Close this search box.

Ad hoc Reporting: Report Generation Using Microsoft Power BI

What is Ad hoc reporting:

Ad hoc reporting is a business intelligence procedure in which lively, synchronized data reports are made by the user. They are intended to respond to a precise business query, more often than not in response to an event. When the clarification can’t be derived from the conventional and stagnant reports, workers create an ad hoc report with the information set that is mainly related to the problem.

Executing ad hoc reporting can be a chief advantage to the entire venture. It puts the tools necessary to construct a completely serviceable business report and transform existing reports straight into the hands of workers. The data analysis can be obtained hastily, instinctively, and interactively with almost no training.

Ad hoc reporting speeds the course of report creation by empowering users to toil with their reports autonomous of developers. This aids in eliminating the prolonged back and forth series amid users and IT to accomplish a concluding report, saving precious time for both the user and report developer. Moreover, permitting them to focus carefully on assets towards more task critical behavior. 

Ad hoc reporting is also spontaneous for the end-users. The report makes ad hoc reporting as flawless as possible employing an extremely insightful tool. With the help of this tool, users can speedily shift little by little through the report construction procedure selecting from dealing oriented, information criteria formed by the developers, not including the requirement to recognize the information sources.

What are the advantages of the Ad-hoc Reports?

Ad hoc reporting is agile enough to give out data in real-time. Also, elastic enough to please the requirements of both the technical and non-technical workers. This reporting solution usually is 100% web-based. The results in the data access and report construction being presented at the occasion and position the user wishes to use it for.

  1. Reduces the IT workload:

The ability to build their reports is given into the hands of all the users. Further, it reduces the workload of the IT and allows them to focus on higher-order matters while also taking care of the core-application value.

  1. Increases Data Discovery

Spontaneous ad hoc reporting stimulates data sharing amongst departments. It permits trend acknowledgment along with any possible pertinent correlations based on the instant ease of use of accurate data. 

  1. Facilitates timely Decision-Making:

Out of all the things that ad hoc reporting is, at its heart, it’s a decision-making tool. The Reports present a direct picture of the current state of the company through a very accurate optic i.e. sales, advertising, performance, and a variety of other trials. Structured into a format that can be divided and is easy to read. All workers can have the same resources and information required for swift action. 

Advantages of a Web-based Ad-hoc Reporting tool:

  1. Decision-making process– Self-service outcomes plus automatic delivery of data lets you facilitate sensible decision-making. Users get the information they require to answer significant questions whenever they want.
  2. Flexibility – Business needs to grow with time. Answers to varying business questions become more significant. It’s not practical to predict what questions and its solutions users may perhaps need in the upcoming future.
  3. Agility- Decision-making that is navigated by the facts and figures depends on defining troubles promptly and solving them in the same gasp. Rather than framing requests to the IT department and waiting on new-fangled reports, ad hoc reports should be designed and analyzed for insight as quickly as possible.
  4. Widely accessible– A BI solution, to be a useful tool, should be web-delivered and easy to get to with a browser. Keeping aside the offering of recognizable navigability, and safety measures, a Web-based BI solution is accessible from almost anywhere at any time and on any device via an Internet connection.
  5. Ad hoc reporting tools empower every user- Modern BI is all about data democratization. Self-service reporting satisfies workers at both ends of the realistic range. It means that it has an obligatory set of discerning features for the non-technical user, as well as a more superior set of tools for the power user.
AD Hoc Reporting

What features to look for in a Good Ad-hoc Reporting tool:

  1. Easy to use

If the reporting tool appears to be difficult and complex, then a lot of users are going to be pissed off and as result, user approval is going to suffer. For this motive, a few of the improved ad-hoc solutions accessible these days offer a fundamental set of spontaneous features that are wizard-driven and are going to look effortless even to the person who doesn’t have much knowledge of computer and at the same time also offering a superior set of tools for the user who feels secure and confident.

  1. Ad hoc reporting tools have to be robust: 

Assuming that acceptance is not a problem, the ad-hoc solution should suggest to end-users what they want to see, recognize and act according to their data. Apart from being a more technical version of Excel, it should also deliver interactive features like an ad-hoc dashboard, advanced categorization, and filtering, visualization tools like heat maps, charts, and graphs, etc.

