What Are Drill Down Reports?

numbers on reportHave you ever wanted to know the “numbers behind the numbers”? That’s what drill down reporting is all about. Reports and dashboards with drill down capabilities let you click on a number and see the details behind that number. You could also think of this process as unrolling the numbers that were “rolled up” when the report was created.

For example, you may have a report that shows you a total amount for change orders on a project. By clicking on the change orders line item, you can drill down to find out there were actually 10 change orders. You may want to continue to drill into the data to find the details of each change order.

Another example would be a revenue by state report. If you have offices and/or projects in several different states you want to select a state and drill down to see the details behind your total revenue in each state. Depending on the nature of your business, you may want to see revenue by county. You may want to see a breakdown by department or project type.

As you can see, these types of reports can save you a lot of time. Without drill down capabilities, you are forced to run a new report whenever you want a new level of detail. Some construction companies resort to always running the most detailed reports available, just in case they need the data. This also wastes time and resources.

Drill down reports can also help confirm or deny that feeling you may get that a number just doesn’t seem right. Most managers and supervisors working on a project have an idea in the back of their minds of what the numbers should be. Giving them the ability to check the numbers behind the number can help them to quickly spot duplicate entries, omissions, or other bookkeeping errors.

Now that you have a better idea of what drill down reporting is all about, it’s time to do two things. First, research the drill down capabilities of your current construction management software. If your software doesn’t give you the ability to see the numbers behind the numbers, chances are you are wasting time and energy getting the information you need to make good business decisions. Depending on your software, you may be able to add on a reporting module to get the information you need.

Second, if your software does contain drill down capabilities, make sure you are taking advantage of them. Software tools today are so powerful that we often don’t take advantage of everything they offer. Make sure you are not doing extra work to get the decision making information that you need.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the reporting capabilities of your software.