Insight: There is No Silver Bullet in Reporting
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Insight: There is No Silver Bullet in Reporting

There is no silver bullet to achieving excellence in reporting. Consider the following three best practices when pursuing improvements to your reporting process.

Operations Transformation & Optimization
Oct 26, 2023

“Excellence is the gradual result of striving to do better.” – Pat Riley.



There is no silver bullet to achieving excellence in reporting.  Both asset managers and asset allocators struggle with the function in many ways including:

  1. 1. Refocusing all their resources on reporting near the deadline to the detriment of other processes.
  2. 2. Generating reporting in a manual, time-consuming, and error-prone manner.
  3. 3. Disseminating reporting late due to vendors (e.g., administrators) missing deadlines.


Consider the following three best practices when pursuing improvements to your reporting process.



Best Practice #1: Use Checklists to Prevent “Oops” Moments

Steven Levitt, the author of Freakonomics, once said “No matter how expert you may be, a well-designed checklist can improve outcomes”.


Checklists are vital to achieving accurate and timely reporting. They eliminate excessive reviewing, prevent “oops” moments that you wish you could take back, and allow you to act with certainty.    Your checklist for reporting should be broken down into four areas:




Checklists also ensure you meet your reporting deadline.  By breaking down the reporting process into smaller steps and assigning a deadline to each one, the checklist can show you progress (which is motivating) but also identify bottlenecks and delays.



Best Practice #2: Maximize the Use of Technology

Significant improvements in reporting can be achieved when asset managers and asset allocators maximize their use of technology in the following ways:

  1. 1. Leverage dashboards or alerts in your system to complete data quality checks or to be notified when data does not meet certain criteria (e.g., performance returns > X% or < X%).
  2. 2. Set up saved searches, profiles, or report schedules to reduce the time spent re-entering search criteria.
  3. 3. Centralize all data in a system or data warehouse so that reporting is referencing a structured database rather than data stored in Excel files (which is prone to error).
  4. 4. Invest in custom-built reports to aggregate data that can’t be referenced with saved searches or canned reports.



Best Practice #3: Build a Culture of Continuous Improvement

No matter how sophisticated your reporting function is, there is always room to improve. Building a culture of continuous improvement helps you consistently evolve and enhance your reporting function. The key is to empower team members to identify problems and propose solutions.  Here are some key steps you can take:

  1. 1. Conduct post-mortem meetings after monthly or quarterly reporting cycles to discuss what’s working and what’s not. Some examples of what to review include evaluating data quality and assessing bottlenecks or delays in the reporting process.
  2. 2. Set key performance indicators for reporting and track them period over period to see trends and where additional resources are needed.
  3. 3. Discuss your process with peers, vendors, and industry groups to get inspiration from other sources and adapt them to your team, setup, and needs.


We’re also pleased to announce that we have a new visual identity and updated website.  As always, thank you for your continued confidence and support.


Beth Gilje



Brian Mink


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