17
Oct
09

Ad Hoc Reporting Tools Begin to Come of Age

Lately, I have been reviewing various web-delivered,ad-hoc reporting platforms for a client and I have been surprised at the improvement in overall quality that is now available for small budgets with limited technical skill-sets.   Many small and middle-sized businesses with insufficient reporting capabilities on their primary business transaction systems (POS/OLTP) have historically not had the money, time or intellectual resources to put many business intelligence (BI) products into their business operations and decision-making.  The time and cost of development for these systems was often in excess of what all but the fastest growing and most technically-savvy and resourced corporations  could afford.   It’s clear that the times have changed – or perhaps we are in the midst of change. Rapid change.   I would argue the latter.

Products like LogiXML and Pentaho are  examples of the sort of reporting product platforms I see as adding value to decision-making, data mining and trend analysis in many small businesses.  These products are easily configured and can be re-configured or rebuilt at any time. This allows businesses to “crawl-walk-run” in their adoption of an ad hoc platform.

The Microsoft SQL Service Analysis Services/Reporting Services 2005/2008 tools can be used to meet the needs of many of the reporting needs of businesses , however it appears to lack ad-hoc capabilities from what I have seen thus far.   Perhaps more study and diligence will reveal my ignorance first hand. <grin>  Stay tuned.

LogiXML

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