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A Brief History Of Electronic Reporting

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

It’s difficult to say there was a beginning, really. Let’s just say it started from a singularity.

There was no space.

No time.

No reports.

In 1961, IBM put forth the first official release of the Report Program Generator (RPG) language. The universe of reporting expanded rapidly. Reams of paper began to spill onto the desks of corporate middle managers across the globe. Neatly formatted tables of numbers exploded in every direction – driven by the deafening cadence of teletype printers. 

March of 1962 is the first known use of the following phrase: “I swear, if the finance people request another report format change, I’m going to roll the paper into a ball and set it on fire in their office.” This oath continues to echo in the halls of business today.

Will it ever end?