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A user of almost any given software system or business application will require precise analytics in order to objectively measure its effectiveness, or the effectiveness of an associated product. These analytics –or reports—therefore, must measure the right criteria at the right time(s) in the right way in order to be useful to the user. For that reason, any newly proposed reporting function requires careful, measured, thoughtful and thoroughly vetted requirements in order to ensure its efficacy.
Wikipedia notes that report specifications “define the purpose of a report, its justification, attributes and columns, owners and runtime parameters.” That is certainly true, but in fact, report specifications must do a lot more than that. In the course of creating strong general reporting requirements for any given system, an analyst must consider the following:
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