The more I read this thread the more I'm feeling it... weird to say, but I guess I was on the lucky side.
When I join my company, the new team and management I was supporting had 3 critical few KPIs tattooed in us. It made natural sense for me to build custom reports in various tools to further segment, add dimensions, integrate, and work with teams to elaborate the details on what worked and what didn't. Expanding the visibility around these critical few KPIs was a lot of work... by the time I looked back, tools didn't matter. Things that mattered at one big mile-stone were the people, team, skills to articulate data, time, etc.
Soon, I realized efficiently put automated dashboard containing the critical few KPIs, which is openly available anytime to the team, made me focus on analysis on expanded sets of data to add value. Analysis then became close to 100% of the reporting work, and it was 200% fun. Again, it wasn't about the tools features/capabilities/looks if I think about it... It was all about the KPIs and the stuff around it that drove the business.
Maybe this is what +Avinash Kaushik
is talking about.