1/21/2016

The Shift in Reporting from Centralized to Decentralized

IT used to own the reports.  The time it took to create the reports was long.  Did not meet the needs of the business unit.  So Self Service reporting was created.  And Vendors lined up to meet the demand by offering easy to use tools for the business folks.

What has become of the traditional report writer?  They still exist.  Yet the business has picked up a good percentage of the report work load.  Sort of hybrid of "rogue IT" as they still reside within the business units, yet they leverage the infrastructure and data from IT.  Best of both worlds.

Yet not all power user report writers know what they are doing.  Likewise, nobody's there to enforce standards.  Or data accuracy.  Nobody checking to verify the data is fresh or current.  And no longer can they stack up unlimited report requests, billed to IT budget.  Now the costs is associated with their unit, and perhaps not every department can afford their own full time report person.  Or software licenses.

It seems like the classical swap from "Centralized" reporting to "Decentralized" reporting.  The heavy lifting is now performed from the actual business units that consume the data.  So one advantage is, most likely, they know the business rules.  No question there.  And they can work at their own pace, as in prioritizing reports based on necessity and availability.  

And they no longer have a department to kick around, stating in every meeting, that they don't trust the data, reports take to long, none of the reports match.  Nope, IT is no longer the kicking bag for every department in the org.

Except.  Now the Business has to overcome all the difficulties that IT had to deal with.  Missing, bad or duplicate data.  Reports not running in timely manor or timing out.  Data isn't fresh.  How do we integrate the leads data with sales data with financial data with call center data, or integrating desperate data sources.  Nobody to enforce "Data Governance".  Or not having enough resources to handle the load of unlimited report requests.  Data and report security.  Basically, everything IT had to deal with, is now in the hands of the business.  So with great power, comes great responsibility.

The business units wanted control of the data and reports and information.  Well, now they've got it.

Root Cause Analysis