Business Intelligence

Ad-Hoc Querying: Empowering Organizations for On-Demand BI

January 5, 2024

The demand for quick and insightful decision-making has become paramount in the ever-evolving business intelligence landscape. Traditional reporting methods often fail to provide the agility to respond to dynamic business scenarios. Enter ad-hoc reports querying—an indispensable tool that empowers organizations to generate on-demand business intelligence (BI) and gain a competitive edge.

Gaining insight into Ad-Hoc Querying

Ad-hoc querying refers to creating spontaneous, custom reports and analyses on the fly without predefined templates or structured queries. It allows users to explore and extract insights from their data in real-time, fostering a culture of data-driven decision-making.

An ad-hoc report is a flexible and user-defined report generated on the spot to address specific business questions or concerns. Unlike predefined reports, ad hoc reports provide the freedom to customize data parameters, filters, and visualizations, ensuring that the information presented is directly relevant to the user’s immediate needs.

Empowering Higher Management

For higher management, time is of the essence. Ad-hoc querying allows executives to access critical information swiftly and make informed decisions without being bound by rigid reporting structures. Chief People Officers (CPOs) can utilize ad hoc reports to analyze workforce trends, employee performance metrics, and training effectiveness, enabling them to strategize for talent development and retention.

Managing Directors and Country Managers

Managing Directors and Country Managers need real-time insights to steer their organizations in the right direction. Ad-hoc querying equips them to delve into market trends, analyze regional performance, and adjust strategies on the fly. Country Managers overseeing operations in different regions can use ad hoc reports examples to compare sales figures, assess market dynamics, and identify growth opportunities unique to each location.

The Power of Ad-Hoc Analysis

The ad-hoc analysis is a critical component of ad-hoc querying, providing users with the tools to dig deeper into their data. This process involves the exploration of datasets intuitively and interactively, allowing for a more profound understanding of trends, anomalies, and outliers.

Types of Ad Hoc Reports

Ad-hoc reports are dynamic, user-generated reports that provide flexibility and customization, allowing individuals to extract specific insights from their data in real time. These reports are not predefined and can be created on the fly to address specific business questions. Here are three primary types of ad hoc reports, each serving a distinct purpose within an organization:

Operational Ad-Hoc Reports

According to a survey, 72% of organizations leverage operational ad-hoc reports to streamline day-to-day processes and enhance operational efficiency. Operational ad-hoc reports address daily operational queries and support routine business activities.


  • Inventory Status Reports: Provide real-time information on the current stock levels of products, helping in inventory management and order fulfillment.
  • Order Fulfillment Analyses: Assess the efficiency of order processing, shipment, and delivery, identifying bottlenecks or areas for improvement.
  • Production Efficiency Reports: Analyze production metrics to ensure optimal utilization of resources and identify opportunities for process optimization.

Operational ad hoc reports are crucial for maintaining the smooth functioning of business processes, ensuring that operational teams have the information needed to make timely and informed decisions.

Tactical Ad-Hoc Reports

A report indicates that 58% of mid-level managers rely on tactical ad-hoc reports to make informed decisions about departmental strategies and resource allocation. Tactical ad-hoc reports are aimed at middle management, providing insights to support tactical decision-making and optimize departmental performance.


  • Sales Forecasts: Analyze historical sales data to predict future sales trends, helping in strategic planning and resource allocation.
  • Marketing Campaign Analyses: Evaluate the effectiveness of marketing campaigns by assessing key performance indicators (KPIs) such as conversion rates and customer engagement.
  • Budget vs. Actual Spending Reports: Compare budgeted expenses with actual spending to ensure financial accountability and identify areas for cost savings.

Tactical ad hoc reports empower middle management to make informed decisions that align with broader organizational goals, contributing to overall efficiency and effectiveness.

Strategic Ad-Hoc Reports

In a recent study, 80% of CEOs consider strategic ad-hoc reports instrumental in long-term planning and decision-making for business expansion. Strategic ad-hoc reports are tailored for higher management, supporting long-term strategic planning and decision-making.


  • Market Trend Analyses: Examine market trends and industry developments to identify opportunities and threats, guiding strategic business directions.
  • Competitor Performance Reports: Evaluate competitors’ performance in the market, informing strategies for market positioning and differentiation.
  • Business Expansion Feasibility Studies: Analyze data related to potential expansion opportunities, including market demand, regulatory environments, and competitive landscapes.

