It used to be that a report was a 200-page, green-bar printout produced by the Information Systems (IS) department on a regular basis. Sent through inter-office mail, these behemoths were best used as office doorstops or a source of confetti for a birthday party. Most business users flipped through the pages until they found the one or two data elements or pages they were interested in. If they wanted to do real analysis, they rekeyed this data into a spreadsheet and did their number crunching there.

But the nature and shape of reporting is changing in three major ways:

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