Reporting and business intelligence is simply awesome.  I don’t care who you are; someone shown a nice report will be impressed/intrigued.  Yes, that’s an indrect challenge, and of course, I’d be happy to take you up on it if you are skeptic.  The most interesting findings we all love pondering and sharing with one another are based on statistics.  I know you have heard someone ask rhetorically with excitement this week “Did you know that X% of Americans do XYZ?”

Reporting, or knowing the results of a report makes us feel smart.  Better yet, coming up with a reason as to why a report yields specific results makes us feel even smarter.  But an interesting question arises…which one is more important in the enterprise: canned or ad-hoc reports?

The answer is not straightforward.  Some of this depends on your organization, and some depends on your users.  But, for most organizations, I think the reality versus what is generally thought important can be flipped.  I find many organizations feel that ad-hoc reporting is the answer to their prayers, while those same organizations may want to take a harder look at their operational reporting strategy.  In some cases, people think they are using analytical/ad-hoc reporting, when they are actually just using an analystical reporting product to deviler sub-optimal canned reports.  There will be more on this in coming posts, but I wanted to get the brain wheels churning (and those hamsters off their lazy butts) to let you think about how your organization approaches its reporting strategy.