Claudia wishes to thank Mike Biensen for his contributions to this month's column.

As you might expect, there are fundamental issues in getting people to think in terms of receiving and reviewing data, as opposed to reports. Historically, reports defined the user/IT relationship. They were what IT departments were asked to provide and what business users expected to receive. This was important in the past because the development of reports was a laborious process that required time, budget and technical resources. Reports were static in nature and difficult to change; therefore, a significant amount of effort was expended in report design to get as close as possible to meeting the business requirement. Today, reports remain the best tangible evidence of the data that business users need to make critical decisions.

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