In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most popular tools and solutions that can be used for automating your PowerPoint presentation creation - ranging from third-party plugins and APIs to writing custom Python code.
PowerPoint presentations are used to convey important information in a way that is visually appealing and easy to understand. However, creating these slides can be a time-consuming and tedious job, especially if you are tasked with populating the same deck time and time again! Fortunately, there are several automated PowerPoint generation tools and solutions available today that can help streamline the process.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most popular tools and solutions that can be used for automating your PowerPoint presentation creation - ranging from third-party plugins and APIs to writing custom Python code. We’ll also take a deep dive into each option, discussing its benefits and drawbacks as well as tips for choosing the right tool or solution for your needs. So let's get started!
Simply put, automated PowerPoint generation is a process by which users can quickly and easily create appealing presentations without having to manually adjust every element or input data.
Automating this process generally requires the use of tools or solutions that allow users to programmatically generate slides based on various parameters or inputs.
There are many use cases for automating PowerPoint production, including populating regular KPI reports, internal management decks, external customer reports and repeatable market research reports.
The benefits of automating PowerPoint reporting include:
Full data automation tools from third parties allow users to easily and quickly automate their PowerPoint generation process without having to write code. Typically, these tools come with a point-and-click interface that allows users to quickly integrate data sources and templates into their presentations.
Report design tools from third-party companies provide a platform for building custom reports more efficiently. These tools usually come with an intuitive graphical designer that allows users to visually create their presentation slides using widgets and objects such as charts, images, text boxes or shapes. Examples include Canva, Ludus, and Slidebean.
Plugins for PowerPoint allow users to add additional features and functionality to their existing Microsoft Office applications. These plugins can make it easier to automate certain aspects of the presentation creation process, such as inserting data or creating slides based on templates.
APIs provide a way for developers to connect with different services and access their functionalities programmatically. This makes it possible for users to create custom scripts that interact with these services and generate automated presentations using specific parameters or input data. If you are a developer looking to automate PowerPoint production, check out our PowerPoint Generator API, powered by Indico Labs.
Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is a programming language used by many applications, including PowerPoint. It is possible to use VBA to automate certain tasks in PowerPoint and create custom scripts for generating presentations from specific data sources.
Python is a very popular programming language that can be used to programmatically generate PowerPoint slides using the power of the open-source libraries available for the language. It is possible to write custom scripts that automatically generate presentations based on user-defined input or parameters.
Although it is becoming more common to have Python experts in-house, to make the most of using Python for PowerPoint automation, you will most likely still benefit from speaking to one of our experts. Book a free consultation with one of our report automation specialists, with years of experience developing Python libraries for PowerPoint manipulation.
When it comes to choosing the best tool or solution for automating PowerPoint reports, there are a few key things you should keep in mind.
- First, consider your technical abilities and the amount of time you have available to set up and configure a tool or system for automated report generation. If you're not confident with coding and/or don't have much free time, then you will need to look for an extremely user-friendly tool or outsource solution.
- Secondly, think about what kind of data sources you will be working with - some solutions may work better with certain formats than others.
- Thirdly, always check out pricing plans if budget is an issue; many tools offer different tiers of service at different costs.
- Finally, compare the features of the various tools available to you - some may offer more advanced customization options than others, or be better at handling large data sets.
If you aren't sure where to start, check out our beginner's guide to Automated PowerPoint Generation, including a free download to help you outline a brief and answer some of these important questions.
Overall, there are many ways to automate PowerPoint reporting, and they can vairy dramatically in terms of skills required and cost involved. It is also unlikely that you will find one solution that solves each and every need - but that shouldn’t deter you from exploring your options. The benefits of PowerPoint report automation can be huge!
If you aren’t sure where to start, we’ve developed a range of resources for you, including an automation brief template and a report audit template to help you identify the best solution for your business.
You can also book a free consultation with one of our report automation specialists using the form below: