There is no doubt that one of the problems some people encounter is knowing how to specify a Report.
There are a number of basic steps to help minimise the investment and maximise the result. These include clarity and realism, and needing to explain what you want the information to do and to look like. Sometimes it may be a small change to a standard report – though sometimes what may seem small may need a start from scratch approach.
Modified Standard Report
Sometimes what people need is a modified standard report, perhaps there is info in a custom field you need, perhaps there is a calculation that you need. All you need to do is tell me what the standard report is and what the additional information is. If it is a custom field the information from the custom field report about that custom field will be important. If it is a calculation then clearly the calculation will be important. Often times there is a layout issue fitting everything into the report and if there is info you don;t need on the report then that may be useful to know as well.
Completely New Report
If the report is completely new, then we will need to start with a layout of what the Report data will look like. This is normally best done with some sample data in an MS Excel Spreadsheet. A description explaining what the information you want to get is, and some sense of the purpose will help me get my head around it. I will also need the parameters that you want to supply the report engine, and any filters and sort of the the data that you need. There is no doubt that the clearer the idea of what we are trying to achieve is, the more hope we have of getting there in reasonable time and budget.
Email the Request
Generally the best option is to email me the request. I will respond when I have had a look at it. I am generally OK to talk to on the phone, however if I am in the car I may not be taking notes, so the phone call may clarify the notes, and is well worth the effort, however the email will be first base.