Reporting has always been tightly coupled to everyday business activities. As a result, reporting requirements tend to change very often. Traditionally, when such changes occurred, you were forced to rely on developers or IT staff to revise your reports to meet the new requirements. However, because developers often do not correctly anticipate the needs of report users, the resulting report designs are often inadequate, requiring further iteration and re-implementation.
InetSoft believes the solution to this problem is user empowerment. Instead of requiring you to communicate your needs to developers and then iterate over successive changes, Style Intelligence gives you direct access to powerful ad hoc report writing software tools that allow you to rapidly and easily design your reports yourself.
Other BI tools have previously attempted to provide ad hoc reporting. However, these tools have not reached a significant level of prevalence due to the following factors:
The Ad Hoc tool allows you to create new reports from scratch by using a step-by-step wizard. Below is a screenshot of the four different report wizards included in InetSoft's report writing software.
The chart is a widely used element in data presentation. It presents data in a graphical form and is very useful to convey implications of certain data in a succinct manner. For instance, a corporate presentation may use a pie chart to show the market share of the industry leaders. This is more easily understood than a table of numbers.
A table is a standard element used in most reports to display data. You can also group the data, and calculate subtotals and grand totals. There are also Crosstab and Section Wizards which provide similar results. Learn the difference between these three and understand when to use each.
Crosstab is a very useful way to summarize information in a tabular format. Grouping can be done vertically and horizontally. This creates a grid of data.
A Section is a very useful element in report design. A Section consists of bands. Each band is a container that holds fixed position elements. In the simplest case, a Section can display the same data as a table but give you control over the position and size of each cell. An advanced user may create a Section that contains tables and charts to create a master-detail or subreport.