  1. Ad hoc reporting tools have to be versatile: 

Users should have the choice to either build reports from scrape or transform existing reports. If a person’s precise question stems from an accessible report, they should be able to change that report the way they want if it helps to reply to the question. 

  1. Ad hoc reporting tools have to be flexible: 

Users should be able to discover the way through information on customizable charts, tables, and graphs in a combination of ways like the drill down or drill through features and people working on them be should be able to exhibit their data through prominent, engaging, and rich visualizations – like the charts, heat maps, scatter plots, etc.

  1. Ad hoc reporting tools have to be accessible: 

The BI solution needs to be entirely based on the web. Authorize users by letting them access the information and construct reports anywhere and anytime. As long as a gadget has the go internet connection, the ad hoc reporting isn’t just limited to the user’s computer.

  1. Ad hoc reporting tools have to be distributable: 

If it profits the user, it profits the team. If these automated reports are reusable, it permits you to share them with your team or the entire organization for additional communication, providing efficiency, and humanizing decision-making. More than that, a self-service BI solution should be mainly paying attention to the accomplishment of your enterprise reporting approach and goals. The usage and functions of ad hoc reporting should imitate that.

How are Canned Reports different from Ad Hoc Reports?

Canned reports are those reports that are concerned with a definite chronic set of interests. They are frequently formed by an analyst and shared with the users at weekly, monthly, or sometimes quarterly intervals. They refer to the ongoing activity and exhibit benchmarks that are considered crucial for the association of the department altogether.

And because these are shared with a large audience, they are extremely formatted and sophisticated. For example, a balance sheet. These reports are typically an association’s first stair into business intelligence. They are planned in a way to respond to universal, yet essential business questions. Their content is static because they are destined for a broad variety of users.

Users are incapable to modify a report’s elements or control the report’s content. This shows that if a user has a particular difficulty that is linked to the static report, he/she has to generate an ad-hoc report.

Microsoft Power BI as an Ad Hoc Reporting Solutions:

With this new facility, you can give power to your users to investigate and personalize visuals all inside the expenditure sight of a report.

This feature permits the users to achieve additional insights through the ad-hoc examination of visuals on a Power BI report.

Exploration scenarios consist of:

  • Change the image type
  • Switch out a measure or element
  • Adjoin or eradicate a legend
  • Judge against two or more actions.
  • Capture the changes.
  • Distribute the changes.
  • Reorganize the changes to an image.

Capabilities of the creator:

Personalize visuals trait is perfect for creators who wish to facilitate general investigation scenarios speedily and manage which areas can be used and which pages can be explored and tailored.

It includes:

  • Optical-level setting.
  • Scheming the areas using your insights.
  • Qualifying the characteristic to insert scenarios.

Data analysis in POWER BI through Ad hoc :

The ad-hoc analysis is a business report or analysis of data generated by the workers. It can be generated anytime for some business-related purpose. In business intelligence, Ad-hoc analysis sits in bare distinction with the reports that are managed and seen in the early days of company analytics, which were dependent heavily on the templates circulated by the IT department.

An ad-hoc analysis allows the user to decide on which information sources to pull from and how that information is going to be presented to everyone. One vital distinctive feature of the ad-hoc analysis is its skill to present entirely personalized analytics. Because of this reason, ad-hoc analysis can run the scale from an effortless information bench to very complicated thorough sales reports using dashboards and informative and engaging maps.

The bottom line is, you don’t even need to be a programming expert for ad-hoc analysis. For analysts, mostly performing and presenting ad-hoc analyzes, Power BI can make your everyday work quite easy. Effortless data analysis, quick and active calculations and giant visualization potential is going to save you a lot of time throughout while performing ad-hoc analyzes.

Are Ad hoc Reports easy to get to in the Power BI?

Whenever you spot ad-hoc somewhere, think of it as ‘on-the-go. Ad-hoc reporting is a part of business intelligence in which reports are formed and distributed on-the-go. More often than not by business intelligence users who are not technological friendly. These reports are a lot of times prepared with a solo explicit reason in mind. These reasons could be to make available the data for an approaching meeting or to respond to a particular question.

Underneath the ad-hoc sculpt, workers can make use of their reporting and examination results to respond to their commercial queries as the event demands. Not having to ask for help from a technology expert. The main characteristic of ad-hoc reporting is that it authorizes and personifies self-service BI in the majority of the companies.

