By Garth Jones
The second biggest mistake that people often make when creating a report is putting too much data in it.
Take the report below, this is an actual mock-up of a report requested by a client. What makes this report really interesting is that if it was printed it would be 48-inches wide! It is virtually impossible to scroll left to right and ensure what you are reading the same row.
Instead, I always suggest breaking-up a really big report into smaller sections. In the mock-up I color-coded the sections, so that the client could see roughly how the final reports would look.
The four sections worked out to:
· Device Details
· Patch Details
· SCCM Client Details
· Other Tools
As I have worked with this client over the years, this initial report has morphed. It is now comprised of at least a dozen different reports. The reports follow the idea of a summary report drilling down into a list report which drills down to a details report. You can read more here about three essential SSRS reporting styles.
The moral of the story is less is more. If a single row doesn’t fit onto a page when printed, then there is likely too much information. Break-up the report into two or more reports or report sets.