Management reporting is a complex, multistage activity which takes place in the context of other business processes and makes use of the multiple information systems that may have been provided for other purposes -- general documentation, project management, financial control, email communication and business presentation. Managers treat information from these sources as ``harvestable, contextualisable data'', which is combined, summarised, and reinterpreted in management reports.
However, most of the activities employed in report creation are often supported only peripherally by an organisation's IT infrastructure. In our scenario, the only support which the management team enjoyed were in document creation (Microsoft Office) and a shared (albeit ad-hoc) storage environment, where organisation and discovery was achieved by the judicious use of file naming and directory organisation. The remaining areas were filled in by human nous, effort, memory and detective work.
This project attempts to relate the management reporting process to existing Web, open hypermedia, and Semantic Web research, and describe why we chose to develop a bespoke solution - the Management Reporting System (MRS) - rather than employ an existing system to support this process. MRS combines elements of open hypermedia (fitting hypertext functionality to the tools and environments that the author naturally uses), document creation (rather than link or annotation creation or document storage) and knowledge reuse (instead of text reuse), to provide support for Web-based management reporting.