The alternative to canned OSS reports

Reports are an important interaction type into any OSS, obviously. What’s less well observed is the time (ie cost) it can take to create and curate canned reports. [BTW in my crude terminology, Canned Reports are ones where the report format and associated query is created / coded and designed to be run more than once in the future]

I’ve seen situations where an organisation has requested many, many custom reports, which have been costly to set up, but then once set up, have not been used again after user acceptance testing. I know of one company that had over 500 canned reports developed and only ~100 had been used more than a few times in the 12 months prior to when I checked.

My preferred option is to create an open data model that can be queried via a reporting engine, one that allows operators to intuitively create their own ad-hoc reports and then save them for future re-use (and share them if desired).

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