Friday, November 14, 2008

The vendors ARE mad!

Now I need to qualify this post - which is in response to a vendor presentation I went to during the week - by saying, that the vendor - Cognos - is in my opinion one of the good ones. Their technology is pretty good, maybe still a few performance issues with large numbers of users but generally in great shape. I really like the new report meta-data feature (lineage they call it) in version 8.4 of their core reporting tool. That will be quickly copied by the other vendors.

But, and I mean BUT, I saw a demo of a guided report writing tool - intended to help end-users build their own reports without IT support. All the vendors offer something like this, and none of them work very well.

I counted clicks during the demonstartion. The presenter went through a standard demo, just building a simple financial report with revenue, target and variance shown. It took 31 clicks and 7 drag and drop actions to the build the report. The presenter didn't make a single mistake, knew the software backwards and knew where the data was, and it still took 31 clicks and 7 drop and drags. NO. That is not and end-user report creation tool.


P.S. They also had 3D pie charts with the middle taken out to make them look like donuts. Why?

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