Reporting: The Sports Journalism of IT

David Halberstam. Ring Lardner. Edwin Newman. Damon Runyon. Tom Wolfe. Two things these deservedly famous writers have in common. One is that you were probably supposed to read something written by at least one of them, but opted for the CliffsNotes instead. The other: they all spent parts of their early careers writing about sports.

The wind-up

Sports journalism is in many ways a perfect crucible for developing good writers. After all, the seventh or eighth time one has to cover two mediocre teams that “battled to a scoreless tie,” anyone with an interest in writing would start to look for more interesting things to say.

In addition, sports journalism lends itself to multiple points of view. Casual fans and desultory observers may only be interested in the score of a particular game, or surrounding details, such as the venue or the crowd. Those with fantasy teams, financial interests, or both likely have more detailed and specific interests. And those who are or want to be participants likely have even more granular areas of focus.

The pitch

In many ways, IT reporting closely resembles sports reporting. The underlying data, like the basic details of a particular game or team, are relative constants. But they can be interpreted in multiple ways with multiple levels of focus and emphasis, depending upon the needs and desires of a particular audience.

A CEO may only care about overall levels of uptime, downtime, or security. A CFO may only care about operating costs per minute, hour, day, or business unit. Those more directly involved in operational elements of IT asset, service, or security management need and want different, more detailed data to do their jobs. And those responsible for customer care and support likely want and need more user-centric reporting. And so on.

The home run

The need to present multiple types of reports from common data is a primary reason why Ivanti solutions for IT asset management (ITAM), IT service management (ITSM), and security management all include flexible reporting and analytics features. The goal is to convert the large volumes of data generated by your IT environment into information decision makers across your organization can easily and rapidly assimilate and act upon effectively.

But not even the most powerful reporting and analytics technologies are enough by themselves. You and your IT team need to combine those technologies with input from the constituencies you serve about how best to empower them with the information they need, when and how they need it. Lo and behold, yet another marketing opportunity for IT, and another chance to champion communicating with those constituencies in plain language.

Explore how our solutions can improve reporting at your enterprise. Because where effective reporting and analytics are concerned, the ball is in IT’s court, and it’s IT’s game to win. Your serve…