Those of you who know me know I love reports. Yeh, I’m weird like that, but I love the challenge of collecting and grouping data to visually display it in such a way that is beneficial or provides intelligence to the consumer. Some of you may know that I also do consulting for reporting. For a while now I’ve been stuck in a bit of an ‘unknown’ when it comes to how I generate reports for my business going forward. When ConnectWise purchased BrightGauge, I knew it was inevitable that it would likely be the future of reporting in the ConnectWise Product Suites. Since then, I’ve been pretty reluctant to put much effort in to making Automate reports. I actually reached out to BrightGauge directly and offered to help them make some great reports for Automate, but they didn’t have the capacity to properly share generic templated reports and they also wouldn’t provide me a BrightGauge environment to do it in. So I abandoned that idea.

If you pay close attention to the MSP space, you’ll know that for a few years now it has been in turmoil. Tools in generally haven’t adapted quickly enough to the changing needs for RMM etc, and people end up swapping one RMM for another for marginal benefit. I have been reluctant to do anything new in ANY platform when I am not sure where the future will land me (and subsequently my MSP). I also include reporting in this.

The platform that I know won’t be changing for our business any time soon is 365 and Azure. If anything, we will become more embedded in the future. This is why I’ve been more focussing on Power Bi. If you read my post on phasing out RMM specific scripts you’ll know that I have decided to start decentralising our reliance on individual components of RMM (like Automate’s scripting engine) and instead extrapolate the logic/code so the platform doesn’t matter, I just need to execute code and collect the return. I am starting to think how I can apply that approach outside of just scripting.

I’ve tied my Power Bi in to Automate and Manage datasets, and I have to say it is an absolutely fantastic tool. It’s the best report designer I have ever used and it actually works well. I think the future of my reports may well be in Power Bi. That way, regardless of what my tools are, I can still utilise the same reports if I ever change tools.

That’s why I was really pleased my attention was drawn to this article today:

This is exactly what I want people in our space to start doing, providing templates that can be imported in to Power Bi that I can then modify and customise to my heart’s content. It’s great to see a company in the MSP space doing this. There’s so many reasons nowadays to be critical of MSP tools, but in this case Auvik have absolutely smashed it. The reports are well designed, they are interactive and they deliver clear, concise data. Well done, Auvik! It’s great to see someone thinking outside the box for a change. For any vendors who are reading this, PLEASE provide your reports like this.