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Ad hoc analysis: a tool for quick decisions

What is an ad hoc analysis?

Ad hoc analysis is a needs-based evaluation of company data in order to answer specific questions that are not covered by standard reports.

Its purpose is to help you make informed decisions in a timely manner.

Difference to standard reports

In contrast to a standard report, which provides routine, recurring evaluations, the ad hoc analysis is flexible and situation-specific. It answers specific questions that go beyond the scope of a standard report and thus provides decision-relevant information.

Significance for companies

Ad-hoc analyses are an essential tool for you to react quickly to changing situations. They allow you to delve deeper into the data and identify patterns, trends and deviations that could be overlooked in standard reports. This enables fast, well-founded decisions to be made on the basis of data.

The relevance of ad hoc analyses

In dynamic business environments, the ability to react quickly to new situations and challenges is crucial.

This is where ad hoc analyses come into play. They address the problem of promptly answering specific, often unforeseen questions that cannot be covered by standardized reports.

Situational application

A typical example is an unexpected sales fluctuation. Standard reports show the deviation, but the cause remains unclear. Ad hoc analyses make it possible to delve deeper into the data, identify patterns and provide answers that support decision-making.

Application examples in various areas of the company

  • Ad hoc analyses are valuable in many areas of a company.
  • In marketing, they can help to understand the impact of specific campaigns.
  • In the finance department, they can help to identify unusual spending patterns.
  • In sales, they can be used to explain sudden changes in sales figures.
  • The possibilities are manifold and demonstrate the necessity and relevance of ad hoc analyses in the modern business environment.

Carrying out an ad hoc analysis

The process begins with the formulation of a specific question. This is followed by the search and data analysis of relevant data. The conclusion of the process is the interpretation of the results and the decision-making process based on them.

IT and technology

IT and modern technologies play a key role in ad hoc analysis. Tools such as Google Analytics, OLAP databases and big data technologies enable the rapid processing and analysis of large volumes of data.

Use of data sources and big data

Access to relevant data sources is essential for an ad hoc analysis. Big data often comes into play here, as it provides access to extensive, diverse information. These data sources can then be used to answer the specific question.

Ad hoc analysis and standard reporting


While standardized reports provide regular, ready-made reports that help monitor overall business performance, ad hoc analysis is more flexible and aims to answer specific, one-off questions.


Both forms complement each other: while standardized reports continuously provide general business data, ad hoc analysis enables deeper insights when required.

Deviations in standardized reports can be the reason for an ad hoc analysis.

Both contribute to well-founded decisions in the company.

Ad-hoc reporting tools:

Ad-hoc reporting with Qlik, OLAP databases and Google Analytics

Various tools, including Qlik, OLAP databases and Google Analytics, are valuable resources when performing ad hoc data analysis. While OLAP databases offer the ability to perform multidimensional analyses of large amounts of data, Google Analytics offers specialized web data analyses. At the center of these tools is Qlik, a powerful data visualization and discovery application that provides an intuitive interface for ad hoc reporting and analysis.

Practical example: Ad hoc analysis in use

Case study:

Suppose a company notices sudden deviations in sales.

Standard reports can show the deviation, but the cause remains unclear.

An ad hoc report is carried out to investigate the sudden drop in sales.

Challenges, solutions and results

The challenge is to sift through the data and recognize patterns.

With the help of ad hoc analysis tools, a deeper examination of the sales data is carried out.

It turns out that the decline in sales is attributable to a specific product line. With these findings, the company can now take targeted measures to address the problem.

Conclusion: The power of ad hoc analysis

Ad-hoc reporting plays an important role in deciphering unexpected business events and phenomena. The ability to respond to individual, situational questions and thus gain insights that go beyond the limits of standardized reporting is a decisive factor for your company's success.

Ad hoc analyses not only enable you to find precise answers to specific questions, but also open up new perspectives and provide actionable insights. They are a source of competitive advantage in a data-driven economy by enabling deeper insight and a better understanding of business dynamics.

A look into the future

In an increasingly networked world in which data volumes are constantly growing and business models are constantly changing, the importance of ad-hoc analysis will continue to grow.

The shift towards data-driven decision-making in companies is increasing the need for an analytics capability that can respond to specific business issues in a flexible, agile and timely manner.

In view of the technological advances that are constantly opening up new analysis possibilities and the increasing demands in the business world, it is likely that ad hoc analyses will become even more important in the future. This development underlines the need for you to establish a culture of data-driven decision making and to master the skills and tools for effective ad hoc analysis.

In summary, it can be said that ad hoc analyses are an essential component of successful business strategies today and in the future.

They provide the ability to make informed and timely decisions in a rapidly changing business world.

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