IBM Maximo enhances Business Reporting and allows you to take immediate action on your KPIs.
Business reporting is the regular provision of information in different formats to support the flow of the business and improve the decision making process within the organization. It is a fundamental part of the larger movement towards improving business intelligence and knowledge management. With the latest expansion of information technology, and the desire for increased competitiveness in corporations, it makes sense to use the computing power to produce customized and fit-for-business reports which in return help controlling, analysing and managing the business performance. In addition to Progress, Analytical, Control and Management Reports, Business Reports also include official print out documentation such as RFQs, Purchase Orders, Call offs and many more.
Reporting in IBM Maximo
Maximo provides you with a number of different tools to analyse the vast amounts of data it produces. These are categorized as Business Intelligence (BI) tools and are a critical component of your business enterprise. They enable you to transform, visualize, analyse and take action on the vast amounts of data that Maximo produces.
Maximo supplies a wide range of BI Tools for your unique business needs, and they include:
- BIRT reporting: BIRT, Business Intelligence and Reporting Tool, is the embedded reporting tool in the Maximo 7 Releases. It enables the deepest levels of integrations throughout the various Maximo applications. Users can run reports directly from Maximo and review them in the report browser. Reports can then be converted to PDF for printing, or downloaded to other file formats including xls and ppt for additional analysis.
Over 150 Out-Of-The-Box Reports come with Maximo and cover the most common reporting requirements throughout the different applications. Furthermore, developers can use BIRT Designer Tool (using Eclipse Platform) to design and built Customized Maximo Reports.
Since BIRT is fully embedded in Maximo, it offers additional User-friendly functionality such as Direct Print or Display. This functionality enables users to run or print a heavily used report with the minimum number of mouse clicks. If such functionality is set for a specific report, Icons would be available in the application toolbar for Browser View, Direct Print or Direct Print with Attachments.
In addition to this, BIRT Reports can be scheduled to be run on a specific time and saved on the server or send via email to a specific list of recipients.
- Query Based Reporting (QBR): Sometimes referred to as Ad-Hoc reporting. This reporting tool is available to meet the ad-hoc reporting needs through Maximo. Users can select the type of Report they want to run, the fields to be displayed and other grouping and sorting rules. Report Parameters can also be added for better data filtering. An ad-hoc report can be run for one time usage only, or otherwise it can be saved and shared with other users. Similar to Standard Reports in Maximo, Ad-Hoc Reports can be downloaded (exported to other applications), Saved or scheduled and automatically emailed to a specific list of recipients.
In the latest version of Maximo (Maximo 7.6), a number of enhancements to Ad-Hoc reporting have been added to enable users developing more complex reports and applying additional data analysis based on the business needs.
- Application Exporting: Whether it’s a simple filtration of data or a Result Set of an advanced query, users can always download whatever is in the List Tab to an excel sheet for better analysis. The List Tab in every application contains a list of fields that can be used for filtering and retrieving a specific set of data. In addition, users can use the advance search fields for more filtering options. If a user wants to use a where clause query to search for specific Result Set, the “Where Clause” option is also available within the advance search menu.
- KPIs: KPIs are metrics which are used to highlight performance against a set goal. Once you have the data captured in Maximo, Users can build Key Performance Indicators to measure and manage performance, effectiveness and reliability within the organisation. Maximo support creating KPIs in graphical, list or dashboard format. Drilling down to other supporting KPIs and displaying the historic trend are some additional features that are available in Maximo.
User doesn’t always have to create the KPIs from scratch, instead one can always start from a saved query in a specific application.
- Cognos reporting: This is an enterprise reporting tool that provides developers and users deeper analysis of Maximo data. Users of Maximo 7.6 are directly entitled to the Cognos 10.2.1 BI Server products. Maximo Object Structures and Maximo Relationships can be published in Cognos as Meta database packages to be used for reports building. Although Congnos reporting is not fully embedded within Maximo, Users can still access the reports from Maximo Applications directly. Easy access functionality available for BIRT reports is not yet available but it is something that we expect having available sometime in the near future.
How to choose the best reporting Tool?
When you ask or being asked about the best reporting tool to use, a combination of tools will always be the answer. Different Tools may be used for different communication types; push, pull or interactive. The purpose of the report, the recipients and the ease of use should also be considered while identifying the best reporting tool to build a specific report.
It’s very common to use 2 or 3 different reporting tools within the organization. Some entities provide their staff and management with dashboards that they can check on their own. Others may choose to run monthly reports to be emailed as PDF files to their clients. While others may use both dashboard and PDF files, in addition to ad-hoc report to be run as and when required.
As a conclusion, selected tools have to fit into the organization’s strategy and reporting needs. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to automating reports. One should understand the needs and use the business knowledge to find the right tool for each report.