Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Reporting Software

A good business reporting software system offers tools to easily design, generate, and distribute reports. Reporting software helps you make the most of your company's data. But what helps you make the most of your business reporting software?

If your data is in XML form, be it a file, XML extracted from a database, a REST datasource, or other, then you need a system that can provide kick-ass XML Reports. If your data is in a SQL database such as IBM's DB2, My Sql, Oracle, or Microsoft's Sql Server, then you need a system that can provide killer SQL Reports.

For the output, many times you want Excel Reports which are created from your data. Another useful output format is HTML Reports as they can be displayed easily in any browser. This is very useful for OEM Reporting systems as the best way to attract more customers – and keep them – is to upgrade your software's reporting component. Excel is superior to banded reports. There are cases where banded reports are appropriate, but that is a very limited sub-set of where they are used.

How can you make people care as much about your data as you do? How can you help them understand your report? The answer is in data representation. Learn how paying attention to six key features can turn your report from blah to wow!