As a datamart developer and data anayst, I often times work directly with end users, who are managers and department heads. Therefore, if I think of a bright idea, I'll bounce it off them first. If it's something they find useful, then they'll formally request it. It's a lot easier to propose something when one already got interested stake holders backing it up.
"The universe is complicated and for the most part beyond your control, but your life is only as complicated as you choose it to be."