SAN FRANCISCO – New from Cantaloupe Systems is Seed Spotlight, a report writer that enables Seed Office users to build, run and share customized reports about any part of their businesses. Seed Spotlight requires no database expertise to use.
Seed Spotlight will be automatically available at no additional charge for Seed Office operators, as part of the monthly release of Seed Cloud that will roll out next week.
To build a report, users answer one question and add columns by using a search-engine interface. Columns can be rearranged, renamed and modified to fit the unique needs of each operation. Prebuilt reports, for common tasks like financial statements, provide out-of-the-box reporting and serve as examples that users can copy and modify to suit their needs.
Seed Spotlight provides comprehensive data about sales, warehouse, service tickets, product cost, commissions, taxes, assets, customers, products and more. Operators can also add their own data using Spotlight's custom fields, making it easy to extend reports with operator-specific requirements like specialized accounting codes.
Most reports finish in just a few seconds, compared with minutes or even hours with traditional server-based VMS reporting, according to Cantaloupe. Results can also be exported to Excel for further analysis.
"Our customers run data-driven businesses. At any moment, they want to know what's selling and what's not. They rely on data to make decisions," said Cantaloupe Systems cofounder Anant Agrawal. "Every customer has different reporting requirements, so 'canned reports' aren't enough. Now with Seed Spotlight, operators can easily create custom reports on the fly, save them for later, or share them with coworkers."
Cantaloupe emphasized that with Seed Spotlight, operators can avoid the pitfalls of building their own custom reporting software.
Terry Rinck, a Cantaloupe Systems implementation consultant, said he has experienced such pitfalls firsthand. Rinck was once responsible for managing a large multi-branch vending company for a custom data warehouse that it had built. "It was okay initially, but we couldn't upgrade our VMS because it would break our reports, and we had to keep an expensive database developer on retainer," he recalled. "If we'd had Seed Spotlight, we'd never have built our own system, and we'd have saved a ton of money."