Three Foliate Reporting
Press the button report. This is very widely spread belief, especially in management structure.
Reports can be automated since there are:
- Technologies like Business Intelligence, Data Warehouse, Management Information Systems and etc.,
- available Analysts,
- great IT support,
- and enough HW resources.
This is not a guarantee that corporate information flows can be totally automated and this is prejudice. It is prejudice despite enormous investments into Reporting Information Systems if company competes on dynamic markets with permanent mutation of products and services.
There are too many unstructured data and exceptions in processes that need to be overcame. Reporting structures can be established but they will be outdated with first change in information flow that was not planned and covered with reporting information system functionality. Even with minor change, in one reporting line distorts prepared automated report. It is not automated report with push the button feature but reporting problem.
Changes are permanent, and there are to many undefined variables that influence final result of reporting processes. Instability, everything influences everything, nobody is sure in what is going on, data forensic is very often activity…
Reporting can not be completely automated under this conditions.
What can be done?
Well, company needs to restructure its resources in order to efficiently respond to reporting quality saturation.
Reporting is the mixture of three ingredients. One is very obvious, it is the data from source systems, Data warehouses and business intelligence systems. These are data from company information flow. Companies usually focus all their forces for data quality here.
Second part is a little bit hidden but are also essential - definitions. By definitions are meant set of standards, policies, terminology, reporting definitions, making relations between information. These are rules that determine data quality. This is very often missing in companies – book of definitions for key performance indicators, knowing what you measure and what are dependencies.
And finally third reporting part is knowing what is going on. Reporting person has to know business, thoroughly. Related changes in processes may be recognized on time, by understanding cause and consequences in data. There is no technology and book of definition that can consider all possible exceptions or changes in systems. That is the reason why business logic analytics need to establish communication processes in order to prevail possible errors on time. Before official reporting process is released.
All three parts together are kind of data quality providers and gatekeepers. One missing part leads to reporting data, definitions and know how about processes. If one ingredient is missing then there is a huge possibility to report wrong figures.