QueBIT Blog: Be an Innovator by implementing Report Bursting for Planning Analytics

Posted by: Andrew Weiss

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Dec 3, 2018 11:02:00 AM

As professionals the exciting and fun part of our jobs is identifying and solving a great challenge that helpsReportWORQ robot drive our business and make us better. However the daily grind keeps us from finding the time and energy needed to be innovative and forward looking.  Personally as a software engineer I look to automate every non-fun part of my job (and my life) so I can focus as much effort as possible on solving these challenges and feeling the reward for doing so.  Automation brings scalability, consistency, maintainability and definition to the things we do.  I could come home at the end of the day and say “I spent the day building personalized reports for all 100 of our business leaders today”, only to have to say it again next month.  Or I could come home and say “I spent the day building a system to send reports to business leaders and it doesn’t care how many of them there are”.  Clearly the latter is the leader, the innovator and the one who’s going to make a difference. We built ReportWORQ to enable you to build a system and make that difference. 

With Planning Analytics we’re always trying to build that amazing TI process to automate to a workload.  But there is no TI process for generating, refreshing and sending reports.  Perspective’s Print Reports feature attempts to fill this gap but leaves much to be desired and unfortunately as customers upgrade to PAX the Print Reports feature is noticeably missing.  ReportWORQ uses IBM Planning Analytics reports built with Perspectives or PAX as reporting templates.  This allows you to define the layout, format and data needed to for the task at hand.  For example you may have a P&L that needs to be replicated at a department level and then copied for each business unit.  Using Planning Analytics we can define exactly what that document should look like without yet deciding what or how many departments there are and which business unit it will go to.  Simply put ReportWORQ allows you to separate the purpose and definition of a report from the actual execution and distribution of that report.


As a Controller you use ReportWORQ to define how a report is to be replicated for entities, have the data refreshed, convert the file to Excel or PDF and finally distribute that file to email, SharePoint or the file system.  This definition in ReportWORQ is the system for automating this task which today may be for 10 Business Units but tomorrow will be a whopping 100 Business Units. This brings scalability to your business processes.  

Consistency & Maintainability

By using a template and a definition for bursting we now have one place where changes are to be made.  So when the CFO requests last month’s data to be added to the report going forward that work is performed in one place and only once, regardless if there are 10 or 100 business units. This change results in a consistent output for all recipients which brings maintainability to your business processes. 


It’s always a great day when we’ve done well enough to create a job and bring someone new on to the team.  Now begins the feat of knowledge transfer which will test how good you are at documenting your process.  ReportWORQ is not a set of steps, it’s a platform for defining steps to be executed by a system.  ReportWORQ through an easy to learn user interface defines where templates come from, how they are generated and combined with other reports and then who they are distributed to.  ReportWORQ shines here because simply by using it you have defined and documented your business process.  

Why Automate with ReportWORQ?

This is not a new problem for Planning Analytics users and it has been solved in many ways.  While some users have found benefit from the Print Report feature, this feature has gone away in the new PAX add-in for Planning Analytics.  Where Print Report comes up short many users and consultants have implemented complicated VBA macros to automate steps.  VBA is fantastic for automating a task, but it comes with limitations, a coding skill set and is generally implemented to solve only a specific task.  ReportWORQ is not a VBA macro and does not require coding skills of any sort.  ReportWORQ on the other hand is a supported software application that provides many features and levers to be used by you to automate all of your report distribution tasks. Unlike a VBA macro, when you have a problem with ReportWORQ you have someone to call for help.

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