Reporting is fundamental to all companies and organizations. Reporting and analysis are not luxuries that a company can choose to grant or deny. Every transaction-based enterprise application, every database and each process that workers perform on a day-to-day basis needs reporting in some fashion. Because of this re-emergence of reporting from beneath the shadow of OLAP and analytics, it is now fashionable and appealing for both vendors and user organizations to discuss the relative merits of this art form.
Okay, perhaps sexy isn't quite right; however, reporting solutions have become pervasive in business, and they must be seen as core requirements and held to the same standards as all core technologies. This added scrutiny means that the various types of reporting - analytic, enterprise and business - must be clearly defined so that we can compare and contrast the different reporting solutions being offered today.
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