A Never Ending IT Journey around Optimizing, Automating and Reporting on Your Virtual Data Center
IT reporting at its best is pure art backed by pure science and logic. It is storytelling with charts, figures, and infographics. The intended audience should be able to grasp key information quickly. In other words, keep it stupid simple. Those of you following this series and my 2016 IT resolutions know that I’ve been beating the “keep it stupid simple” theme pretty hard. This is because endless decision-making across complex systems can lead to second-guessing, and we don’t want that. Successful reporting takes the guesswork out of the equation by framing the problem and solution in a simple, easily consumable way.
The most important aspect of reporting is knowing your target audience and creating the report just for them. Next, define the decision that needs to be made. Make the report pivot on that focal point, because a decision will be made based on your report. Finally, construct the reporting process in a way that will be consistent and repeatable.
Reporting in the virtual data center details the journey of the virtualization professional in the virtual data center. The story will start with details of virtual data center and key performance indicators. It will evolve into a journey of how to get what is needed to expand the delivery capabilities of the virtual data center. With agility, availability and scalability at the heart of the virtual data center show, reporting is the justification for optimization and automation success.
Audience and context matters
Reporting is an IT skill that provides the necessary context for decision-makers to make their singular decision. The key aspects of reporting are the audience and the context. You need to know who the audience is and that will guide an IT pro on the context i.e. the data, the data analysis and the data visualization required in the report. To adeptly report, an IT professional needs to answer the following questions: for whom is the report intended and what things need to be included for a decision?
Reporting molds data and events into a summary highlighting key truths for decision makers to make quick, sound decisions. It is neither glamorous nor adrenaline-pumping but it shows IT mastery in its last, evolved form - a means to an end.
This post is a shortened version of the eventual eBook chapter. Stay tuned for the expanded version in the eBook.