self service system

From Search Functionalities to Multi-Functional Report Centers

By Thomas Eklund

Report Centers enable the users to find results based on a combination of application-specific criteria like, for example, event type and year, company names, states, dollar amounts, dates, Yes/No fields, and so on. These fields can be combined with the And / Or options, so that the end result is tailored to the user's needs. Criteria selection takes place by pointing and clicking. After selecting the criteria combination the user can choose to simply review the results, generate a specific report (that can also be an invoice or a letter that is sent out), send emails to people who match the selected criteria, or, for example, put the data into another application like Excel.

Here are some examples to illustrate this discussion. The user wants to see who were all the people who participated in an even in a certain year, were from a certain city, were interested in a certain topic, made a payment in a certain range, and registered early? No problem, just select the relevant fields by pointing and clicking and then the report type. The user wants to send email to all these participants and attach a letter to each email so that participant information is filled in automatically? Not a problem, just select the letter as the report type and the application sends all the emails out and fills in the names, addresses and other fields and attaches the letters to the emails on the fly. The user want to find data that matches certain criteria like, for example, country, vendor, equipment type and price, and then modify the data further in Excel? No problem, just select the relevant fields by pointing and clicking and then select the report type.

Briefly, Report Center can be set up so that data can be reported on or mined in any combination. In many cases information is sent out to the selected groups of people. Based on the information that is sent out, feedback can be collected and uploaded into the database application. This would form a full circle, because based on the feedback data can be recycled again, reported or mined, and further actions can be taken accordingly.