Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Operational Reports vs MIS Reports

Once organizations create a data warehouse, a lot of people push all the reporting needs to the DW. But do all reports need to run from a DW?
The answer lies in understanding the difference between operational and informational (MIS) reports. A good article by Bill Inmon on this difference can be found here.

Operational reports are typically detail oriented and shows the latest up-to-date records. Operational reports are used by stakeholders for short term tactical decision making. MIS reports look at summary data over a longer time horizon and are used for strategic decision making.

Examples of operational reporting include bank teller end-of-day window balancing reports, daily account audits and adjustments, daily production records, flight-by-flight traveler logs and transaction logs.

Examples of informational reporting include monthly sales trends, annual revenue, regional sales by product line for the quarter, industry production figures for the year, number of employees by quarter and weekly shipping costs by carrier.