Formatting your reports for fun and profit

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  • Updated 8 months ago
The last Feature Spotlight was about scheduled reports, and how they can help you develop the habit of checking your reports on a regular basis.

But, if you happened to read that article, you might have thought: I get plenty of emails sent to me. My problem is actually reading them.

That’s a good point.

Addressing your behavior’s ‘cue’ by automatically sending reports to your inbox only gets you so far. To actually adopt your new habit, you might have to make some additional changes.

One thing you can try is making the report more fun to read.

Okay, I hear the snickers. It may never be ‘fun’ to read a report. But, it can be pleasant, and least. And rewarding, if you get something useful out of it, without having to put in much effort.

And there's a simple thing that can make a huge difference to how easy a report is to read and understand.

How the report is formatted.

That’s why at Replicon we’ve paid attention not only to the data each report provides, but also to how that data can be configured. For each report, you can:

  • Group and summarize data - These options let you view data averages, sums, etc, right in the report; after all, when you’re using reports, you’re often more interested in trends than isolated details
  • Filter data - Select exactly what projects, users, date ranges, etc, you want to view, so you don’t have to wade through irrelevant information
  • Create custom columns - If you make a calculation outside of Replicon using data in a report, why not just set up the calculation right in the report itself, using a column based on a custom formula
  • Reorder columns - Put your key data front and center; no need to rely on the default, or the order you added columns in
So, you could have a report that looks like this:

Or, using the same raw data, one that looks like this:

So, if you use Replicon reports, or think maybe you should be using them, consider whether your reports are optimally formatted. Sometimes a small change can have a big effect.
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Paula Tannahill, Technical Writer

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Posted 8 months ago

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