At my company, I develop and maintain all the operational reporting used by management to run the business. There is no reporting position on the application development team. I've taken it upon myself to step in and attend design review meetings to give input to the development team on how changes will impact reporting, consult on how modify designs to avoid impacting existing reports and what I will need in new development to be able to report on the data. It's been my experience that reporting is a key functional position on an enterprise application development team. I'm hoping to find some documentation that supports that concept as an industry standard or Best Practice. Can anyone help me there?

  • it's logical: a report is an application. If the data isn't designed to support the report, then the report will be a much more complex application Mar 5, 2013 at 2:08
  • I am not aware of any special best practice for that. It occurs to me that this is maybe because reporting is just one of multiple stakeholder/consumers of an application, so there is nothing special to it. Mar 5, 2013 at 20:29
  • What do you need the documentation for? Also, you might trying googling "business intelligence". Apr 5, 2013 at 14:36
  • "Reports" pre-dates the "Best Practices" buzztalk by several decades. Work with your organization to develop BI dashboards that give people access to information as they need it. :-) Jun 4, 2013 at 1:49

2 Answers 2


I don't see why you are treating "reporting" differently from any other application.

It has users, it has requirements, it has interfaces to other systems.

So treat it like any other system. Identify the stakeholders, lock down the requirements and establish formal interfaces with your data providers.

Perhaps, more importantly, define it as a proper "project/application" within your company bureaucracy so the other teams must take into account the impact of their changes on your system. You need some sort of official status to force the other teams to comply with your interface definitions, and, go through the formal procedures when they want to change them.

  • This x1000%. If you don't have a good reporting practice, and instead are just relying on manager-created reports, you're asking for incorrect reports created inefficiently. And the CEO can't really manage the enterprise well in that situation. (But don't hard-code the @#$ing data categories. Categories are data, and data is not code.)
    – DougM
    Aug 3, 2013 at 2:01

If you're describing reporting functionality that generates reports on the basis of data that the systems generate, then it sounds like you're describing BAM or "Business Activity Monitoring".

Searching the web provided these two links, although I'm sure you can find many more by searching for some combination of "best practices", "BAM" and "Business Activity Monitoring."

BAM is often used together with a BPM engine, but that's only because BPM engines generate precisely the type of information that's meant for BAM.

  • Thanks so much for taking the time to try and help me out with this. I couldn't agree more that it seems like a common sense kind of thing. But since they don't seem to "Get it" I thought it would be worthwhile to try to find some documentation on the issue before going back to the table with the changes I'm suggesting. Marco - Unfortunatly your articles haven't helped me with what I needed but you have definately got me thinking I need to look further into BAM! Thanks again.
    – Donna
    Mar 5, 2013 at 22:27

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