Strategic ad hoc reports give executives the insights to shape the organization’s future direction, make informed investments, and capitalize on emerging trends.

Ad-Hoc Reporting Software and Tools

Regarding ad-hoc reporting, several ad hoc reporting software solutions stand out in the business intelligence landscape. These platforms offer a range of features designed to empower users to create on-demand reports and analyses. Here are some notable ad hoc reporting tools and software:

Microsoft Power BI

  • Microsoft Power BI is a robust business analytics tool that facilitates ad-hoc reporting with intuitive drag-and-drop functionality.
  • Features real-time data connectivity, a user-friendly interface, and seamless integration with other Microsoft products.


  • Tableau is renowned for its data visualization capabilities and ad-hoc reporting features.
  • It offers a wide range of visualization options, advanced filtering, and the ability to connect to various data sources.


  • Looker is a data exploration and business intelligence platform that supports ad-hoc analysis.
  • Provides a centralized platform for creating and sharing reports with features like data drill-down and exploration.


  • Sisense is a business intelligence platform that enables users to create ad hoc reports through drag-and-drop functionality.
  • Known for its data integration capabilities and support for large datasets.

QlikView/Qlik Sense

  • Qlik’s products, QlikView and Qlik Sense, are powerful tools for ad-hoc reporting and analysis.
  • Utilizes associative data modeling for seamless data exploration and discovery.

IBM Cognos Analytics

  • IBM Cognos Analytics offers a comprehensive solution for ad-hoc reporting, allowing users to create personalized reports and dashboards.
  • Features AI-driven insights and robust collaboration capabilities.


  • Domo is a cloud-based business intelligence platform that supports ad-hoc reporting and real-time data visualization.
  • Provides a user-friendly interface and mobile accessibility.

Yellowfin BI

  • Yellowfin BI is known for its intuitive interface and collaboration features, making ad-hoc reporting accessible to many users.
  • Offers mobile and web-based reporting capabilities.

Google Data Studio

  • Google Data Studio is a free, cloud-based tool that enables users to create interactive and shareable ad hoc reports.
  • Integrates seamlessly with other Google products and supports real-time data.


  • MicroStrategy is a comprehensive business intelligence platform that supports ad-hoc querying and reporting.
  • Known for its scalability, mobile accessibility, and robust security features.

SAS Visual Analytics

  • SAS Visual Analytics provides tools for ad-hoc reporting and exploration of large datasets.
  • Offers advanced ad hoc analytics capabilities alongside reporting features.

Zoho Analytics

  • Zoho Analytics is a user-friendly tool that supports ad-hoc reporting and allows for easy customization of reports.
  • Suitable for small to medium-sized businesses with a focus on simplicity and accessibility.

When choosing an ad-hoc reporting tool or software for your organization, consider factors such as the user interface, integration capabilities, customization options, and scalability. Each of these solutions brings its strengths to the table, catering to the diverse needs of businesses seeking to empower their teams with on-demand business intelligence.

Real-Time Examples of Ad-Hoc Querying

Swift Decision-Making

According to the HR Trends Report, 65% of Chief People Officers utilize ad-hoc reports to analyze workforce trends, talent development, and employee satisfaction.

Imagine a CEO receiving a sudden request for a board meeting, where they need to present the company’s performance in the last quarter. Using ad-hoc querying, the CEO quickly accesses real-time financial data, customizing reports on revenue, expenses, and profit margins. This on-the-fly analysis empowers the CEO to promptly address specific concerns raised during the meeting.

Workforce Trends

A survey by the Marketing Insights Association found that 74% of marketing managers rely on ad-hoc reports for real-time analysis of campaign performance, audience engagement, and ROI.

A Chief People Officer notices a sudden spike in employee turnover. Concerned about potential organizational issues, the CPO uses ad-hoc querying to delve into HR data. By generating customized reports on employee satisfaction surveys, training completion rates, and performance evaluations, the CPO identifies key areas of concern and takes proactive measures to retain top talent.

Regional Performance Assessment

A Managing Director overseeing operations in multiple countries needs to evaluate the success of a recent product launch. By employing ad-hoc querying, the MD analyzes sales data specific to the product, comparing performance across different regions. This allows the MD to identify which regions have embraced the new product, enabling targeted marketing efforts and resource allocation.

