Metagon Reporter - Frequently Asked Questions

 

1.  What benefits should my company expect from using Metagon Reporter?

A more agile organization, making decisions more quickly because the reporting tool is inexpensive and easy enough to deploy and use that it becomes the universal standard among all who need it. Greater buy-in on decisions due to global accessibility of data and reports, leading to transparency of decision-making. Greater agreement on the validity and interpretation of data resulting from everyone using a consistent set of assumptions and information.


2.  We’re already using Excel for a lot of our analyses; why should we add Metagon Reporter?

Compared with Excel or “spreadmarts”, Metagon Reporter offers:

• Time savings (up to 8 hours/week) for analysts who no longer need to extract data
   manually into spreadsheets, repetitively each time data changes

• Accurate data without transcription errors due to manual copy and paste
• Consistent results using corporate-wide data and metrics ends internal disputes due to reports that conflict
• No more decisions made “blind” because up-to-date reports are unavailable
• More powerful reporting


3.  What kind of companies and users are best suited for Metagon Reporter?

Metagon Reporter is designed for small to mid-sized companies needing an inexpensive but powerful reporting solution that can be effectively used by everyone. Metagon Reporter is simple both to deploy and to use, and is the answer for organizations that want powerful business intelligence reporting of corporate data without the expense, training requirements, complexity, or IT involve¬ment of most large-scale reporting packages.

 
4.  What makes Metagon Reporter different from other reporting tools?

Most reporting tools are written for people that are experts in reporting. Metagon Reporter realizes that most people are not experts in reporting. Metagon Reporter provides templates that include most of the fields that will be needed in your reports. You just add what is missing. Metagon Reporter also allows for sharing of advanced features such as selection criteria and calculations. This allows every user to take advantage of calculations and selection criteria that are created by the more advanced users.


5.  We tried a reporting product once, but not many people adopted it. Why will this be different?

Many reporting products are targeted to database professionals, and are therefore expensive and confusing to use without a lot of training. Metagon Reporter is specifically geared to those more interested in the results of the report than the mechanics of building the report, so it hides its power behind a click-and drag interface that is familiar to MS Office users. Additionally, Metagon Reporter Scorecard gives easy access to existing reports, so everyone in the organization can get the information they need immediately. And Metagon Reporter is priced to be economical to put on every PC.

 

6.  What workstation requirements does Metagon Reporter have?

The workstation requirements are the same as the requirements for supporting the .Net version 2.0 framework. The minimum requirements are a 400 MHz processor, 96 MB of memory, 500 MB of disk space, and 1024 X 768 monitor resolution.


7.  What server requirements does Metagon Reporter have?

Metagon Reporter can be run on a single workstation, with server components installed on the workstation. Therefore the server requirements would be the same as the workstation requirements. However, for larger sites, this is not recommended. We recommend Windows Server 2003, SQL Server 2005 express, 1 GHz processor or greater, 2 GB of memory, and 1 GB of disk space.
 

8.  What data sources does Metagon Reporter support?

Metagon Reporter supports most databases in use today. Included in this list is SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase, MYSQL, Informix, AS/400 iseries, Progress, IBM DB2 and others. In addition to these, Metagon Reporter will connect to any database that has an ODBC driver. You may also retrieve data from Active Directory, Excel files, Microsoft Project and Exchange.
 

9.  Can I access multiple databases simultaneously with Metagon Reporter?

Yes you can. Using our software component called DQbroker, you can connect to as many databases simultaneously as you need to produce your reports.
 

10. How does Metagon Reporter communicate with the data? Are extract files used?

Metagon Reporter uses web services to communicate with the original data sources. No extract files are used, so there are no data synchronization issues to worry about.  

11. What are the advantages of using a thick client interface? Aren’t thin client applications better?

This is a common misperception. The advantage of web-based thin client systems is that the software is distributed by the web browser. However because of the new ClickOnce technology, this can be done now with a thick client interface. The thick client interface offers the user a much richer experience with faster response times, more meaningful interaction with the application, and greater control.