I have consulted within the arena of data extraction and interpretation for over fifteen years, from all the way back when it was just called ‘Reporting’. ‘Reporting’ is a wonderfully generic term that can be applied to any requirement that is based on data.
Then came ‘Management Information’, which implied a purpose for reporting, namely to extract, collate and measure data to enable management level decisions.
Currently, ‘Reporting’ is now called Business Intelligence and has a very real expectation to only provide performance level metrics. This becomes doubly true when Business Intelligence is applied to ITIL with its hordes of SLAs and OLAs.
And if Business Intelligence is realized via a Data Warehouse, the logic is clearly geared towards metric measure and is locked into the design. Business Intelligence does not turn a wheel, it measures how well the wheel is being turned.
None of the above is a bad thing and the Business Intelligence aspect of reporting is the basis all my ITIL writing to date…until this whitepaper! This demarcation between Business Intelligence and transactional activities is normally a sensible stance to take, particularly with ITIL.
However, there are occasions when the Business Intelligence definition blinkers our view of very powerful reporting software that can fill a range of transactional requirements with relative ease.
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