Market Dynamics Exploration

A Country Manager faces increased competition in the market and needs to understand shifting consumer preferences. Using ad-hoc querying, the manager extracts real-time data on market trends, consumer behavior, and competitor performance. Armed with these insights, the Country Manager adjusts pricing strategies and marketing campaigns to stay competitive in the rapidly changing market landscape.

Inventory Management

The head of operations receives an alert about a sudden increase in backorders. To address this issue promptly, the operations manager uses ad-hoc querying to assess current inventory levels, production rates, and order fulfillment data. By customizing operational ad hoc reports, the manager identifies bottlenecks in the supply chain and implements corrective measures to avoid potential disruptions.

Marketing Campaign Optimization

The marketing manager needs to optimize a campaign that is not yielding the expected results. Utilizing ad-hoc querying, the manager examines data related to customer engagement, conversion rates, and campaign expenses. By customizing tactical ad-hoc reports, the manager identifies underperforming channels and reallocates resources to channels that demonstrate higher effectiveness, ensuring a better return on investment.

Strategic Ad Hoc Reports 

A CEO is considering expanding the company’s operations into a new geographic region. Using ad-hoc querying, the CEO conducts a strategic feasibility study by analyzing market trends, regulatory landscapes, and potential competitors. Customized ad hoc reports provide a comprehensive view, guiding the CEO in making an informed decision about the viability and potential success of the expansion.

How can Brickclay Help?

Brickclay, as a business intelligence services provider, can play a pivotal role in empowering organizations through effective ad-hoc querying. Here’s how Brickclay can help each persona within an organization leverage the benefits of on-demand business intelligence:

  • Swift Decision-Making Tools: Brickclay provides intuitive ad-hoc reporting tools with a user-friendly interface. This enables higher management to access critical data quickly and create custom reports on the fly.
  • Real-Time Data Integration: The platform ensures seamless integration with diverse data sources, guaranteeing that the information available to decision-makers is always up-to-date.
  • Employee Performance Analytics: Brickclay assists CPOs in analyzing workforce trends, employee engagement, and performance metrics through ad-hoc queries. This enables CPOs to make informed decisions about talent development and retention strategies.
  • Regional Performance Insights: Brickclay enables Managing Directors to assess regional performance through ad-hoc querying. Custom reports allow MDs to identify market trends, compare product performance, and make strategic decisions to optimize operations.
  • Product Launch Evaluation: MDs can use ad hoc reports to evaluate the success of product launches in different regions, helping them tailor marketing strategies for maximum impact.
  • Market Dynamics Exploration: Customized reports on market trends and consumer behavior empower Country Managers to adapt strategies to changing market dynamics.
  • Inventory Management Solutions: Brickclay supports operational ad hoc reports that enable efficient inventory management. This ensures optimal stock levels, reducing the risk of backorders and disruptions in the supply chain.
  • Production Efficiency Analysis: Custom reports assist in analyzing production efficiency, identifying areas for improvement, and optimizing operational processes.
  • Marketing Campaign Optimization: Brickclay aids marketing managers in optimizing campaigns through tactical ad-hoc reports. Marketers can adjust strategies, allocate budgets effectively, and maximize ROI by analyzing real-time data.
  • Customer Segmentation Reports: Customized reports help marketing teams identify and target specific customer segments, improving the precision of marketing efforts.
  • Strategic Planning: Brickclay provides tools for strategic ad hoc reports, aiding CEOs in conducting feasibility studies for expansion. Analyzing market trends, regulatory landscapes, and potential risks ensures well-informed strategic decisions.
  • Comprehensive Market Analyses: Customized reports offer CEOs a comprehensive view of the market landscape, helping them identify opportunities and potential challenges in their strategic planning.

In essence, Brickclay’s business intelligence services empower organizations by providing tailored solutions for ad-hoc querying, ensuring that each persona within the organization can leverage real-time insights to make informed and strategic decisions. The platform’s flexibility, user-friendly interface, and robust data integration capabilities make it a valuable asset for organizations seeking to thrive in a dynamic business environment.

Contact Brickclay today to unlock the power of on-demand business intelligence – let us elevate your decision-making with customized solutions tailored to your organization’s unique needs.

About Brickclay

Brickclay is a digital solutions provider that empowers businesses with data-driven strategies and innovative solutions. Our team of experts specializes in digital marketing, web design and development, big data and BI. We work with businesses of all sizes and industries to deliver customized, comprehensive solutions that help them achieve their goals.

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