Archive for the ‘Reporting Theory’ Category

Developing a BI Roadmap

January 6th, 2012 1 comment

I recently read this in another article and found this extract very useful so thought I’d note it down. It’s a guide to developing a BI roadmap and I find the diagram, the BI Ladder to Success, especially helpful for just showing the things I believe BI should supply. I don’t necessarily they should be a ladder as such as this implies one is dependent on the other, but if your company is very strong on Step 1 – Standard Reports, for example, then the other things further up the ladder become far easier. If standard reporting is weak you’ll find the other steps are still possible but are likely to be far more complex and time consuming.

This is the BI Ladder to Success and can be used when trying to evaluate where you are right now in your organisation and help guide to where you want to get to. If you are working in a business intelligence role it is definitely worth having annual or bi-annual reviews of your BI roadmap. Read more…

Report Design – turn data into information

The purpose of reports is to convey information. A report converts underlying data into information.

There are a number of things you need to consider when designing reports, all inter-related. One important thing that’s often overlooked is that your opinions, as the report designer/developer, don’t really matter. You won’t be using the report every day, it’s the consumers of the data that matter. One of the key skills is trying to find out what the report consumers actually want to see. Quite often you’ll find they don’t really know what they want to see, they’ll think they know but when it comes to it they actually only have half an idea. What questions is the report meant to answer? Read more…

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Report Design – Design Reports for the Audience

For reports to be used they have to be designed for the audience. When you design reports you need to think about the audience and the questions they are trying to answer. This will enable you to decide the best reporting software and the correct reporting level. I have delved into this subject in more depth in another post about turning data into information.

I picture reports as fitting into 1 of 4 possible levels. This isn’t a rigid structure and these levels are related but for me it’s a good starting point and helps me choose the best software to use. Read more…