Scheduling Reports and Storing Reports

Discusses decisions about report frequency and storage needs.

There are several decisions you have to make about reports:

  • Which reports to generate – daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly?
  • How frequently to run an analysis – every five minutes, every ten minutes, or once a day?
  • How long to keep a given report – do you store each daily report for one month, two months, or longer?
  • How many elements to store in a report – 100, 2,000, or 20,000?

Reporting is one of the key elements to consider when deciding how to allocate resources, because the report rendering process itself uses significant system resources.

Rendering reports is a processing-intensive task. The report engine must first look up all the information requested by the report templates. It must then create tables and graphs that are populated with all the requested information. Depending on the report periods you request (such as daily, monthly, and yearly), your report engine may have to render one or more different reports for each report type.

After you create reports, each report requires a fair amount of storage space. Each stored report can occupy a fair amount of memory—up to 1 MB of memory, for example, for a basic report that comes packaged with Webtrends Analytics software.

Therefore, you should always consider the amount of time and resources involved in generating reports. For example, if it takes an hour to generate a complete day’s report, and you generate a report every hour, it will take more than an hour to generate the report because of the overhead involved in shutting down and starting up processes. Your system may also experience thrashing if you generate reports too frequently.

Recommendations: Reports

Many IT departments prune reports to contain only the tables/charts that may be of interest to the particular audience. Limiting report templates to only the reports you need makes them less daunting and more accessible, and reduces processing time and storage needs. You should track which reports are viewed by business users and remove those that are never accessed from your report templates.

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