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 of process:||
|Key rookie mistake:||
Updating the data
Any document can be automatically updated with new data. This can be done by selecting the data set in the Data Sets tree, and in the object inspector clicking Update. This can be useful when you want to build your report while the study is currently in the field, and then automatically update it with revised/final data later. See How to Update a Data Set in Displayr for more info. You can then update a previously exported and configured PowerPoint (see How to Update an Existing PowerPoint Document) or Republish your dashboard to see the updated report in View Mode.