How to make JIRA the single source for business reports


Posted by
Stefanie Chernow

August 10, 2017

The following is a guest blog written by Levente Szabo, the Digital Marketing Manager at Midori. Midori is a Marketplace vendor that builds add-ons to enhance Atlassian JIRA, Confluence and Bitbucket with additional features.


 

If you look “under the hood” of an enterprise business operation, you’ll find a vast number of information systems, intertwined sometimes to extreme complexity. JIRA is often the centrepiece of this environment, managing business workflows that are distributed among multiple systems and integrating separate data sources. However, unless this integration is seamless, incomplete, inconsistent or inaccurate data (a.k.a “dirty data“) can ruin this theoretically ideal, centralised operation. Introducing the right add-ons to JIRA speeds up transactions between systems and saves your organisation the financial cost and added risk of “dirty data”, while making JIRA the single source of truth for business reports.

Avoid “dirty data”

In one way or another, every company is data-driven to some extent. Be it the marketing or the finance department, HR or customer support, companies are collecting data at breakneck velocity and storing it in dedicated systems. JIRA, as a central workplace for teams, is the most useful if it can utilise this ocean of data. When Procurement queries the list of newly approved suppliers, they need to be fully confident that the information in JIRA is consistent and accurate. Without the ability to simply query a reliable database, they would need to first ask for the data from other departments and then find some ways to obtain it. Only after that could they input the data into their own JIRA, unnecessarily recreating every entry. And this behaviour is the hot bed of “dirty data”; according to research, duplicating data is one of the main ways how corrupt information gets injected into systems.

The above is just one example, yet  there are many ways bad data can present itself:

  • Missing data: information is expected, but its fields are empty
  • Wrong or inaccurate data: information is there, but it has either become obsolete or otherwise incorrect, or hasn’t been entered correctly in the first place
  • Inappropriate data: information is there, but it belongs to another field, or doesn’t belong there at all and has been entered due to misunderstanding
  • Non-conforming data: inputted data hasn’t been normalised or cleared to fit the standards or formatting requirements of the containing system
  • Duplicate data: a single Account, Contact, Lead, etc. that exists as more than one record in the database
  • Poor data entry: misspells, typos, transpositions, and variations in spelling, naming or formatting

Letting management make decisions based on reports from flawed data can cause direct harm to your business. Poor quality data and unprofessional management practices already can cost enterprises 15-25% of their operating income.

nfeedxports

Integrate information from external systems to JIRA

nFeed is a popular JIRA add-on that queries data from any external database or webservice. This way nFeed protects JIRA users from making errors when using data from these outsider systems.They just declare the data source for nFeed, configure how custom fields should display the values – this allows for a higher level of confidence that the reports are accurate. It creates a seamless and transparent user experience, as users can work with data that comes from various sources just as easily as they would work with any local JIRA data.

Generate Excel reports from nFeed data and more

nfeed-blog

Paired with Better Excel Plugin, a highly customisable Excel exporter add-on for JIRA, you can use any JIRA data, combined with your nFeed based values to build instant pivot reports. It means that your project status reports, sales reports, employee performance reports, etc. will always source the most current and reliable data available. The various information not only gets exported into a native Excel spreadsheet but it can be smartly processed by native Excel features (Excel functions, formulas, pivot tables, charts, Visual Basic macros), to calculate the metrics you need. Including data from other plugins, like Tempo Accounts or Zephyr Test Execution makes your reports even more comprehensive.

The best way to understand how this integration boosts your reporting is to see it yourself in action:

Already have tried this integration? Tell your experience in the comments below!