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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 

I was wondering who out there can help with my research and implementation of a Quality or Certification mark for reports.

The reason we are going down this route is we have a Data Warehouse and while we have core reports from here the information is open for others in the company to use, this of course brings its issues and ability to miss interpret the source data which can sadly reduce our customers perception of the reliability of the data. Not to mention the various other stand alone user created databases which are not maintained or audited but are used for business reports & decisions!

We want to essentially start stamping key reports within the company which we create and maintain, reports which are key to the business and have been signed off by managers, auditors and meet certain standards. Any changes to these reports will require sign off and UAT from the report 'owner'.

The rating/certification (gold, silver, bronze) could be applied depending on how business critical the report, who the customer or owner is, reliability, quality, given a tick by auditors. Deciding when to assign what rating could be difficult.

I believe this could be a rather new or unused concept so any help or pointers along the way would be greatly welcomed.

Thanks in advance.


Posts: 167
Reply with quote  #2 
Max, this sounds like an administrative nightmare. 

Edward Tufte tells us to put our names on our reports & graphs for traceability.  Credible reporters will be recognized by their identity. 

Irwin Burr wrote this in one of his books:  "A seemingly small point which deserves mention is that one should get in the habit of making all charts, tables, reports, and problems complete in themselves.  It should be possible to learn from the sheet, six months after its completion, what the problem is all about, who gathered the data and calculated it, who drew the graph, what were the important conditions at hand, what were the sample size and the units, the date, etc.  Only in this way can we make sure that our records will not grow cold".

The latter is perhaps a bit lengthy for most reports, but there's no reason to not show (at least) the author and the data source(s) in a footnote.  A basic "audit trail" should just be a corporate requirement.

Bill Droogendyk

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 

I'm dragging this one up again, I don't think there will be any easy solutions for me just yet.

Thanks for the reply, point taken about the admin side, I can see it being a mountainous task to get the initial certification for the reports and a large battle to maintain it to a high standard. With more research and asking around I am starting to lean away from having a certification or a rating for reports, instead I'm heading towards a set of supporting documentation for published and supported reporting is more in line with where we're heading, adding (where possible) basic and only key information within the report itself.

Part of the reason for wanting to brand/grade certain reports within the business is to get more support and confidence with our relatively new Data Warehouse solution. Perhaps rather than trying to force it too much down this route we need to take a different approach and lead our business to this conclusion?

I'd like to hear from people out there as to what they are currently doing, have done or are planning to do in this area (if anything?). What has worked well and are there cases where you expected a different outcome?


Posts: 33
Reply with quote  #4 
We are documenting a set of reporting standards and just that part, which you would need in place before trying to assess any reports, is a big job in itself.
Peter Robinson
in Brisbane, Australia
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