Ad Hoc Reporting From Sql Server

Written by Jacey Harmon
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Businesses need to be agile in order to compete in the ever changing business world. A static company will eventually lose ground to those that continually modify their business model. Data management and analysis is the best way for an enterprise to study the market and themselves, to identify changes that need to be made. Data analysis, also known as business intelligence, must be able to evolve with the company. Using ad hoc reporting from SQL servers is a great way to achieve a flexible business intelligence program.

Ad hoc reports allow users to create reports and manipulate data on their own. An ad hoc report creates new or modified queries with high flexibility over content, calculations or groupings in an easy point and click fashion. The reports are not static and can be used to view data in several different scenarios. These reports are typically created to view data that is not included in a standardized report.

SQL servers use structured query language to access and retrieve data from relational databases. A relational database is one which stores data in rows and columns to show the relationships between items. SQL servers are used to access data stored in databases and data cubes in order to be viewed by an end user. An SQL server will retrieve the data requested from an ad hoc report and present it in the requested manner.

Using Ad Hoc Reports

Due to their flexible nature, ad hoc reports have many uses and benefits. Users may want to explore a standardized report more thoroughly. An ad hoc report will allow the user to explore different scenarios and get a deeper understanding of standard reports. Ad hoc reports will also allow a user to create reports without the assistance of the information technology department. Ad hoc reports from SQL servers can be viewed through a Web or Network browser and can be published to PDF, XML or Excel formats.

When implementing a business intelligence program, having the ability to utilize ad hoc reports is almost a necessity. Ad hoc reports may increase workflow due to the fact that they do not require the assistance of database developers or IT technicians. The network based program fosters the free flow of ideas throughout the entire company as reports can be shared. Without the ability to create ad hoc reports, a business intelligence program may not be that intelligent.

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