In This Chapter
Using Cmdlets to tabulate your data
Formatting how your data gets displayed
Generating HTML–based reports that stand out
Employing third-party reporting tools
If you ever watch movies that have a military theme, you'll hear the term "situational awareness" thrown about, or you'll hear someone barking out the need for a SITREP (situation report). Why is this important? Whether you're a battlefield commander or a white-collar manager, you can't make decisions in a void. Instead, what you need is real information about whatever situation you're in so that you can make an educated decision about the direction in which to proceed.
This is why reports are so important. Even if you're not managing people, it's important to be able to get information and put it in a format that turns the information into knowledge. This task can be as simple as combining information in a single, human-readable format or doing something fancy like representing your network's operating system distribution in a pie chart. What matters most is to get the information you're looking for into a readily accessible format.
Then again, I'm sure that you know or have known a manager or two (or twelve) who like to ask for reports simply because the request makes them sound managerial, when the truth is that they really have no clue what you're talking about. It's okay. Just make your reports look pretty, keep talking technical until the manager gets a blank look on his or ...