Bars, lines and pies, oh my! The Analytics experience allows you to create visually appealing charts representing student data. Share how many students are on OPT. Or which students are starting within the next 15, 30, or 60 days. This is just the beginning of the possibilities with Analytics!
Before getting started, it's helpful to note that the Analytics tool operates differently from classic reporting tools in Terra Dotta. You'll now be focusing first on defining what information you want and need from, for example, your records. These data points might be student name, visa status, country of citizenship, or major. Once you've defined what data you're looking for and determined how you wish to group this data (e.g. first by student name, then program start date), you'll then have your query. Then you'll be able to apply filters based on the individual needs you have and create your desired report. In this way, it is possible to use one query from which you can create multiple reports based on how you filter.
This article discusses the following topics related to Analytics:
- Permissions & Access
- Creating Queries
- Creating Reports
- Adding and Editing Charts
- Report Tools
- Data Table
Additionally, this article presents a high-level view of how report building may be experienced. We look forward to adding more updates to this article as Analytics continues to take shape.
Permissions & Access
The Analytics appears in the menu after clicking on the Hamburger Menu icon in the upper left corner of the page, which is accessible by any ISSS Admin. Specific access to Analytics requires users to have the appropriate permission(s) in Staff > Staff Permissions.
There are two permission options:
- Report (Create/Edit)
- Query (Create/Edit)
Report (Create/Edit) only allows the user to create and edit reports based on queries shared with them.
Query (Create/Edit) only allows the user to create and edit queries.
If a user does not have either of these permissions, then they will only be able to view the respective queries and reports that are shared with them.
Important Note: The permission to create queries allows that user to see all data within the site. Therefore, the Query Permission should only be granted to those users who need to have access to everything.
Permissions Best Practice
As a best practice, it is recommended that an office create three permission groups as follows to manage the appropriate personas and add users accordingly:
- Analytics Masters: For main site users who have both the report and query permissions.
- Analytics Report: For those who can create, edit, and share reports.
- Analytics Query: For those who can create, edit, and share queries.
Once in ISSS Student, navigate to Hamburger Menu icon and click on Actions > Analytics.
From the Analytics home screen, access a full list of your queries and reports.
A maximum of 100 queries is allowed per site. To create a query, click the plus sign in the lower right corner of the screen. From the Query Builder page, you will add a title and, if desired, a description of your query.
To continue, choose your desired product. For ISSS Student, you will choose "ISSS".
From here you will choose your data source from which to build a query. For ISSS Student, select the "Incoming Students" data source.
From step 2 "Fields", you will first choose the fields, or data points, in the left-hand box that you wish to include in your query and then choose how you wish to group them using the right-hand box.
Important note, if you wish to use this query for a report in ISSS Student registration or the Integrated User tool, the user ID must be an included field.
"Fields" and "Group By" options display in alphabetical order. Clicking the box to the left of a category will select all data points within it. Clicking the carrot will open the category, allowing you to choose individual fields within this category.
After choosing the fields required for the query, choose how the query should be grouped. If the end result is a table of data to be exported, a grouping is not required. However, if the goal is to create a chart with the data, such as a bar chart or line graph, a grouping must be selected.
Within the "Fields" section, you can determine how the results should be sorted. You will also see the order in which they're listed in the group by section (denoted by the number to the left of the sort option).
With the "Group By" section, the type can be changed by clicking the option.
Adding a name at any time, as shown in the screenshot below, will remove the red "Title" (showing it's required).
If a numerical value is selected, such as a rating or a numerical response to a question within a form, then the following calculations are also available.
After selecting the fields for the query and how you wish to group the results, you can filter to a particular subset, such as SEVIS status, major, or start date, by clicking "Add filter". Filters are optional and are a way to limit the data set users can see if you share the query with others. Simply filter to include the information you want others to be able to access.
Simply type to start your filter search. Be sure to click "Apply" to select the appropriate filters. Once your filter is selected, you can choose the desired values. Multiple filters can be applied.
After filtering to the desired subset, this query can be shared with an individual or a group currently in the system. If the query is to be shared with someone not yet in the system, they should be added to the appropriate permission group first. This step in the query building process can be edited after saving it.
