Reports component

The reports component is a tool to define and publish new reports on your BetterData community.  Published reports can be displayed on any page of your community.  Reports enabled user to export data from your community into PDF, Excel and other files formats.

This component is similar to a data warehouse, giving you access to any field in any form used on your community.  It also integrates with both the workflow and taxonomies to give you powerful ways of filtering data.


Please see the following gallery for screenshots of the reports component.

Creating reports

When creating a new report, you can select which data is included, which fields are shown and what they are called and which filters you want to make available to users.  Following are examples for each area.

Defining which data to include in the report

The first step in creating a report is to think about which data you want the report to include.  BetterData gives you a lot of options here to build a very precise search query to feed your report.  Options include:

  • Scope - Is your query covering the entire community or only a specific app or profile?
  • Indicator sets - Which forms do you want to search on?  Just one or several?
  • Keywords - Limit the results by keyword(s)?
  • Taxonomies - Or filter instead by defined taxonomy terms.  You can use the following operators (Equal to, Contains, Not equal to) and these join operators (And, Or) to combine multiple taxonomies to create very precise queries
  • Workflow - If the indicator sets selected are linked to workflows then you can also limit the search query by workflow stage.  For example, include only data from profiles where the workflow has reached stage three.
  • Date - Filter using the data a form was either published or last updated.  The operators available include On, On or Before, Before, On or After, After and Between.
  • Author - Filter to include only content added by a specific user
  • Updated by - Or filter by who last updated the content

Put together these options allow you to quickly and easily create very precise search filters.

Defining which fields are shown

Once you've finalised your query to feed the report, you can now decide which fields from the search feed you want to show on the report.  It's common that your forms have many fields, some of which are not relevant to your report.  You may also wish to use a different name for a field on the report than on the form.

The mapping tool shows you a list of all fields in the search feed and lets you select which to include in the report.  As you select a field you can also specify the label used for that field on the report.  This makes it easy to create reports in other languages if needed.

Selecting filters

Once you've completed the mapping your last choice is to define filters.  Filters are visible to your users and enable them to filter the data they see on a report by specific criteria.  Filters are linked to the taxonomies defined when a report.  Examples of how filters could be used:

  • Display only data for a specific district
  • Show data for a cross-cutting issue like gender or climate change

Accessing reports

Reports are published as atom objects in the same way as other content.  This means that administrators can use the search component to display a list of reports, filtered by specific criteria, on any page.  Each report has it's own object view.  This shows the user the option to apply a filter and access the report data.

Export options

Three options are currently available:

  • Google Drive - Your file is saved as a spreadsheet in your Google Drive.  BetterData uses secure OAuth authentication to access your Google account.  Once in Google Drive you can share with colleagues or download as PDF, XLS or DOC formats.

  • PDF - Download the file directly as a PDF.

  • XLS - Download the file directly as an XLS.

Future enhancements

We continue to improve this component.  The following enhancements are in our roadmap:

Grouped fields - Option to specify that data be grouped by a taxonomy (for example Province or State).  This would break the report into sections where data for each criteria is grouped together.  This is useful when working with geographical data.

Calculations - Option to include calculated fields in the report.  This could be used to calculate a value for data in a specific field.  For example to calculate the total, count or average.