Displayr can be used to automatically generate reports (e.g., automatically customized reports for different brands, different regions). Automation is principally done by a combination of filtering, rules, and dynamic text boxes. When writing the report in PowerPoint, a decision needs to be made about whether final edits should be made in PowerPoint or Displayr.
Strategies for filtering a document
There are a number of different approaches to filtering a document for report automation purposes.
Strategy 1: Create a global filter and modify it in edit mode
This approach is generally the most straightforward approach. It works as follows:
- Select an object that you want to be filtered, and create a filter - see Filtering Data
- Apply that filter to all the other objects that you wish to be filtered - see Filtering Data.
- You can select multiple pages at the same time and filter them all this way.
- Export the document.
- Modify the filter (see Filtering Data) and re-export the document.
Strategy 2: Create a global filter using controls
- Create filters using controls - see Filtering Data.
- Apply that filter to all the other objects that you wish to be filtered.
- Export the document.
- Use the controls to modify the filter and re-export the document.
Strategy 3: View mode filtering
- Create any filters that you wish to use (see Filtering Data).
- Go to view mode (see Publishing as a Web Page (Online Report / Dashboards)).
- Click Export > Export to PowerPoint > Advanced Options and choose the desired filters in Export reports with selected filters.
- Press Export.
A rule is a bit like conditional formatting in Excel, except that in addition to formatting, it can modify the data itself.
Rules are applied by selecting a table, and choosing Properties > RULES > +. As there are a lot of rules it can be useful to use the Search menus feature.
Commonly used rules when automating reporting include:
- Highlight cells.
- Modify Whole Type or Plot > Hide Empty Rows or Columns.
- Sort/Reorder Rows or Columns > Sort Rows (Automatically Updates When Data Changes).
- Modify Cell Contents > Blank Cells with Small Sample Sizes
Dynamic text boxes
Dynamic text boxes (Anything > Page Design > Dynamic Text Box) allow you to create text that automatically updates. For example, the text box below automatically updates to show AT&T's market share, when the underlying data is changed (e.g., by filtering).
Using calculations to customize
Greater customization can be achieved by writing code. In the example below:
- The table is filtered by the age combo box.
- A rule has been used to automatically sort the table from highest to lowest.
- A calculation extracts the name of the top brand (top). This calculation has been hidden so won't appear when the report is exported.
- The dynamic text box references the filtered age groups in the text box and the top brand.
Decide up-front if you will make final edits in PowerPoint or Displayr
When exporting to PowerPoint in edit mode, a choice has to be made between creating a new document, or, updating an existing document. It's important to work out which of these you are going to do up-front.
|Option when publishing:||Create new document||Update existing document|
|Overview:||Displayr generates a new document.||Displayr updates the numbers in an existing document.|
|Overview of process:||
|Key rooky mistake:||Setting charts so that they are editable in PowerPoint (Properties > POWERPOINT EXPORT > Format: Microsoft Chart). If Displayr's the document that you want to make your final edits in, then there's no need to edit in PowerPoint.||Choosing Displayr visualization types that don't exist in PowerPoint (e.g., small multiples, pictographs) and then setting them to be editable (Properties > POWERPOINT EXPORT > Format: Microsoft Chart). You should instead choose the basic PowerPoint chart types, as this is what will be exported and updated (e.g., column, bar, pie).|