Modern ERP must provide Business Intelligence across the company. Sales needs to analyse turnover, gross profit and performance metrics.
Purchasers are interested in purchase volumes, vendors performance, purchase prices. Logistics/inventory managers need information on inventory turnover, inventory movement, & inventory value. Analysis reports are based on records of posted transactions, eg sales, purchases, transfers and inventory adjustments.
In a custom report, the data, derived from item ledger, can be combined, compared & presented in user-defined ways. Analysis reports are similar to PivotTable reports.
You can create a report that focuses on accounts for total turnover in amounts & quantities, GP & GM % during the month, and have it compare those figures with the results from previous months or same month last year, & calculate deviations. In one view you can navigate to the root cause of problem areas by choosing drop-down buttons to access details at the individual transaction level.
Reports have objects that need analysis, ie. customers, sales people etc. represented as lines, and the analysis parameters, that is, the way you want to analyse the object, represented as columns, such as profit calculations, periodic comparisons of sales or actual & budgeted figures.