Little Green Light release preview for April 2012: Customize and schedule reports
Posted March 13, 2012 by Nick Bicknell

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could build a report one time, and then be able to re-run it with a couple clicks whenever you want a fresh copy? Or even better, have LGL run it for you on a schedule and email you the results (daily, weekly, or monthly)?

That’s exactly what you will be able to do with the new reporting features (to be released in April), which will be easily accessible from the Reports page or from any search results page.

What’s in a report?

Each report in LGL has two main ingredients:

  • The search that defines which records to pull when exporting results
  • The report template, which defines the format of the report (CSV or PDF) and the set of fields you want to include (for CSV reports)

Building a brand-new report is a four-step process, and the report building form walks you through each step, as follows:

  1. Define your search criteria
  2. Customize your report output
  3. Preview the report
  4. Save and/or export the results

Define your search criteria

Searching for records to pull in a report can be accomplished using the standard Advanced Search functionality.

Customize your report output

This is where the magic happens. You can add fields, remove fields, reorder fields, customize their field labels, and much more.

Preview the report

For CSV exports, you can preview the results either via the Quick Preview button (useful if you are in the midst of customizing a report) or in the Preview step:

Save and/or export the results

Lastly, when you are happy with the report, you can save it as a new canned or reusable report or just export the results (right away, or on a schedule).

Working with reports and exports

Most of your report management will take place on the new Reports page, which replaces the Exports page and adds many more features and functionality. On the Reports page, you can review and manage reports and exports for Constituent, Gift & Pledge, Goal, Contact Report, Task, Volunteering, and Note information.

Reports

All of your canned or saved reports for a given type of record will be listed on the Reports tab. To generate an export from one of these, click on the Export button, then Save Export, and a new export will be generated using that report. You can also edit reports, copy them and make changes, and/or archive reports you don’t intend to keep using. By default, we have included several canned reports for each record type, which correspond to all of the Export Types that were previously available in LGL:

Scheduled reports

The scheduled reports page lists all of your reports that are scheduled for automatic generation and email delivery.

Archived reports

You can archive reports that you don’t think you’ll use on a regular basis. This is a good way to get them out of the way but also keep them around in case you ever want to refer to them. For instance, if you don’t need or use some of the default LGL reports, you can archive them to get them off your main list of reports:

Exports

All of your exports (including those from before this release) are available for review and download. You can also take any previously run export and either re-run it or convert it into either a scheduled report or a saved, canned report.

Wrapping up

There’s obviously a whole lot more to say about these new reporting features, but we think you’ll find them quite exciting and useful. We’ll be updating the knowledge base with more tutorials and videos prior to release and then will follow it up with some dedicated training group training sessions.


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