A lot has changed (or expanded) in the world of reporting since then. Today, reports come in all shapes and sizes: tax return documents, inventory logs, invoices from cell phone providers, even your commercial airplane ticket is a report.

While reports from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia are a far cry from their modern counterparts, the purpose of reporting remains the same as it was for farmers 5,000 years ago: provide a snapshot of information that can be used to guide future decision making.

The oldest writing we know is a report recording the details of a business deal: ‘29,068 measures barley, 37 months. —Kushim


If you live in tech, you’re aware of the exciting fields of data science and machine learning and their prospective value to business intelligence. Each promises revolutionary change to the way we discover and predict outcomes before they occur—a game changing thought.

Yet, according to a recent survey by InformationWeek, 88% of organizations are using reports while only 34% use data science. Why? Because while data science, machine learning, and even data discovery offer new paths, the need to inform users from a single source of truth is, and will always be, a critical component to consistently and accurately distributing information. Just as ancient farmers relied on “transaction receipt” tablets to guide their next barley negotiation, modern workers will continue to depend on IT-delivered reports to drive better business decisions for years to come.

Enterprise reporting has evolved considerably in recent years thanks to new data sources, modern APIs, architectures, and more. To learn about these changes and how to take advantage in your own reporting environment, check out Jaspersoft’s recent webinar with O’Reilly Media, “Time For Action: Bring Operational Reporting to the 21st Century”, and hear from Teodor Danciu, Founder and Architect of the world’s most popular open source reporting library.

by Shane Swiderek