Chapter 1 Getting Familiar with Reporting Services In This Chapter Finding out what reporting is all about Facing reporting challenges Mastering reporting principles Checking out the major features of Reporting Services Accessing and viewing a report Corporate data is growing at an extremely fast clip, meaning that more data is collected about business events and business transactions than ever before. It has been noted that data storage capacity of every company of every type doubles every 12 months. This data is stored in a great variety of formats databases, spreadsheets, files, and documents. And as a direct consequence of this infinite variety, there s never very much uniformity to the data, so it often just sits in locations, never to be examined with any real efficiency. The challenge in business today is to tap into this data that s just sitting around idle in an organization and then transform it into information and eventually into the kind of knowledge that can result in a competitive advantage. This transformation needs to evolve in baby steps. The first step is to identify what kind of data exists and where it resides. The next step is to create reports from this information. A report is basically a simple document that can present numbers, text, and/or graphical information. Reports are necessary to combine information from various data sources and present that information in a coherent manner to business people. This information enables us to understand what is happening in some aspect of the business and can even (hopefully) enable us to make decisions based on this information.
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