IT reporting is rooted in three simple goals: (1) show compliance, (2) provide holistic status updates, and (3) deliver proof that is used as data evidence for actionable decisions. Furthermore, it is always best practice to start with the end goal in mind. With IT reporting, it’s no different because each of the aforementioned goals may have a different audience, each with their own specific need.

 

Once the audience is defined, the relevant data that the audience wants to consume will also become clearer. For instance, a CIO may need a 1-pager showing overall IT compliance for auditors, an IT manager may need a high level update for each infrastructure layer to show uptime efficiency to IT executives, and an IT admin may need to summarize technical data to justify necessary IT actions to their direct managers and fellow IT colleagues.

 

With the objective in mind, relevant data can be captured and processed into something that the audience can consume. The IT report shouldn’t be just a data dump. It should aspire to be easily understand and quickly provide compelling evidence to justify an IT business operations decision. In this sense, one can think of IT reporting as the bridge between IT operations and business operations.

 

Successful IT reporting consists of:

  1. Defining the audience
  2. Understanding their objective
  3. Gathering and processing the relevant data
  4. Presenting the data in a clear, concise manner
  5. Enabling actionable decisions

 

In the comments below, let me know what you think of the IT reporting flow and construct. This concludes the 3-part series on monitoring, troubleshooting, and reporting. The three blog posts serve to level set definitions as well as provide context for future posts that will cover specific, practical use cases for each of the three IT skills.