I found out today that the Sales Report section is completely useless unless you refresh your statistics on a daily basis.
What I cannot understand is the logic behind this. Why doesn’t Magento’s reporting facility actually report off live information from the database?
The only reason I can think of is that a large store may struggle with the report with thousands of Orders, but the solution provided to counter this problem seems highly strange. Refresh the statistics daily or your sale report will be completely off. Forget to refresh the statistics for a day and you have to refresh lifetime statistics - which surely will take longer than if I just ran a monthly report directly from the database?
I know I’m probably missing something glaringly obvious here, but I’d really like to understand the logic and mechanics behind Refreshing Statistics before considering whether I should add a cron module for daily refresh (which I don’t understand why isn’t included already) or just write a script to directly query the database for my reports (since the Report are still very limited anyway).