Creating, Editing, and Rendering Reports

A report is used to display data in Slate in the aggregate.

Create a Report

To create a new report:

  1. Click Queries / Reports in the top navigation bar.
  2. Click New Report
  3. Name the report.
  4. If desired, add the report to an existing folder, subfolder, or to a new folder by selecting Other.
  5. Select Portrait or Landscape for the orientation.
  6. Optional: Customize the color palette that will be used in your report.
  7. Click Save.

After following these steps, next enter the Edit Report Details layer of Report Builder, where parts can be added, and report construction continues.

To go back to the View Report layer, click on the breadcrumb link on the upper left area of the page, after "All Reports > ".

  Tip

Add a report to the Slate homepage by assigning it to a System / Homepage subfolder.

Edit Report Details

To navigate to the Edit Report Details layer of an existing report, click Edit on the upper right area in the View Report layer.

Under the Parts section, the parts that comprise the report are displayed. Click and drag a part to move and reorder its position within the report.

In the following example, the report is made up of one part labeled “Applications.” At a glance, one can see the data rows that belong in this part, as well as the columns.

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The data will not render in this layer. To see all the data, navigate back to the View Report layer. 

Within the Edit Report Details layer, more settings for your report can be configured such as scheduling email delivery, or adding notes.

  1. Click Edit on the upper right area.

    Modify the settings used when first creating the report such as changing the name of the report.

    In the Schedule Report section, schedule a copy of the report to be delivered over email:
    • Recipients: Enter the email address/es to which the report should be delivered. Note: email is not a secure method of communication and extra caution should be observed when reporting individually identifiable or otherwise sensitive information. 
    • Weekdays: Select the day(s) of the week the report should be delivered. A minimum of one weekday must be selected.
    • Delivery Window: Select the delivery window times during which the report should be delivered. A minimum of one delivery window must be selected.
  2. Click Edit Notes to add internal notes to a report.
  3. Use Copy Report to save a copy.
  4. In the Copy Report window, click Copy to Briefcase to add a copy of this report to another database.

    Use Slate Template Library exports and filters as much as possible if the goal is to share a report via Briefcase. Custom fields and custom exports and filters may not exist in other databases, and would therefore not be usable in a report shared via Briefcase
  5. Set sharing and access permissions to this report in Sharing Permissions

Important!

Email is not a secure method of communication. Technolutions provides the ability to email in the Reports tool, (unlike in the Query Builder), as reports are meant to display data in the aggregate, not personally identifiable information.

Add a New Report Part

To add a new part, click Data Table or Query from the palette on the right.

  1. In most cases, Data Table will be selected. A Query Part is used in very specific instances. For example, to report on aggregate event data as well as show a corresponding list of registrants, a separate Query Part for the registrants list would be used.
  2. Enter a name, and select a Population. This is similar to selecting a population when building a query. Click Save.
  3. To edit an existing part, simply double click the Part.

  Which query base should be used in a part?

The answer depends upon who and what you data points you want to identify. For example, the Prospects base will supply counts based on the number of students. In other instances, the Applications base is appropriate: for example, to report on application-scoped fields, or if counts must be based on applications (especially when one person could have multiple applications).

See Query Bases more guidance on the different query bases.  

Want a deep dive into event reporting? Get a pass for the Slate Innovation Festival and register for ADM 241: Managing and Reporting on Complex Events.

Edit Report Parts

The majority of report setup is executed within the Edit Parts layer.

  • After creating a new part, part-level exports and filters can be added. A part-level export becomes a query export when the report is sent to the Query Builder.


    In the example above, "Ref" and "Staff Assigned" have been added as part-level exports.

    The exports added on the part level do not display anywhere in the report. They are simply predefined exports used to export a report to the Query Builder. 

    However, after exporting to the Query Builder, "Ref" and "Staff Assigned" are added as columns with each row displaying the corresponding Ref and Staff Assigned values for a record. This is a helpful trick to add identifiers to a query list for troubleshooting later.
  • Add a filter to the part. This helps clearly define the population which is being reported on.  Who is the story about?

    Additionally, adding filters may help reports run faster and more efficiently, as doing so minimizes the number of records that need to be evaluated and calculated.

    Some commonly used filters are: Tag (NOT IN Test Record), Application Period Active

Important!

Avoid complex filtering criteria, as this can cause the report to time-out.

Columns

Generally speaking, columns represent the populations which are being compared.

Columns apply to the entire part. If the metrics to be reported on need different columns in a certain portion of the report, or a different query base, multiple query parts must be used.

  1. To add a new column, click Data Column.
  2. Add a Name.
  3. Select a Column Type.
    • Population: Used for general reporting involving counts.
    • Formula: Display data based on a formula. 
  4. Column Group: Group columns together. The groupings will display when viewing the report.

    mceclip9.png


    The 2017 and 2018 column groups consist of the Early Decision, Regular Decision, and Total columns respectively.

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    • Assign each column to a group by adding a column group name. Every column must have a grouping, and an identical group name must be used to group certain columns together.

      In the example above, the Early Decision and Regular Decision columns have both been assigned to the 2017 column group, and will display accordingly.
  5. Column Width: Adjust the column within the part. Use px (e.g. 150px) or percentages (e.g. 25%).
  6. Variable Name: Assign a variable to the data column to be used in a formula. See Formulas in Reports.
  7. Apply Filters to columns. The filters specify the population that belongs in this particular column.
    • If a column does not have any filters, it means that this particular column comprises records as defined by the population selected for the part, plus any the part-level filters added.
    • Note: The Estimated Rows count does not take into account the filters applied on a higher level across the entire part.
       
