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Designing Reports

There is more to creating a new report than simply pulling data into the Report Writer. Taking the time to design a report on paper will help speed the process for creating a new report. Once the report is designed, it is then a matter of using the report writer to get just the information needed.

There are a few important questions to ask when designing a report which will ensure a successful creation and deployment. Without asking these important questions, much time can be spent re-doing reports once additional information is gathered. Once all of the items are decided about the structure of the report, building the report in the Report Writer is a snap.

Question  Example  Why 
What type of information? Name & education Determines which Data Source to use.
Which fields of information? Name, degrees, year Determines which Fields to use.
Should anything be excluded? Only applicants from 2007 Determines which Filters to use.
For analysis or just records? Sums/Averages/Graphs Determines which other tabs need to be used. – Summary, Chart, Gauge.
Analysis of what? Number of people with which degree Determines how Summary and/or Chart and/or Gauge should be used.
Preferred Title/Details? Degree Report, etc. If writing for someone else, might as well get the items set at the beginning.
Specific Style? Column vs. Field | Value If writing for someone else, might as well get the items set at the beginning.
End Goal? Export to Excel for Manager Can add a filter in to split out managers, for example. Or this report might be named in to a category which managers can access.

See also