In This Chapter
Looking at basic querying and reporting functionality
Determining whether you need only basic querying from your data warehouse
Designing your relational database to support querying and reporting
Checking out some tools for your data warehouse
Querying and reporting is the low end of the spectrum of business intelligence functionality that applies to your data warehouse. (Chapter 8 provides an overview of business intelligence functionality.) Querying and reporting handles "tell me what happened" processing that's relatively static and predictable, for the most part. The data is retrieved in accordance with either regular standard reports or in response to a particular question (an ad hoc query, for example). Then, that data is formatted and presented to the user either on-screen or on a printout.
The interaction model for querying and reporting business intelligence typically follows a pattern of regular, predictable steps (these steps are also in Chapter 8, so you can skip ahead if you've already read that chapter):
Make a data request.
Retrieve the data.
Manipulate the data slightly.
Summarize or reorganize, for example, if necessary.
Format the data.
Present the data.
These steps don't vary much between tools, scenarios, or users. If a user decides that the presented result looks odd or otherwise needs to be augmented, the process usually just begins again with a new request.