Overall Satisfaction with SAP Crystal
We use Crystal reports in our credit risk reporting function within the IFRS9 accounting standard to pick up specific delinquency reports at a customer level which needs to feed into disclosures on a quarterly basis. The idea is to receive canned reports by monitoring the amortization profile of customers and which goes as a feed to risk managers in creating early warning list by using specific credit utilization behavior.
- Great visualization for static format & precise tasks: For presentation to senior management /ex-co/vendors where concise decisions need to be made, Crystal is a nice choice to slide data into presentable views.
- Diverse data source connect: We have used it to write reports using data from DB2, SQL, Progress, Excel spreadsheets, XML data, Access, and Lotus Notes databases. It can also be used to join different database types together in one report.
- It uses the "recurring bands" structure for page layout which is efficient and fungible for generating different types of reports. Crystal doesn't require that we set up a metadata layer before creating reports and provides direct access to tables and dimensions.
- It is not very user-friendly for learning as during designs and debugging the error decryption is tedious and hard to figure out.
- When using sub-reports embedded in the main reports for different views of the same data sourced from multiple tables, this makes the process crazy slow. This is annoying and needs severe improvements.
- The visual capabilities need to seriously catch up with respect to market competitors. Security is also a concern at times while accessing data.
- It is a decent buy for specific departments in terms of reporting capabilities but updates and cost (frequent) demands are higher with the benefits offered.
- So long as the requirements are not ever changing, with scheduling functionality, it's a handsome tool.
With department's organizations having precise and periodic (fixed data/views) requirements, it turns out to be a great tool for doing BAU (business as usual) reporting. During agile environments, where bespoke cuts of data are required or frequent changes are the need of the hour, the effort and skills going into designing reports is a serious trade-off since the availability of skilled resources are limited to other market BI tools.