What is BI Reporting?
You start with a BI Developer.
He/she basically converts raw materials, the Data, into a product, Information.
The BI Developer meets with the customer to define the purpose of the report.
• What is the purpose of the Report Request?
• What question is the customer trying to answer?
The BI Developer must know the Business side of the Report.
• How many widgets were created in the month of June?
• How much revenue did that generate?
• What was the same production of widgets last year?
• The past 5 years?
• Can I see the graphical representation?
The BI Developer must gather the Report Specification.
• What would you like the end product to look like?
• In what format would you like the final report (PDF, Excel)?
• What parameters would you like to be able to search?
• How often would you like the report delivered?
• Do you want to see Summed up data and/or Detailed data?
• How should the Report be Sorted?
The BI Developer must determine Time and Resources to create the Report.
• Need to estimate the length of time to complete the Report request.
• It's good practice to write up the Report Specs in an SDLC document.
• The Customer should review, agree and sign the SDLC document.
The BI Developer must know the data side of the Report.
• Determine where does this data reside?
• What Database Server?
• What Database Name?
• What UserID/Password is available for Reporting?
• What Tables / Views / Stored Procedures are available?
• Are there any existing reports to leverage from?
The BI Developer must know the technology side of the Report.
• Create the Data Source query in either SQL or Stored Procedure.
• Add the Data Source to the Report.
• Add Header/Footer to the Report.
• Add the Database Fields to the Report.
• Add Parameters to the Report.
• Add Groups, Customer Fields, Sums, Counts, Average to the Report.
• Add Charts/Graphs to the Report.
The BI Developer must know the company procedures for Change Management for new Reports.
• The Report Specifications must be documented by the BI Developer.
• The Report must be verified by either Quality Assurance or the Customer.
• A Release date must be established for the new Report.
• The Report Release must be scheduled with the Change Manager.
• The Customer and Key Stake Holders must be notified of the Report Release.
• The actual Report and Stored Procedure must be moved to Production.
The BI Developer must know how to deliver the Report.
• Once approved, the Report is added to the Web/Portal in a specified Folder.
• The Permissions are set for specific Users on the Report.
• Automated Subscriptions can be added to the Report.
The BI Developer must know how to troubleshoot the Report.
• Once the Report is in Production, if any bugs are found they must be troubleshot and corrected.
• The Server Log Files are useful for troubleshooting Failed Generated Reports.
• If the accuracy of the Data is in question, the BI Developer can view the SQL and/or Report.
The BI Developer must close out the Request.
• The Report should be stored off in a Source Code Repository.
• The Report Documentation should be stored in an accessible place.
• The Customer should sign off on the Project that it was completed and accurate and within budget.
• The Customer's Cost Center should be charged for the BI Developer's time if applicable.
The above information is generic enough that it doesn't apply to just one vendor (ie, Crystal Reports, SSRS, Actuate, Cognos, etc.), it applies to all BI Report Developers.