Monday, July 02, 2012

Chart Chooser tool for SSRS. It's Free.

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Reporting is perceived to be a very common and underrated skill, as its comparatively easy to learn. DB and well as application professionals gain grip of reports development with a short learning curve. But in my views that does not make one an insightful reporting professional. Often due to the lack of this insight many applications suffer from poor reporting abilities. A typical developer who just knows the tool might be able to drag-and-drop few controls, make data connections and deploy reports that pulls out some data out of databases.

But given a scenario that one has to develop a report that should help in trend analysis as well as distribution analysis, how many developers can answer which is the best way to do so ? Most of the professionals who have used charts and bars are aware of the operational details to use them, but not about the applicability in scenarios where the same can be useful. One needs to have some statistical knowledge to learn the same.

In today's world where one needs to be multi-talented in various skills, professionals often fall short of time to go through such a course and one might not find tools that can suggest the same easily. I often hear myself that me being an MVP I should write better blogs myself than posting links to other sites. My opinion is that there is no point in reinventing the wheel.

If you have an idea of which resource to use when backed up with clear fundamentals, you need not re-invent the same everytime. If you intend to be an SME of a particular subject, then you would enjoy doing every small things about the same subject. But if you intend to function as an architect and your job is solutioning, then you have more responsibilites than just enjoying to write code and demonstrate snippets.

So finally, here is one free tool that can help you choose right chart for SSRS reports based on the purpose of your analysis. It's called Chart Chooser, its web-based and its free too. Some concise reference manual about the applicability of charts can be read from here. There is a lot of reference manual available on the web on the use of reporting tools, but comparatively very less reference manual to teach analytics driven applicability of reporting.

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