This is a typical drill-down report. Users can click the plus sign to go from summary levels to detail levels.
On the other hand this is a typical drill-through report, where hyperlinks are provided for each row so users can drill through from summary to detail.
I’ve created both types of reports. But recently I’ve found myself preferring the drill-down reports over drill-through reports. Business users seem to like it. I find that it’s also easier in implementation too.
The primary reason business users like the drill-down reports is that it makes the data verification/reconciliation process so much easier for them. Traditionally summary level reports simply aggregate the data without providing the level of details for users to verify the data, or to reconcile the data between different sources. Allowing business users to verify/reconcile the data gives business users the confidence in the data they never had before.
It’s easier to implement and maintain, because
- I do not need to maintain summary and detail level reports separately
- I do not need to create separate SQL tables for summary and details. Only the detail level data needs to be stored.
However, there is one catch about not creating summary level data but needing to show summary level data. This means that we need to do what we can on the report designer front to aggregate the data. Aggregating data is straightforward in SSRS with the grouping feature. However, when business wants to see all FTEs under each supervisor regardless if the FTE has done anything or not in the date range, I had to create a stored procedure to do that. More to come on how I created the procedure in next blog.