3 Reasons why the Inertia of Printing Reports is a Bad Idea

We get requests all the time to produce this or that report. One rule is true, no matter how many reports are built into a system, “the one” someone is looking for is not there. 100% of the data is available online via Bluestreak, and 90%+ of the time there is a way to view the exact data in an exportable search screen. We designed Bluestreak to be a paperless system, but unfortunately it takes a long time for paperless to “acclimate” into an organization.

While this acclimatization is taking place, the requests for paper reports keep coming in. Here are three, of many, reasons why relying on paper reports is not beneficial to an organization that has a real-time online system to view data.

1) Once it’s printed, it’s obsolete

This should be an obvious fact, but many people don’t really realize it. Unless you have very stagnant data, the millisecond the “print” button is clicked, the data on the printed sheet is already old and new data will never appear. I know it’s comforting to hold that paper in your hand and point to the pertinent items. But having an online version is just as good, (ok you can’t hold 1’s and 0’s, so paper wins there), and is actually even better which leads me into reason two.

2) You can’t click hyperlinks on a piece of paper

This is almost the first thing out of my mouth when I try to explain that, although reports are a necessary way of disseminating information, let’s not put them on paper but instead keep them online. When the data is on the screen, we can provide hyperlinks to specific data and documents that make the information you need literally a click or two away. Because Bluestreak has multiple ways to produce online reports, and because all mobile devices with a modern browser are automatically supported, this is by far the best way to visualize and interact with your data. You can also refresh the underlying data to update your information anytime you want. No piece of paper can do that.

3) Dude, you’re killing trees for no reason

I’ll admit I'm not some uber ecologist, and my favorite color is not green. But seriously there are much better uses for trees than simply to print out 25 copies of a report, to use for a 30 minute meeting, and then toss them in the garbage. If we are going to use this great renewable resource, let’s not be frivolous with it. We certainly have the technology to view anything you want online. So let’s start beating up those 1’s and 0’s on your device of choice instead of wasting so many resources on harvesting, transporting, processing, printing and disposing of millions of tons of paper.