Early Decision Column Regular Decision Column Total Column

The Early Decision column is defined by records that are in the 2017 Period, and have a Round Key of ED.

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  Tip!

Use the “Save as Copy" function to quickly copy out a part, column, or data row.

Rows

While columns typically represent the populations to compare, row groups (or rows) can be thought of as the questions for which you want the column values to answer.

To add a row group to your report part, click Data Table or Chart from the palette on the right hand side.

  • Data Table: Display numerical data in a table.
  • Chart: Represent aggregate data graphically.

Row groups are displayed below a Metric header row. The Metric column displays the row labels, and cannot be removed nor edited. The Metric column width will automatically be the result of the leftover space from the data columns that have been added. 

Configuring Data Tables

  1. Give the table a Heading.
  2. Select a Row Type:
     
    Group By Aggregate Distribution Formula
    Description  Additional Options
    Most appropriate for reporting data driven by a defined prompt list (e.g. major, campus, entry term). Useful for cross-tab reporting.
    • Null Values: By default, data cells that have no data will be blank in the report. Select this option, and set Number Format to 0 to force display a 0 for null cells. 
    • Series Total: Adds a “Total” row to the table.
  3. Number Format: Display values in a particular format. For more details see:
  4. Group By Export: Available for Group By and Aggregate row types only. Add an export field to create table rows based on the values in this field/metric.

    Drilldown tables can also be created by adding another export field to this section.

    Double click the export to access additional settings:
    • Export Value: Select to display Translation Export Values instead of the saved field value.
    • Sort and Sort Order: Sort according to data columns, or alphabetically on the selected metric (default).
    • Limit: Limit a row group to a specified number of rows.
  5. Value: Available for the Aggregate and Distribution row types only. Add the export field to create table rows based on values in this field/metric. This works best with fields that store numerical data.

    Important!

    Although the user interface currently allows for multiple exports to be added under Value, only the first export will be utilized by the row.

  6. Filters: Specify the records that can be included in the row group.

Example of a Data Table with a Group By Row Type and Drill Down Rows:

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In this example, a report is being built to identify the numerical breakdown by sex for applicants in 2017.

  • Row Group Type: Data Table
  • Heading: Sex
  • Row Type: Group By
  • Null Values: Show null/missing values
  • Series Total: Show series total
  • Number Format: 0

Two exports have been added in the Group By section: "Sex" and "Application Entry Term." 

The row count includes only applications that are in the "Awaiting Payment," "Awaiting Materials," "Awaiting Decision," "Awaiting Confirmation," and "Decided" statuses.

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In the resulting table, the cell for row “F” and column “2017 – Early Decision” counts 108 applications that are in the 2017 Period and have a round key of ED, and are in the selected application statuses.

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Clicking a table row reveals the numbers sliced according to "Application Entry Term."

Configuring Charts
  1. Give the chart a Heading.
  2. Select a Row Type (Group By, Aggregate, Distribution). Group By is most frequently appropriate for graphical charts. The Formula row type is not available for charts.
    • The Additional Options for the various data table row types are applicable here as well.
  3. Select a Chart Type
    Chart Type Description and Additional Options
    Pie Chart Illustrate the numerical proportion of data with a circular graphic.
    Donut chart Similar to the pie chart, with the center cut out.
    Bar Chart  Represent data with rectangular bars of lengths proportional to the values represented.
    Column Chart  Represent data with rectangular bars of heights proportional to the values represented.
    Line Chart  Display a series of data points connected by straight line segments.
    Timeline Chart

    Visualize dates on a timeline.

    Function: 

    • Day
    • Day (Cumulative)
    • Month
    • Month (Cumulative)
    • Fiscal Day of Year (July 1 to June 30)
    • Fiscal Day of Year (Cumulative)
    Geo Map (United States) Display a heat map for the United States.
    Geo Map (World) Display a world heat map. 
    Scatter Chart Plot data against vertical and horizontal axes.
  4. Trendlines: Superimpose trendlines on a graphical chart.
    • Linear
    • Exponential
    • Polynomial

Important!

Columns based on formulas are not rendered in a chart row group.

Example of a Geo Map Chart:

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In this example, we are reporting on the geographical distribution of applicants in the United States for the 2017 Period.

  • Row Group Type: Chart
  • Heading: Active US Region
  • Row Type: Group By
  • Chart Type: Geo Map (United States)

The “Active Address – Active Region” export has been added in the Group By section.

Because the Chart Type only displays data for the United States map, adding a filter for “Active Address: United States” produces the same result as not adding any filter.

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In the resulting chart, the Total column displays a map that indicates Illinois and California as the states having the highest number of applicants in the country. The gradient bar on the lower left of the map displays the color gradation used, with the left end indicating the lowest number, and the right end displaying the highest number.

  What additional resources are available in report creation?

Please reach out to us via the Service Desk. When opening Report Builder requests with the Service Desk, please note the following:

  • Provide a link to a report you have attempted to create in Slate, so we can pinpoint the relevant areas and concepts that need focus.
  • If you are trying to replicate an existing/external report, provide a sample or copy. (PDFs or spreadsheets are acceptable, but the general rule of thumb is: the more complicated your existing report, the longer it might take to decipher and translate to the Reports tool!)
  • If you are investigating discrepancies in the counts, create and provide a link to a query that returns the records that should be counted.
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