Once the query is configured, it can be saved or it can be run to immediately view the results (running will automatically save the query).
If a title has not been entered prior to clicking "Save" or "Save & Run", the system will select a name in order to save the query. This name can be edited.
Clicking "Save" in the "Query name" widget will save or save and run the query, depending on what was initially chosen. "Save" will take the user back to the main "Query" page while "Save & Run" will take the user to the "Query Execute" page, which shows the results in table format. From here user can go to the main query page, edit the query configuration, or create a report using this query.
With an existing query, you can create a report. As an admin user, you can create a report in one of the following ways:
- "Query List" Tab: Create Report or Create Schedule Report Options
- Select either option from the triple dot "More Actions" menu of your query in the "Query List" tab.
- The "Create Scheduled Report" option offers a set of default scheduling settings and creates a report at the same time.
- "Report List" Tab
- Click the "+" icon in the lower right of the page to access the Report Builder.
To create a report from the "Report List" tab:
1. Click the "+" plus icon in the lower right corner of the page. This action opens the Create Report interface. To build a report, it is required to select an existing query and to name the report.
2. Click “Continue” in the lower right corner to generate your new report.
Adding and Editing Charts
Once generated, the report page will display the report together with a range of options to manage the report and add a chart.
At the top of the page, the main header displays the name and description of the report, offering the option to edit the report name and description.
On the left side, information displays on any filters applied from the query. Below this section, a table showing the data appears, including a button to export the data.
In the center section, a column of buttons appears containing tools, including:
- Share Report
- Download: Available when a chart type has been selected, this button appears to allow
On the right side, a menu of options for chart and data table options includes:
- Chart Type: Offers the use of a visualization to better represent your data
- Chart Options: Set your X Axis and Y Axis and change the appearance of your chart by toggling on/off Axis Labels, Hover Values, Horizontal Lines, and showing only the Top ‘X’ amount of values
- Table Breakdown: Toggle on/off the detail and the total of your table
More information on each of these features is included below.
Depending on the report, applicable chart types will be available as options.
Click on the dropdown Chart Type to select a visualization to better represent your data. The options that appear on your screen are dependent on the query you choose and how that query uses groupings.
Stacked chart options are available to use in situations where, for example, you have two groupings in your query. Choosing a stacked option allows you to not only select the two groups you want to show in the graph, but it also allows you to rename the X and Y-axis labels, managed under Chart Options in the side panel.
Under Chart Options edit Axis grouping and labels. The "Show" section provides the ability to further refine how you view your data.
- Toggle switches allow you to show or hide axis labels, hover values, values as percentages, and horizontal lines.
- The "Top X Values" toggle enables you to limit the data to show only the top 3/5/10/Custom values in your data set. Switching the ‘Top X Values’ toggle on gives you the option to show all other values under the label “Other”. These values are grouped together and shown in gray on your visualization.
Expand Filters to add and/or manage existing report filters. Filters are optional tools which allow you to trim down a large data set to a particular subset of that data, such as only those app cycles in 2021.
Filters are added to your report to include the information you want others to be able to access. Any filters automatically applied are inherited from the query used to build the report. If those filters need to be updated, that action must be done on the query level.
Filter options that appear in the menu that are related to your site's specific data (i.e. parameters, process elements). After a filter is selected, you are able to drill down and pick the desired value options for each filter.
When a filter is added, it is automatically part of a new filter group. Additional filters can be added to a filter group using the "Add Filter" button. Any filters within a group use AND logic.
Additional filter groups can be added by clicking the "Add filter group" button. Clicking on the pencil icon between filter groups makes it possible to switch between AND and OR logic.
Expand Table Breakdown to see options that only pertain to the data table: Detail and Totals. By default, both of these toggles will be switched on.
By switching off the Detail toggle, the table hides all excess information and only shows the data that is represented by the X and Y axes.
Deactivate the Totals toggle to ungroup totals in the data table.
The report builder interface includes tools for sharing and scheduling your reports. These options are located in the middle section section.
The four icons located in this area correspond to the following actions, which are further described below.
