One of the most common tasks in IT today is the creation of reports. More often than not, a skilled report developer is required for this, because reports are generally written in a reporting language or tool that is highly specialized, and very flexible. This constant need for reports has even prompted some consulting firms to “give the software away for free, and make money on reports”. There are many ad-hoc reporting systems available today that might eliminate the need for a skilled developer to create reports - but many of these tools are very expensive. Are they worth the investment?
Have you ever wondered why your recent sales, marketing, or operations initiative failed to have the impact you hoped? Is it possible that though the initiative was well thought-out and should have been successful, it failed simply because your employees didn’t actually implement it? Your competitors keep this kind of problem from happening by using software solutions to enforce, track, and guide the implementation of their initiatives. That way, they know if it’s actually being followed to its fullest, and they can correct any issues along the way instead of waiting until the end of the quarter to track their initiative’s impact.
A lot of people probably have heard the IT guy in their company mention a “data warehouse” before, but exactly what is a business data warehouse?
In today’s work environment, we all know workers get tons of emails. However, what many managers may not realize is that their treatment of emails (which are business records after all), may land them in trouble if they are not careful. The main driver behind these rules is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
When computers were first installed in most major corporations, the buzz at the time was that we would then witness the dawn of “the paperless office” - an office were all information necessary for operations was electronic. Of course, as many studies have shown, this turned out not to happen. As mainframes gained more and more usage, there was actually an increase in the amount of documents printed, and therefore an increase in the amount of paper used. Part of the problem at the time was that while computers could indeed hold an incredible amount of information, user interfaces were poor - no one wanted to lug a 3270 terminal screen with them into a meeting, so the data had to be printed out.