Real-time Reporting

1. Client:

A direct mail & digital agency.

2. Issue:

A purpose built internal legacy system had been built many moons ago to generate reports for the Accounts team – maintenance was high, and the system was showing signs of age. A new modern approach to reporting was required, but costs needed to be kept to an absolute minimum.

3. Solution:

To rebuild the purpose built system or look to a new software package that would require minimal maintenance.

4. What we did:

We visited the client and talked through their current reporting requirements. Furthermore, we looked at the existing reporting architecture and discovered that it sat on a SQL Server 2008 base, and was using the data in this server to populate reports.

We put forward a proposal that would:

  • Also populate reports from SQL Server
  • Use a free software package called Report Builder 2.0
  • Require rewriting SQL queries to ensure maximum optimisation and efficiency for creating reports
  • Require minimal maintenance
  • Empower users in other departments to run their own reports, placing less responsibility on the Data department

5. Outcome:

We were awarded the contract and it took two months to complete the project. The queries that generated the reports were saved as stored procedures, guaranteeing security. Moreover, from within the Reporting Server permissions were set so that teams could only see the reports relevant to their departments or groups.

We continue to perform minimum maintenance for the client – new reports and updates to existing reports are quick and easy to complete.