Ad-hoc reports can be as uncomplicated as a single sheet data chart or as complex as interactive and engaging tabular reports. It can include drill-down and image features or deliver themselves in the way of dashboards, heat maps, or further much more advanced ways.

With these reports, all a methodological user does is work on the BI solution, make sure the information is encumbered and accessible to everyone, set safety parameters, and provide the workers their account logins. From this point on, genuine reports are made by the company’s users.

Ad hoc reporting stands in disparity with organized reporting, where the skilled user i.e. the report maker generates and shares the report. If the BI tool that you prefer supports ad-hoc reports, then it is going to be a big-time hoarder for your industrial report creators.

Power BI & Ad hoc

Power BI Pro also provides you on-the-spot access to reports for the study of its data. It allows you to assign desktops and acumen anywhere in the world with the right kind of people. The association also delivers elasticity since it works with primary working systems like Windows, iOS, and Android. Alerts will inform you if there is any update or change in the information, consequently, you can instantly analyze the most significant KPIs and take deliberate actions.


Power BI lets the workers make ad hoc e-commercial sales reports. The EPC Group is devoted to delivering modified IT results and supervision to business firms concerning the consumption and practice of Power BI consulting solutions and gears. The key function of Power BI is to assist the user association to execute diagnostic functions.

So, for extracting these unnecessary figures from the folder and facilitating the carrying out of Power BI by an association, the EPC Group also aids companies with IT support. These IT support packages comprise the procedure of enlightening the company’s workforce concerning the potential methods of data decontamination and conversion. The term ‘ Data Analytics’ is the procedure of analyzing a variety of sets of rare information with the motive of deriving significance from them.

Microsoft Gold Partner USA

What does the procedure consist?

This procedure consists of the use of numerous types of software. In easy words, this can be understood as a technical procedure of analyzing unprocessed information to remove significant information from it.

The data analytics gears aim at making use of several methods to be familiar with certain trends in industry-related data. Companies, later on, make use of this data for the principle of civilizing their method patterns and foretelling analysis for decision building. Although, you can still consider information analytic uses for ruling bottlenecks. The concept of Business Intelligence, on the other hand, suggests an assortment of exact methods for various business models that are used to change the raw facts into logical information using data discovery tools. Furthermore, associations can later make use of this converted information for the point of business expansion and creating extrapolative analytics models.

This is a commercial tool that assists business operations by making the resources available for appropriate decision-making. Besides, these tools also assemble evocative data into reports, graphs, or engaging charts depending on the type of trade of an organization. EPC Group strongly supports ad-hoc reporting because business intelligence can change information into insights that are actionable and can help out a lot of organizations into making planned commercial decisions.


Companies benefit a lot from ad-hoc reporting when it is given into the hands of their users. By allowing users to make their reports, you take away a load of report building from IT experts. It permits them to focus on other important things. It is a very useful feature in today’s time. No worries about creating reports even when something has happened that require the attention of all the experts. Even non-technical people can create ad-hoc reports.

Empowering users with ad hoc reporting abilities facilitates timely decision-making. Also, encourages teamwork and raises the possibility for insights and useful findings. Sometimes, some particular business queries don’t have to be replied to, instantly. Ad hoc analysis intends to lessen the time it needs to jump to a conclusion point by providing intuitions more hastily. Ad hoc analysis works the finest when it is managed by those who recognize its strengths and shortcomings. The key to this type of understanding is knowing business intelligence might be used to situate the stage for prognostic analytics. However, it’s merely one pace in a superior ride towards turning into an organization that is led by data.

If you empower your users into creating interactive and engaging reports that are also insightful, you are going to benefit a lot from it. Organizations that commend to a complicated BI plan that consists of investigative data analysis when suitable spends less time and money as well, get exponentially much more exact and functional data, and upholds a defined focus on their tactical business goals. These companies are the ones that flourish.

Errin OConnor

Errin OConnor

With over 25 years of experience in Information Technology and Management Consulting, Errin O’Connor has led hundreds of large-scale enterprise implementations from Business Intelligence, Power BI, Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, IT Security, Azure and Hybrid Cloud efforts for over 165 Fortune 500 companies.

Let's Get to Work Together!

Talk to our Microsoft Gold Certified Consultants