I recently attended the IBM Cognos Report Studio: Author Active Reports training and found the session very informative and an essential component for any organisation developing an interactive, mobile reporting strategy. My thoughts are focused on the ability to integrate a mobile reporting strategy within a broader information Management strategy, listing the benefits and challenges of bringing this to fruition.
- Deploying reports to a device is very simple and can be scheduled at any time
- Basic Active reports can be generated quickly
- It is a much needed tool set in the IBM Cognos suite and interactive reports can be accessed outside the organisation seamlessly
- Active reporting is critical to disseminate information across the organisation providing users with a high degree of interactivity
- There is a free download of the IBM Cognos Active Report 10.1.1 Cookbook http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/data/library/cognos/reporting/active_report/page593.html which is a must read
- Existing report studio reports will need to be replicated into a mobile Active Report (a copy of the existing report with modifications to enable mobile compatibility is required)
- If your existing report has prompts they will not work, connections and controls will need to be established
- Drilling up, to assist with navigation and the user experience is very cumbersome and the creation of breadcrumbs is very time consuming. Drilling down can be done easy but the ability to get back to the summary data is more difficult
- Developing visually appealing interactive reports does take time and without in depth knowledge off report studio, development will take significantly longer
- The Trade-off between initiating a formal active reporting project versus integrating active reporting into future projects must be considered
Overall, active reporting is a much need tool for the University that can be quickly deployed with maximum impact. Existing or new reports, that fall into the categories of highly used (based on report executions), strategic in nature (used for senior executive meetings) and dynamic in nature (frequently changing) would be worthwhile candidatesfor active reports, but use caution if you are trying to convert a complex report as I have found it is much easier to start from scratch.
I would like to hear the how your institution is deploying mobile reporting and any challenges being experienced.