Reporting Up Close

The goal of the BI Developer is to help the business make better decisions by turning raw data into information.

However, when you look at Reporting up close, the picture perfect scenario does have its limitations/challenges.

In my opinion, for one reason or another, the reports in production are not always accurate.

Perhaps the Quality Assurance person over looked some business logic.

Or maybe there was no QA department involved.

Maybe the business rules changed over time and no one was notified.

Perhaps the "business experts" or "super users" change departments or left the organization leaving a gap in knowledge.

So in general, you have to keep an open mind when viewing your reports.  The information you are given to base your decisions may not be always be 100% accurate.

Reporting requires more "maintenance" time than "development" time.

Reporting is not something you throw into production and forget about.

Typically, a department will request "reports" for their data. 

They hire consultants to build them a BI solution. 

The BI people create a data warehouse and a bunch of reports. 

Once created, they go on their merry way.

What if the business rules change?  What if the data gets moved to a new server?  What if your current staff leaves and you have no one who knows the architecture of the BI solution?  What if you want to incorporate new data into your warehouse?

Well, you could get out your check book and re-hire some BI Developers to assist.

You could also keep "maintenance" programmers on staff to support the BI once the developers leave.

The "maintenance" programmers are the knowledge base of the business rules. 

They fix the bugs and upgrade reports to new versions.

They work the tickets.

They go to meetings.

They are the grunt workers of the BI world.

The typical "maintenance programmer" position is not as glamorous or lucrative as the BI Consultants. 

However, they have a definite place in the BI world.

The role is just as vital and should get more exposure in my opinion.

At the moment, Business Intelligence is riding a huge wave in the IT world. 

Get out your surfboards!