When it comes to data reporting in the world of running Tmall stores, everyone is still living in 1999: Putting together Excel or Powerpoint reports manually. We are no exception. These reports are time consuming for us to prepare and difficult for our clients to view.
The worst part is that something as simple as this is one of the largest obstacles blocking progress in growing a store.
That’s why we’re moving our reporting to PowerBI, a Microsoft Business Intelligence software, and away from manual Excel and Powerpoint reports. This is a long overdue solution that our clients needed.
Here’s what that looks like:
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What Tmall reporting looks like today:
Excel and Powerpoint files are being passed around by email. These are prone to error and take a long time to prepare.
There are both technical and administrative limitations that prevent people from using any of the BI software available on the market.
  • There are very few Tmall analytics apps that can give a birds-eye view of the entire store. You’ll need to visit a few different apps to see all the crucial data points.
  • None of them provide APIs for fully automating reports. You might get a small subset of APIs, but not enough to get an overall view of your store.
  • None of these analytics apps are in English, so it’s very difficult for non Chinese speakers to access, especially because of a complicated user interface.
  • Business logic in Tmall is quite different from what most Westerners have in mind. That makes direct translations from Tmall analytics apps very confusing.
To overcome these limitations, most of the industry consolidates data from various sources through manually collecting them into Excel or Powerpoint files.
Time for Change
We saw a real need for change. We can’t solve all the limitations, but we can solve enough to make the reporting clear and time efficient… both for us and for our clients.
We’ve standardized our reports and made the data always available from a single location: Microsoft PowerBI. The data is as secure as Microsoft’s cloud services.
Everything’s available in English. We’ve turned reports into dashboards where you can get a clear bird’s eye view of a store’s performance. The data points that really matter are all visualized in simple charts.
But we didn’t rob users the flexibility to go analyze the granular data points. All the raw data is available for download as excel exports.
Our goal is to help brands succeed. We want this to help our team direct as much time as possible to building each brand’s ecommerce success.