Analytics and Reporting
|Analytics and Reporting|
It was not long ago that analytics
meant a choice between simple data reports or a complex statistical
package, but the last several years have produced a confusing abundance
When evaluating these options it is useful to
remember that data structures that provide the best transactional
efficiency are inefficient for big data analytics operations and that
analytical operations can easily lock out business imperative
transactions. In practice, this means that analytics are either
restricted in scope or they operate on restructured copies of the data.
Either approach imposes compromises on the business and its users.
Other core factors are the degree that the end
user can (and will) define their own reports versus the ongoing cost of
a report writing team; the computations that can be applied outside of
basic database operations; installation complexities of client software
or distributed cubes; charting capabilities; and the balance between
fancy pre-formatted multi-panel reports (ala dashboards) versus simpler
reports with dynamic progressive discovery.
The breadth of analytical options define
different points of balance between these compromises - the one best
for you depends deeply on your business needs. It also depends deeply
on your implementation environment because a weaker tool may outperform
a more advanced tool if the weaker tool has better interoperability
with other tools such as the ones that define the data model and data
We suggest to our clients that they treat
analytic projects as exercises in compromise and that the compromises
be creatively matched to the ever migrating business needs.
There is an
increasing need for some reporting to be on live data that is changing
while the user watches. Letting the user run their own queries against
live operation data is dangerous. If live reporting is a business
necessity, please talk to Metabyte about our live web update technology
which allows delivery of well defined measures into dashboards,
operational screens and spreadsheets.