By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-09-29 Print this article Print

[Another cool thing] is infinite drilldown. Thats a cool feature [of Report Builder]. Static reports are somewhat interesting. There are people who wake up, say "Im going to do BI today," they get [reports] in the morning, make a decision and go off and do something [based on the reports findings]. But we want to achieve more interactivity with data. If a number looks interesting, you can hover over it and click it [in Report Builder]. We generate the reports. We make the reports, we use them, then we get rid of them. You can dance around from report to report to report. You dont have to think it out in advance. Nobody says, "Heres where people may go." You just draw the report, publish it, and end users start navigating it. Theyre creating reports every time they click [on a given piece of data within a report], and they dont even know it.
Thats how you drive mass adoption of BI, is to hide it.
You featured Barnes & Noble Inc. in your keynote. Are they a good example of hiding BI? Barnes & Noble, now theres a company devoted to its geographies. They say, "The person who runs the store can make a better decision about what books to put in front, what books to put in back, etc., better than any corporate executive or IT staff can do." But theyre not a BI person. We cant tell them to take a training class and go write a report. We say, "Look at the information weve got. If you want to think of it more, start clicking." Check out eWEEK.coms Database Center at for the latest database news, reviews and analysis.

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Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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