A student recently commented, “Data can be manipulated, filtered and summed up directly by the person making the requests,” recognizes the effect of the personal computer on business processes. Independent reporting and analysis is a major factor in the affect that the personal computer has had on modern business.
In the 70s and early 80s, before PCs were widely installed at the government agency at which I worked, I used a shared computer terminal that was linked to mainframe and super computers in the basement of my building. I could input data at the terminal; however, reports were printed in the computer room and delivered to me by a courier, the next day. I look back on the analysis that I was doing at that time, and I think of how much more efficient I could have been if the requested data and reports were available immediately.
My wife works at the same agency, as a computer network administrator, and she is often called in to work in the middle of the night to oversee the repair of network systems, because employees now expect data and reports to be immediately available. So, which came first, the change in technology or the change in expectations? 😉