Vault Reporting and Dashboards allow you to track, analyze and visualize your global data. This overview will introduce you to the core capabilities of Vault Reporting and Dashboards and will provide links to helpful additional content if you would like to learn more.
Performing Calculations within Rows using Formula Fields
Formula fields allow you to perform calculations within a row of data. For example, you may want to calculate the difference between two dates that appear on the same row, format or concatenate text fields, categorize your data or return a colorful icon. Formula fields can be defined directly in your report using over 50 functions and 10 operators, and once created can be used in your report as a normal column.
Above we define a formula field called Days to Approval in our Study with Document report that calculates the difference between the Document Approval Date and the Document Created Date.
When we click Save, we return to the report builder page where we can still see the important details of the formula field we just created. We can easily copy and paste this formula into another report that has the same fields if needed. We can also now treat our new field like any other column and use it for filtering and grouping.
Formulas can be calculated across fields within a specific object and across objects when both are included in the report and the formula is defined on the down object (the object with an outbound reference to the primary object). Some common use cases for formula fields can be seen below.
Using Conditional Fields
Conditional fields are a way to bucket data into different categories and to assign colors that will appear in dashboards. An example of when this could be useful is bucketing performance metrics into good, medium and bad categories and assigning them the colors green, yellow and red.
Above we create a condition field called Approval Timeliness Categories and define three buckets. Good means that Days to Approval is less than 25 days and we assign the color green. Okay means Days to Approval is less than 50 days and we assign the color yellow. Bad means Days to Approval is greater than or equal to 50 days and we assign the color red. There is also a final default category called Other in case records do not meet any of the above conditions. Conditions are evaluated in order, ie, if a record meets the criteria of the first category, the second category is not evaluated.
- This field can then be added as a column in our report and can be used for grouping. Grouping by conditional fields is particularly useful because the colors we just assigned will be recognized by dashboards when metrics for that group are displayed as seen below.
Creating Flash Reports
Flash reports allow users with permission to deliver report results directly to user’s inboxes, view large reports and dashboards in seconds, and expose a consistent set of data to users. Flash reports run based on a user defined schedule and can be configured to send emails containing report content to all of the report viewers and editors. Normal reports run for up to 30 minutes in Vault, however flash reports run for up to 2 hours allowing them to handle larger volumes of data. When flash reports run they save a file containing the report data at the time of execution, and when users click on a flash report in Vault, the results that are saved are returned immediately providing a better user experience for large reports. Flash reports also expose the same data to all users who view it, which means some users may see data they normally do not have access to, though they will not be able to drill into the data. Exposing a consistent set of data can be helpful when you want all users to be on the same page regarding certain metrics, but it also means users should be careful when sharing flash reports.
Above we see some of the scheduling options users see when defining flash reports. Users may schedule the flash report to run daily, weekly or monthly, and may select what time of day they would like the report to run. They may also decide whether they want the report to send an email and whether the email should contain report content. A useful feature is only sending the flash report email when records are returned. This allows users to configure alerts.
Flash reports expose their schedule and the last time they ran to users within the properties section of a report. This ensures that users know the data they are looking at is not real time. An example flash report email can be seen below.
Running Reports in Background
As the data in your Vault scales, you might find that some of your large reports that return a lot of data can take a little while to run. Instead of waiting on the page for your report to finish, you can elect to run the report in the background and be alerted when your report is ready for viewing. Two additional benefits are that you can access those same results for up to 30 days and your report can run for up to 2 hours which means it can handle a large volume of data.
Large reports may also be run as flash reports, however if they only need to be run at irregular intervals or if they require prompts, running the report in the background may be a better option.
Advanced filter logic allows users to define ORs between filters and include parentheses. This option only appears when two or more filters are included in a report. Filters may only have an OR between them when they are on the same object and select fields including formula fields and role fields within a document do not presently support advanced filter logic.
The option to define Advanced Logic only appears after two qualifying filters have been added to the report. Above we have define an OR between the Type and Subtype filters that are enclosed in parentheses. There is then a third filter, Document Status, that is combined with the previous filters with an AND.
Relationship constraint filters are a special type of filter that allow users to filter out records in the primary object based on down object. For example, in our Study with Document report, let’s say we only want to see Studies that have at least one Document. To accomplish this we need a relationship constraint filter as seen below.
The operator dropdown also has a “does not have any” option if we only want to see Studies that do not have any assigned documents.
Date function filters allow users to create flexible filters that change over time. Instead of selecting a specific date to filter by, date functions give the user access to a variety of functions and operators to determine the date programmatically. The option appears when a user adds a filter on a date or datetime field. Instead of selecting a date from the calendar, they may click on the calculator icon.
The user can then define a function which returns 30 days in the future as seen below.
Example Platform Objects Useful for Reporting
Many objects are application specific, however there are some objects that are available in all applications and can be useful for reporting purposes including Document Usage, Activity, Performance Statistics, and Workflows.
The Document Usage object tracks all specific actions on documents in their Steady state, such as views, downloads, copies, and rendition downloads. It also contains a reference to the related Document which allows a report type to be created containing Document Usage and Document.
Performance Statistics is an object that tracks key performance metrics about your Vault such as the unique login count, the average time a search takes to perform and the number of new workflows created. Using this object many customers have set up dashboards to track in a single view how their key metrics have changed over time.
The Activity object contains all tasks in your system across documents, objects and user tasks. This allows you to find all overdue tasks in a single report. Useful fields available in the object include a user reference to the Task Owner, Due Date, Completion Date, First Assigned Date, State, and Parent, which references the related document or object. With multi-pass (discussed later) admins may join the Activity object to Documents or Objects using the Parent field and the name field.
By default your Vault will typically include a Workflow with Document report, however many objects may go through workflows as well. In order to report on the details of the workflows and tasks associated with objects, admins must create a report type using the Workflow object and the related object going through the workflow. Workflow reports have special columns that calculate how long the workflow and task took to complete.
Managing Report Lists
As the number of reports in your Vault grows into the hundreds or thousands, you may find it useful to organize your reports using several tools available to you including custom views, report tags and the Last Ran column. Custom views are a way of saving a list of reports that you have narrowed down based on search criteria or on filters, eg, Report Type. These views can be saved and shared with other users. Below you can see an example of a Custom View being created.
Tags is a multi-value picklist field defined on the report object that helps you categorize and quickly find relevant reports. Tags are defined by admins, but then editors and creators can add tags to their reports. Some admins create tags based on types of users (CRA) while others may create tags based on the report functionality (TMF Completeness).
The Last Ran column records the date and time a specific report was last executed. This field can be filtered on and used to identify the reports that have not been run in a long time. These reports could be good candidates for deletion.
And remember, if you are an admin and a member of the Report Owners or Report Administrators groups, you may see hundreds or even thousands of reports, but your end users will often only see a small fraction of the reports you see.
Other Report Options
There are a variety of other options available when creating and editing reports including Filter and Column Aliases and Include previous document versions. If users check the Filter and Column Aliases box, they will gain the ability to change the names of columns in the report, change the names of filters, remove Name columns from the report, and rearrange the order of objects. The Include previous document versions checkbox controls whether users only see the latest document that they have access to (the default) or if they see all versions of the documents that they have access to.