Readers Respond: Get Your Hands off That Process
IT managers have not done, collectively, a very good job of convincing their non-IT management of the need to upgrade systems and maintain the types of structures that, in the long run, provide for lower maintenance. Maintaining an up-to-date data model would be one of those activities, as would ensuring that the data collected and reported on is well-defined.
Finally, talk about manual effort: Nearly half an IT departments staffers, typically, are engaged in some form of report writing. They shouldnt be.
The path to appropriate and rational IT systems is in the things non-IT management needs to become involved in. Data ownership, definitions and business rules are ultimately a set of "business" decisions implemented in systems. Dont blame the overworked IT executive completely; management has a good deal of latent, and overdue, contributions to make as well.
Senior BI Architect