Reporting Tools Poised For Growth In Wake of US Recovery Act

By: Gen Wright

Stimulus: it is a word we have heard a lot more about in recent months. With failing banks and bankrupt automotive manufacturers, the stimulus package has been hailed as the answer to our difficult economic environment by some and cursed as a nightmarish sociological experiment by others. Truthfully, there is always the possibility either one could come to pass, though the former is far more likely than the latter.

Now with the ratification of the US Recovery Act, some much-needed transparency is being brought to the table. How are the billions of dollars in assistance going to be invested by those who get them? After the AIG bonus debacle, it is unlikely Americans will be sitting idly by, assuming the best.

But it is not simply the government's intent to catch the wasteful. The stimulus package is not a scarlet F for failure to the businesses in need of monies. It is an attempt to boost the growth of the economy, so jobs and income can continue to be available to American families. As such, a top issue is to make sure the money is spent fairly, accurately, and quickly. Necessarily, there should be full disclosure to the ones footing the bill, but at the same time, many of us stand to benefit from the windfall of jobs and economic growth to come.

With so much money changing hands, going to so many different places and programs, waste would be inevitable without the proper reporting tools in place to track spending. As a result, reporting tool companies, such as behemoths such as IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, and a popular entrepreneurial business intelligence specialist such as InetSoft of Piscataway, NJ, are poised to reap the rewards.

In order to provide the level of transparency of how much is spent when and on what, reporting tool applications will be indispensable, distilling billions of dollars and hundreds of programs into easy to read charts and tables, so the government and the taxpayers can more easily understand it all. Added disclosure will lead to greater consumer confidence that all that can be done is being done, but only if the reporting is clear, interactive, and ultimately accurate.

To help agencies meet the reporting requirements, and so the public can understand where their money is going and have full confidence in the economy once more, reporting tools are needed in order to provide capabilities such as monitoring and analysis. Today's reporting tools feature a visually compelling, interactive Web-based window into the data inside these agencies.

With easy to use drop-down menus and selection boxes, users can sift through mountains of data much more easily and rapidly. The report development workload for a given agency is also lessened because a single interactive dashboard report can substitute for dozens of static ones.

Citizens can rest assured the availability of this new reporting technology will set and maintain standards of accountability that will, in fact, prevent future mismanagement of spending. Agencies that find themselves recipients of stimulus funding can also be glad that there are such reporting tools readily available, which will ensure fair and worry-free accountability on the road to recovery.

Only a open approach will restore consumer faith in government bureaucracy, show accountability, and restore the growth of the US economy. With the right reporting tools, this can be easily accomplished, and the country's government can make a giant step forward in demonstrating its value to the American people.

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Mark Flaherty TFI Consulting reporting tools

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