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Posts Tagged ‘enterprise-it’

End of the Geek Era

June 3, 2012 Leave a comment

A recent article titled “Cloud, iPad, and the end of the geek era” published on TechRepublic hits home for a lot of IT professionals.   The future is not about relying on the IT department.   Most people that need to get their work done, are doing it themselves.   That is why a product like Sunset Reports is a good choice for users who need to create reports from corporate data.   Recent posts here show how Sunset Reports integrates with the Cloud and the iPhone/iPad and also talk more about the IT department.

Cloud Storage

Use on Mobile Devices

Getting a Report via Text Message

IT Departments Should Not Write Reports for Users

End User Deployment by the IT Department

 

 

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Report Specification

June 2, 2012 Leave a comment

If a user is to request a report be designed, some questions must be asked by the designer in order to proceed.   The following list of questions can be used as a starting point for discussions when specifying a report:

  1. What is the purpose of the report?
  2. What skill level will be required to read the report?
  3. In what format(s) will the reports be generated?
  4. Who will the receipient(s) be receiving the report?
  5. What is the frequency of the report?
  6. If the report is stored in a repository, how long is the retention time of the report?
  7. What or where is the data source(s) of the report?
  8. What fields or columns will be used?
  9. What type of report will it be?  Columnar, Tabular, CrossTab, Detail, Summary, Charts, Labels, Form Letter, etc.
  10. What is the general content of the report?  Titles, Report Header, Page Header, Report Footer, Page Footer, Detail section, Subreports?
  11. What is the report orientation (Portrait, Landscape)?
  12. What page size should be used?  Margins?
  13. Are there any predefined templates to use?
  14. Are there any predefined style sheets to use?
  15. Are there any groupings for the report?  Contents of group header?  Contents of group footer?  Multigrouping?  Running Totals?
  16. Are there any paging requirements?  New page for groups?
  17. Is there any filtering?
  18. How is the data to be sorted?
  19. Is there any special requirements to emphasis the content of the report with fonts, color, shading, etc.?
  20. Will there be any user prompted parameters to control the content of the report?
  21. Are there any calculations to be performed?
  22. What data is to be summarized?
  23. Will there be any hyperlinks on the report?  Drilldowns?
  24. Will the report include a document map?
  25. Is there any security or permission considerations?

This list is far from complete, but it will give you a good start on the discussions that need to occur when specifying a report.

This Website on the iPad

May 30, 2012 Leave a comment

This website has a special viewing feature when viewed on an iPad.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Don’t forget to click on the Menu button on the top right to see a submenu with all the pages available as well as the most popular categories.

You can always click on the bottom and view the site in the standard format.

Business Asset

May 26, 2012 Leave a comment

One of the most important assets in business is DATA and when the data is turned into INFORMATION, it becomes the primary asset of a business.   Transforming data from a variety of sources, making it accessible, and presenting it in a form that is useful is the main purpose of Sunset Reports.    Timely information and business intelligence in the right format gives managers the ability to

  • Make quicker decisions
  • Make smarter dicisions
  • Adapt to changes
  • Affect the bottom line

With Sunset Reports, you do not have to manually run reports, they can be delivered on demand or scheduled to occur on a recurring basis.    They can be delivered to a manager’s workstation or portable device like a smartphone or tablet.   They can show up on a website, email, or message.

Keeping it Simple

May 20, 2012 Leave a comment

We talk about how Sunset Reports is simple.   Let’s illustrate this point.    For the large companies that use MS SQL Server, they use a powerful tool called SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services).   This is integrated with SQL Server and requires a fair amount of understanding.   Just look at all the tools that are needed for SSRS:  Power View, Report Designer, Report Builder, Reporting Services Configuration Manager, SQL Server Mangement Studio, SQL Server Configuration Manager, Rsconfig Utility, Rskeymgmt Utility, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Classes, SharePoint Central Administration, PowerShell Cmdlets, Report Server Web Service URL, Report Manager, RS Utility (References).   That is 14 different tools.

Sunset Reports keeps it simple with just one tool.   Everything you need is available from a single program.   Installation is simpler, training is simpler, etc.   Now we do not say that Sunset Reports is as powerful as SRSS, but it can handle most of what SRSS provides and is more than enought for most small businesses.   It is simpler and that translates to cost and time savings.

Less Expensive + Faster = Cost Savings + Time Savings

Industries Needing Sunset Reports

May 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Here is a short list of industries that can use Sunset Reports:

Agriculture, Accounting, Advertising, Aerospace, Aircraft, Airline, Apparel, Automotive, Banking, Broadcasting, Brokerage, Biotechnology, Call Centers, Cargo Handling, Chemical, Computer, Construction, Consulting, Consumer Products, Cosmetics, Defense, Department Stores, Education, Electronics, Energy, Entertainment & Leisure, Executive Search, Financial Services, Food and Beverage, Grocery, Health Care, Human Resources, Insurance, Legal, Manufacturing, Marketing, Media, Music, Newspaper Publishers, Office Management, Online Auctions, Pharmaceuticals, Private Equity, Publishing, Real Estate, Retail & Wholesale, Sales Management, Securities & Commodity Exchanges, Service, Software, Sports, Technology, Telecommunications, Telemarketing, Transportation, and more.

Cost Savings

May 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Here are a couple of ways Sunset Reports will save you money:

  1. The purchase price of Sunset Reports is very affordable and is lower than any of it’s competitors.
  2. Because implementation and installation is simpler than other solutions, you will be up and running is far less time.
  3. It is a single reporting solution for a variety of data sources.  So users do not have to learn different ways of creating reports.   Training is minimized.
  4. The program is powerful enought for the IT department and simple enough for end users.    The end users can create reports without burdening the IT department.