Making specification of how report should look like with all combinations of content and functionalities can be mighty frustrating job for requesting side. If specification is not detailed enough it is always a grey zone for misunderstanding between developer and those who asked reports. It is a tough job and there were cases where IT experts felt how hard it is to make requirement toward other IT developers.
- Use old apps. A good start can be always old reports from old applications. Use templates, structures and specially dimensions and measures used for defining draft of specification. If nothing else copy old report and see is it suitable enough for current job tasks.
- See if something is missing in report template add dimensions (columns, rows, products, KPI’s) that should be inside. Just ask yourself what would you like to have as addition in your report. This are missing dimensions.
- Analyze if certain values are missing. For example, report might contain pieces and would be good to have additional value like revenue or price next to number of pieces. This are missing measures.
- Ask for documentation of application/applications from which reports will be built. If there is no detailed and adequate documentation of source systems content ask for relational database model. At least you might get rough feeling of what is inside and what could be asked.
- Make a combination table – matrix of all possible desired combinations of dimensions and measures.
- Send draft of specifications too other relevant experts in company, ask to add and edit materials.
- Organize workshops and discuss materials with experts. Edit materials and distribute it.
- Ask for comments and arguments.
- Explain and describe needed data per business process. Pay special attention to definitions. Include them if needed into documentation – specification toward business intelligence reports deploy.
- Join all comments into unique set of documents and send it to IT deployment.
- Don’t make requirement like “give me everything you can” because IT will be confused. This could mean to IT “you do not know what you do in your business and what is your job” and this is always great way to skip hard work because report delivery could be totally minimized.
Sources and Citations
Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Make Specifications for Business Intelligence Reports. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.