows:

  • Faster decision making on large data sets that require visibility into consensus what-if analysis
  • A shared view of a situation to align executives on needed actions
  • Insight for each phase of their S&OP cycle, in a single Excel view

For more information on Steelwedge S&OP Insight, click here.

How are you currently using S&OP reports and/or dashboards? Let us know in the comments!