Custom Reporting Services

What is a custom report / report service?

A custom report is a report generated outside of a standard reporting tool. While many ERP and other systems have plugins or extensions that allow reporting tools to report on structured data that exists within a database, often times there are other datasets, which may not exist within a database, and which may not be easily reported on. For example, suppose a business has a few thousand log files, but the data within those log files do not exist within any table or database. How can one go about generating a report when all of the data is fragmented across thousands of files? A custom report or custom tool that can ingest all of this data into a structured format (for example, into a database) would allow such data to be queried against. From there, creating reports based on date, record type, a certain condition or other property is much more easily achieved.

Who can benefit from custom reporting services?

Custom reports and/or a custom reporting tool is a great solution for any business or department that has fragmented data across hundreds or even thousands of files. The following are just a few examples where custom reports can solve business problems:

  • When data is fragmented across hundreds or thousands of CSV files, and a business wants insights into that data via reports
  • When data is fragmented across hundreds or thousands of Excel files
  • In cases where data is distributed across various systems or files
  • In cases where a stock reporting tool cannot be used on the given dataset or files

Examples of custom reports delivered to clients

Below are just a few examples of custom reports that we have rendered for our clients:

Client's Industry Client's Objective Our Service Delivery / Solution
Construction Our client used Framemaker to generate many of their technical / parts manuals. Although at the time they considered Framemaker good for generating content, it certainly lacks from a structured data perspective and all of the data exists within Framemaker's propriety file format. Our client had thousands of Framemaker MIF files, and needed a way to report on the data, extract the data into a more useful format, and ultimately migrate the data into a new system. Our solution was to write a custom algorithm to parse MIF files, looking for specific types of data that our client was interested in. MIF files can be difficult to work with, as they are not structured like an XML file; in fact, they're more closely related to a Portable Document Format (PDF), but the way references and links are handled can be even trickier. We essentially reverse engineered / deconstructed the way in which their data was handled within MIFs, wrote an algorithm to parse the data, and ingested all of the meaningful data into a custom database. From there, we were able to easily present reports to the client, including answers to key questions like: how many unique assemblies are there, or how many cases of a certain exception exist, or where do we think there are typos in a certain field which does not conform to a field's intended format. Answering these quesetions and more via custom reports proved to be a key ingredient in the overall success of the data migration.

In total, we:
  • ingested 10,000+ MIF files
  • provided 2+ dozen custom reports that answered key questions about the data
Non-Profit Our client is a service provider for non-profits. Their web application offers users the ability to do fundraising registration directly within their web application. While our client offered their customers a way to do this via forms, the web application was missing a reporting module to allow their customers to execute and render reports against the data they've entered into the system. Our client requested a custom reporting tool that would allow their end users to run reports against their data. In this particular case, our solution was to write a custom reporting module / tool that would afford their customers the ability to run custom reports against the data they entered into the system. The solution was dynamic, and allowed for various properties and fields to be reported on and ultimately the reports would be presented to the user in a clean and simple manner.

Inquires about custom reporting services

If you or your company would like to inquire about working with Data Migration Services Services to have us develop custom reports or custom reporting tools for you, please contact us or use our free consultation form page to request a free consultation with one of our Lead Solutions Architects.