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Reporting & Analytics

Framework / Domains / Understand Cloud Usage & Cost / Reporting & Analytics

Analyze cloud data and create reporting to gain insights into usage and spend patterns, identify opportunities for improvement, and support informed decision-making about cloud resources.

Access cloud data and contextual information

  • Define reporting and analytics scope, provide to Data Ingestion
  • Define reporting and analytics requirements, provide to FinOps Tools & Services
  • Define common terminology, taxonomy to be used in reporting
  • Identify internal and external data sources and access methods

Report on cloud

  • Conduct ad hoc reporting
  • Support investigative reporting
  • Produce Showback reporting
  • Create routine, formal, structured reporting for automation or communication

Support reporting and analytics needs across personas

  • Train all personas on appropriate training
  • Identify data sensitivity, inclusion guidelines by persona
  • Manage reporting documentation, support, and development
  • Distribute reports and analytic data to appropriate organizations, personas

Definition

Reporting & Analytics is the ability to gain insights into cloud data by creating reporting mechanisms to serve the needs of the organization’s various persona groups. Reporting can detail, highlight, summarize, categorize, and compare cloud data to support ad hoc reporting, showback, investigative reports or routine reporting used by the organization. This is one of the most important and critical of the FinOps capabilities, supporting almost every other Capability.

Note: The term reporting in this sense is inclusive of paper or electronic reports, and also dashboards, customized data feeds, or APIs of structured information created by an organization from its cloud data, metadata, operational, or other data gathered in the Data Ingestion capability.

Data analysis and reporting leverages data and metadata on cloud resources and resource hierarchies, to create a variety of reporting mechanisms for each persona, according to their needs. This work will typically focus on the cloud cost and usage data, but may also include reporting on cloud sustainability data, observability, or other related data. Much of the strategy for these metadata will be defined in the Allocation capability. The results from Reporting & Analytics will be provided specifically for Invoicing & Chargeback, Forecasting, Budgeting and all of the Capabilities in the Optimize Cloud Usage & Cost domain.

In many cases, organizations will rely upon the native cloud-provider tools to satisfy parts of this capability. In other cases, third party tools will provide functionality. Organizations should consistently work to maintain its reporting capabilities, in order to put information in the path of engineering, finance, procurement, and other teams supporting their duties.

Organizations will also need to establish and maintain over time the guidelines for reporting, including data sensitivity, common terminology (defined precisely) used in reporting, and ensuring that every persona has access to appropriate reporting data.

Maturity Assessment

Crawl

  • Use of canned reports with only basic ability to filter and alter result view
  • Reporting centered on high level cost groupings with limited granularity
  • Modifications to incoming billing data only supported via native cloud service offerings
  • Analytic results are being manually communicated to teams
  • Teams lean largely on the central FinOps team to find the answers to questions they have on the billing data

Walk

  • Reporting tools used enable custom views and aggregations
  • Granular reporting enabling KPI tracking and showback reporting
  • Data enrichment and business logic added to incoming billing datasets (e.g. synthetic tags, correcting values, combining other business datasets)
  • Forecasts and anomaly detection processes implemented upon the data
  • Dashboard reporting is provided centrally to teams
  • Teams are starting to self-service to reports and analytics tools to find answers to questions they have on the billing data

Run

  • Combining datasets into one source location (E.g. Using FOCUS)
  • Complex business logic and data enrichment is possible
  • Advanced forecast techniques including using ML models is adopted
  • Analytics results are pushed into dashboards and work queues used by Engineering teams (Data in the path)
  • Most—if not all—teams are finding value in self-service reporting and analytics

Functional Activities

FinOps Practitioner

As someone in the FinOps team role, I will…

  • Work with every group to determine the right metrics, measures and metadata that should be included in “official” output
  • Provide support to teams as they access reports in a self-service capacity
  • Develop the capability to enrich data and apply business logic to billing data
  • Provide the organization with billing data expertise

Engineering

As someone in an Engineering role, I will…

  • Actively include cost as a consideration when evaluating solution options and cloud services
  • Communicate with FinOps teams on the information that will best enable engineering with FinOps in mind
  • Learn and access reporting/dashboards provided by FinOps teams
  • Enable FinOps teams to put data into existing dashboards and work queues to lower the effort needed by engineers
  • Set achievable cost objectives for my teams, meet KPIs that are meaningful to my business partners
  • Manage development cycles in the context of both producing business capabilities and implementing optimizations

Finance

As someone in a Finance role, I will…

  • Work to provide guidance on my reporting and data analytics use cases to the FinOps team, how that data should be presented and represented, sorted, summarized and delivered
  • Work to use the data analytics and reporting capabilities provided by the FinOps team in the performance of my job
  • Collaborate with the Finops team to determine the appropriate way to represent cost information to all other personas

Procurement

As someone in a Procurement role, I will…

  • Work to provide guidance on my reporting and data analytics use cases to the FinOps team, how that data should be presented and represented, sorted, summarized and delivered
  • Work to use the data analytics and reporting capabilities provided by the FinOps team in the performance of my job
  • Collaborate with the FinOps team to determine appropriate ways to represent cost and other data related to data sensitivity and sharing

Product

As someone in a Product role, I will…

  • Work to provide guidance on my reporting and data analytics use cases to the FinOps team, how that data should be presented and represented, sorted, summarized and delivered
  • Work to use the data analytics and reporting capabilities provided by the FinOps team in the performance of my job

Leadership

As someone in a Leadership role, I will…

  • Work to provide guidance on my reporting and data analytics use cases to the FinOps team, how that data should be presented and represented, sorted, summarized and delivered
  • Work to use the data analytics and reporting capabilities provided by the FinOps team in the performance of my job
  • Work with other personas to specify the type of reporting and data analytics which should be used and relied upon from this Capability

Allied Personas

As someone in an Allied Persona role, I will…

  • Work to provide guidance on my reporting and data analytics use cases to the FinOps team, how that data should be presented and represented, sorted, summarized and delivered
  • Work to use the data analytics and reporting capabilities provided by the FinOps team in the performance of my job

Measures of Success & KPIs

  • Overall Tagging Compliance is greater than 90%
  • Context relevant cloud cost reporting data available to al Core Personas
  • Architecting products and services to support publishing information related to their unit economics
  • FinOps team can define desired level of commitment coverage vs. utilization
  • Self-service reporting and ability for ad hoc analysis about anomalies, utilization, cost outliers, budgets and forecast variances available to all Core Personas
  • Reduced investigative time for analysis of cloud usage and cost reporting questions
  • Increase in awareness and accountability for cloud spend across all Core Personas

Inputs & Outputs

Inputs

  • Detailed cloud billing and usage data
  • Service specific API for gathering utilization data and rate optimization data
  • Business intelligence and data visualization tools
  • Cost allocation metadata aligned with company cost center/department hierarchy
  • Cost allocation model for shared services
  • Defined tagging standards and strategy
  • Data from Allied Personas from their discipline to supplement FinOps reporting and analysis

Outputs

  • Forecasts with variance thresholds
  • Allocated and unallocated resources coverage reports
  • Rate optimization threshold reports for commitment coverage and vacancy rates
  • Resource utilization reports include system attribute benchmarks (such as CPU, Memory, Storage)
  • Context specific cost and usage reports curated by Persona role/responsibility
  • Data exports that can be utilized by Allied Personas within their discipline activities
  • A centralized FinOps repository of data and reporting tool as the source of truth