- Show/hide chart options
- Share report
- Schedule report
The final step available in building a report is "Share". This is an optional step that an office might use if they only want to share a report with an individual or group and do not want to configure scheduling.
To share a report, click the share button in the side panel.
The share interface to appear on the screen.
This share interface consists of the following options and fields:
- Notify Users by Email
- Enabling this toggle setting means that an email will be sent to any individuals or groups to which the report has been shared, notifying them that a report is available to view by logging into the site.
- If the toggle is not enabled, then the report will be available for viewing when the individuals or groups log into the site. However, no email notification will be sent to them alerting them of this share action.
- Select from any of your site's staff groups.
- Ensure that all desired users are in the group before adding it as an option.
- Enter the email address of the desired user. Selecting the appropriate email address will populate the fields for "First Name" and "Last Name".
- Add User or Group to Share
- Click this option to add another individual or group.
If any individuals or groups need to be removed from the share options, click on the "delete" icon.
The next step in building a report is "Scheduling". This is an optional step that an office might use if they want to create recurring, automated notifications in which users are either notified that the report is available or sent an updated copy of the report.
To create a schedule, click the clock button in the side panel and wait for the schedule interface to appear on the screen.
Users to Attach/Notify
Then the email recipients can be added using the "Users to Attach" section (for the actions of "Send Attached by Email" and "Send on Email Body") or "Users to Notify" section (for the action of "Notify Ready"). Enter in the email address of the site user. Select the correct email address that appears, and this action will populate the fields for "First Name" and "Last Name". Use the "+" icon to add an additional user, or delete a user using the trash icon.
Important Note: Recipients must be a current user of the system in order to receive emails.
This scheduling interface consists of the following options and fields:
- Enable Scheduling: This box must be checked off in order to use the scheduling feature for your specific report.
- Start Date
- The date on which the report will first be sent.
- By default, this will be the date on which the report scheduling is configured.
- End Date
- The final date on which the report will be sent.
- Must be 365 days or less from the start date.
- Select how often you wish the action for your report to occur.
- Choose from hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly.
- The hour listed will be the hour for which the action will occur. The default hour listed can be modified.
- The minimum frequency interval is every 4 hours.
- Actions to Do After Run
- Export File: A file will be ready for the user after logging back into the site.
- Send Attached By Email: A copy of the report will be emailed to users.
- Send on Email Body: The report will be emailed within the body of an email along with a link to download the full report. This makes it such that the recipient does not have to be logged into the site.
- Notify Ready: An email is sent that the report is ready to view.
- Export to SSH Folder: A "Reports" folder will appear in the client's Terra Dotta-provided SSH folder with the report in a .CSV file. Offices should ensure that they've set up access to their SSH folder prior to utilizing this option. This includes working with Terra Dotta to ensure the required environment setting is defined. Otherwise, the export will not be placed in the SSH folder as expected. For more information, see the Transferring Data to Terra Dotta article.
Send Email From
For actions which involve sending an email notification, you will be prompted to select from whom the report should be sent using the "Send Email From" menu. Select from the logged-in user or the email addresses configured for your account (i.e. Contact 1, Contact 2).
f you do not need to use the "Sharing" option, then you can click "Save" to preserve your changes - or click "Save & Run" to generate your report while preserving your changes.
Important Note: In addition to creating a scheduled report from the Report Builder's "Scheduling" step, you can also create a scheduled report from the triple dot "More Actions" menu of your query in the "Query List" tab. Select the "Create Scheduled Report" option. This action opens up the Report Builder to the "Scheduling" tab.
Several default settings will be applied as follows:
- Start Date: The date on which the "Create Scheduled Report" button was clicked.
- End Date: One year from the "Start Date".
- Frequency: Weekly
- Actions to Do After Run: Send in Email Body.
You have the option of modifying these settings to best fit your needs before saving the report.
Important Note: Recipients must be a current user of the system in order to receive emails.
When a chart has been selected for the report, the download button appears.
Clicking this button will download the chart in a PNG format.
The lower section of the report editor displays the data in a chart format.
The export button can be used to export the data in .csv format.