As a report developer/business intelligence expert, I work with raw data that is typically in a database. Whether the database is called SQL Server, Access, Oracle, PROGRESS, Sybase, DB2, etc. is generally irrelevant. The differences between these is like driving a Ford, Chevy, Toyota, Honda or Porsche. Each one has their own qualities and uniqueness but as a whole they all perform the same function. A car gets you from point A to point B. A database stores data.
Based upon user requirements, this data has to be extracted. It can be extracted in its raw form for manipulation by another tool; it can be scrubbed/transformed/massage so that it is ready for use; or it can be a combination of the two. In most cases, I use what is called a stored procedure or a view. While they both perform basically the same functions, stored procedures are generally more complex than views. There are other ways to extract data from a database. Many of the databases have their own extraction tools. I have worked with SSIS – Microsoft SQL Server Intergration Services.
Now once the data is ready to come out of the database, it has to be presented to user in a usable fashion. One can use a report developing tool such as Business Objects/Crystal Reports, of which I have been using for well over 10 years, SSRS – Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, Cognos or Informatica. With these tools, one can build reports, dashboards and scorecards. I can also do other things with the data such as make it available for spreadsheets in order to take advantage of features which may not otherwise be available. I have also rendered the date in a file format for use by other systems.
So this is the short of how I work. If you are interested in knowing more about my skills and how your organization or client can benefit, please check out my resume.