How To Become A SQL Report Writer

Part 3 of 20 in the Series: Career Paths for Database Professionals

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The report writer as a key member of the database, sql or data analytics team is responsible for creating, validating, distributing and documenting the reports required by an organization.

Report Writers work with various types of relational databases, sql query writing and report writing tools because they need to retrieve, aggregate and present data from different databases including Oracle, SQL Server or ODBC Compliant Databases.

Since it is not practical or feasible for Report Writers to learn or master all the available database reporting tools, they specialize in a few and then learn any additional reporting tool come along on the job!

Report Writers can port report writing skills from one Reporting Platform to another because Reporting tools are based on these major components:

  1. Report Writing Databases:  Report Writing Databases act as repositories of the company’s reporting data. The data needed for report writing projects may be stored in data warehouses, proprietary databases, relational databases or ODBC compliant databases.

    Report Writers usually have to create Reports based on data distributed across multiple databases or tables. Because writing all the SQL queries, sub queries, joins, aggregate queries, rollups, etc. can get quite involved, they need to have strong SQL Skills, database skills and data analysis skills.

  2. SQL Queries: Report Writers have to identify the tables that contain the required data based on the reporting requirements handed to them.

    After identifying Reporting Requirements, they may have to write complex SQL queries to extract the information, trends, or patterns contained in the data. The final query is often saved for re-use as a stored procedure.

Report Writer Duties

Report Writers work closely with end-users, stakeholders or management to gather and document reporting requirements and to test or validate their reports after.

Here are some of the roles and responsibilties of Report Writers:

  1. SQL Data Retrieval: Report Writers need to write SQL code for extracting, summarizing, aggregating or presenting data from one or more database systems.

  2. Data Validation: Report Writers need to validate the results of their SQL Queries with the end users because of discrepancies that may exist between what the reports say and what the users expect!

  3. Data Presentation: Report Writers present their results in the form of tables, pie charts, bar charts and other plots or diagrams. The data presentation duties of a Report Writer is facilitated with Reporting Tools like SQL Server Reporting Services, Crystal Reports or Microsoft Access Reports.

Report Writer Careers

Report Writers use tools that they are familiar with to retrieve data from different databases including Oracle, SQL Server or ODBC Compliant Databases.

It is important to note that a Report Writer who is skilled in one tool like SQL Server Reporting Services and strong in the essentials of relational database design, development and sql query writing can connect to most databases (Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft Access, AS 400, JD Edwards), retrieve the data to SQL Server and then write the Reports.

Since it is not practical or feasible for Report Writers to learn or master all the database reporting tools out their, all that they need to do, is specialize in a few reporting tools and then learn any new reporting tools for their specific job situation.

A skilled Report Writers can be placed in a variety of positions including:

  1. Sql Server Reporting Services Report Writer

  2. Ms Access Report Writer

  3. Crystal Report Writer

  4. PL SQL/Oracle Forms/Report Writer

  5. SQL Report Writer

  6. Hyperion Report Writer

  7. Cognos Report Writer

  8. IBM COBOL Report Writer

  9. Visual FoxPro Report Writer

  10. Database Report Writer

  11. AS400 Report Writer

Report Writer Training – How to Become a SQL Report Writer

Report Writers may choose only one of these two training options, based on their career aspirations or job requirements.

  1. SQL Boot Camp: The SQL Boot Camp provides you with all the database development and sql query writing skills needed for Report Writing jobs.

  2. Data Analyst Boot Camp: The Data Analyst Boot Camp provides you with all the database development, sql query writing, data analysis and statistical analysis skills needed for Report Writing jobs.

In this article, I discussed the skill requirements, duties, roles, responsibilities and career paths available to Report Writers.

If you have any question about becoming a Report Writer, go ahead and post it as a comment at the end of this post and I will be glad to answer it for you!




3 Discussions for “How To Become A SQL Report Writer”

  1. April

    Why would you say Microsoft Access is the best data analyst tool?

    • #1: Cost: Microsoft Access is relatively inexpensive and is available to almost every business unlike some data analysis tools that are available to just a few, fortune 500 corporations / large enterprises.

      #2: Learning Curve:
      Microsoft Access has such a low learning curve that in the mid to late 90′s. it spanned an entire industry of power uses.

      Motivated business users that were intimidated by the learning curve associated with a lot of data analysis tools, found it easy to purchase and install microsoft access and then start modeling / analyzing data.

      A lot of other data analysis tools that were described with words such as: “powerful, robust, enterprise,”, etc. were useless because the average user could not overcome the barrier of learning time or the steep learning curve.

      Even when an organization managed to purchase the more expensive data analysis tools, these tools were often under-utilized because they were complex and difficult to learn unlike Microsoft Access.

  2. Jeff Smith (SQL Server 2009 MVP) on How to be an Effective Report Writer

    1. The need to know your database schema, data dictionary and your subject

    2. Jeff says Microsoft Access is the best data analyst tool … I was a Microsoft Certified MS Access Professional

    read more about jeff’s thoughts here: http://weblogs.sqlteam.com/jeffs/archive/2007/04/13/How-to-be-an-Effective-Report-Writer.aspx

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