Less Is More: How to Eliminate Report S

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In today's fast-paced business world, having instant access to reliable and accurate data is essential for making informed decisions. However, finding the right information can be daunting, especially when it's buried under a mountain of reports and dashboards from various systems.

Less Is More

Adopting the principle of "less is more" to reduce report duplication and unused or outdated reports can empower organizations to make data-driven decisions with greater accuracy and speed, giving them a competitive edge. On the other hand, an overwhelming abundance of unorganized and unverified analytical assets can hinder access to the information needed, exacerbating confusion and complexity.

Like many organizations, Illumina, a global biotech company, faced these same issues. In a recent ZenOptics webinar, Obay Mouradi, Illumina's senior manager of Data Informatics, discussed their strategic approach to resolving the analytics challenges their organization faced, which largely resulted from report clutter and reporting sprawl. Illumina also shared how they simplified access to trusted reports and dashboards with ZenOptics Analytics Hub.

“[We] are a global company with several sites around [the world] in all different kinds of time zones in Europe, Asia, and North America,” said Mouradi. “We're hyper-decentralized in terms of our analytics,” said Mouradi. “[There are over] 100 people building Tableau reports across 50 different areas of the business. So there's this concept of, ‘Do I know what my neighbor's doing?’”

As a result, employees who needed information had difficulty finding and trusting the reports, dashboards, and visualizations available. Mouradi also said that his organization experienced challenges associated with siloed reporting.

“That's something we've definitely experienced,” he said. “Even our executive leadership sometimes [had] to shoot out many emails to try to get the data they need. And those emails get forwarded and forwarded and forwarded, which leads to a lot of [inefficiencies]. And when you do get the data, how do you know you can trust it?”

From Thousands to Hundreds of Certified Reports

Mouradi said that ZenOptics Analytics Hub provided Illumina with a single interface and capabilities that helped them streamline their reporting environment by eliminating outdated or unneeded reports and centralizing trusted reports and dashboards to simplify discovery and access for users.

Mouradi stated that before working with ZenOptics, they developed a Center of Excellence (COE) to break down organizational information silos. He mentioned that one of the COE's main goals was to integrate data from many platforms and business functions into one place. Users can categorize reports, browse them by business function, and quickly find certified key reports. He went on to say that this entailed creating a methodology and standardizing it globally.

“So that way, we can get the best information,” Mouradi said.

Aside from centralization, Mouradi said that automation was just as crucial. “When people add new reports, it's a huge problem for us to try to sustain a catalog,” he said.

He said that ZenOptics gave them the centralization and automation they needed to identify and sunset the duplicate or unneeded reports in their source systems, which made it easier for users to find the information they required to make decisions. According to Mouradi, the feedback from their employees and leadership has been overwhelmingly positive, with one VP calling it a "dream come true."

Mouradi went on to say that the ZenOptics software implementation and customer success teams assisted the Illumina team with guidance and best practices to reduce report clutter, thereby only retaining critical reports that executives most cared about and that supported business goals.

“Leaders can get to the information they need in a much more efficient way [through the use of ZenOptics Analytics Hub] rather than just emailing a whole bunch of people. trying to just dig around, or having 100 bookmarks,” Mouradi said.

By centralizing analytics and automating catalog maintenance, Illumina reduced the number of reports from thousands to hundreds. This ensured key reports were easily accessible and in line with their business needs and objectives.


Report clutter and tool sprawl are major obstacles to finding reliable information quickly for organizations across all industries. An analytics hub that eliminates clutter and simplifies access to trusted reports and dashboards can address these challenges.

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ZenOptics offers an analytics hub platform that helps organizations achieve the full potential of their analytics assets and the people using them.

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Published February 15, 2023
About The Author

An experienced content strategist and editor, Julie Langenkamp specializes in thought leadership and prescriptive research in the data and analytics industry. Julie has delivered various types of content across print and digital distribution channels in corporate/startup marketing, analyst and advisory services, and traditional publishing environments. She is passionate about business data enablement and data culture and believes organizations need to focus on the experience of their data and analytics consumers (knowledge workers) to drive business objectives.

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