Stumbled across an article in Time Magazine about a company in the US that makes a product called QlikView. It's a really, really good development suite for building data dashboards. It allows you to import tables of data and it automatically finds relationships between data. So if you load data about mileage claims (I've used this to put a demo together) you can quickly show the sum of all the unauthorised claims for a specific department in September 2009 by clicking a few controls. There are no complicated SQL scripts, no VB to change the data - it takes no time at all to get something up and running. There's also a full suite of controls - graphs, charts, dials, lists to make everything look neat and funky.
Did I mention it was fast! I can achieve in two hours something that would have taken me days of boring development time. Plus I know that I can easily train this out to other people on the team.
The sales team is coming in to see us on the 7th December and they have offered some free time to use some of our data and put together a polished demo. Hopefull we can convince customers that this is the way forward in terms of reporting / data dashboards.