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Report Generator: Build a PowerPoint Template
Report Generator: Build a PowerPoint Template
Updated over a week ago

Update tracker PowerPoint reports are no longer a time-consuming part of work in DataTile. Now you can add the latest survey data to existing report templates using DataTile Report Generator. The software takes care of creating new PowerPoint report every time new updates arrive and streamlines your survey data reporting process.

How it works

To get ready-to-use Report Generator on your dashboard some preparations need to be done:

  • Start with the creation of a PowerPoint template where special placeholders are left to be populated with charts and tables. The top tips about template creation are in this article.

  • Build a custom dashboard with all elements for PowerPoint reports.

  • Link these placeholders with widgets on the dashboard you use for the reports.

After the generated report is uploaded in DataTile, any changes made to the dashboard (e.g. uploading a new wave of data) can be automatically updated whenever you re-download the PowerPoint deck. No need to manually edit a PowerPoint chart or table since.

Creation of a PowerPoint Template

Start by opening Microsoft PowerPoint and creating a new presentation, or you can repurpose a PPT file that you have previously used for the tracking report.

  • Decide on the design elements you want to incorporate into your template. You may want to consider incorporating your company's branding elements, such as logos, colors, and fonts.

  • Consider the slide layouts that you want to include in your template, such as title slides, content slides, and chart slides. You may need to have different sections or sub-sections too.

Below shows an example of a small tracker report template. Although, an unlimited number of slides can be added.

Hierarchy of elements: Template vs. Dashboard

There is a hierarchy of elements that determines what information comes from the template and what information comes from the dashboard.

The key rule to keep in mind is that the dashboard is a dynamic data source that feeds a static template. So all dynamic elements of the dashboard such as numbers, legends, chart type, colors etc. will feed the template. Whereas, static elements such as chart position, titles, logos and should be input into the template and will appear in the final deck regardless of any changes made to the dashboard.



  • Images and logos

  • Titles, headings & other text

  • Slide background color

  • Placement of all elements (size, location)

  • Static chart elements: format & design
    e.g. Chart design > chart elements (see below)

    • Chart type (e.g. line or bar)

    • Chart title (e.g. font, size, location)

    • Data labels (e.g. font, size, location)

    • Legend (e.g. font, size, location)

    • Gridlines

    • Axes

  • Static table elements: format & design

    • Columns and rows (size, shape etc.)

    • Text style within the table (font, size, bold)

    • Borders

  • All text style (font, size, bold)

    • row/column headings

    • text within tables

    • chart title

    • legends

  • All dynamic data within linked charts and tables

    • All numbers/data: charts, tables and sample size tables

    • Legend / Series

    • Comparison / Significance

    • Axes data (scale)

    • Metrics

  • All chart or table colours

    • Chart and legend

    • Significant data (e.g. red or green)

  • Some data label edits

    • Value prefix or suffix (e.g. Percentages %)

    • Abbreviate thousands

    • Show data markers

  • Some legend edits

    • ‘Show legend in reverse order’

Example 1: Line chart

The video below shows how to create a line chart placeholder.

Top Tip: To ensure consistency in the template use the same chart type for each category and duplicate it as needed. For example, create one style of a line chart with all edits, then copy and paste it wherever other line charts are needed.

Example 2: Table of changes (QoQ% and YoY%)

The video below shows how to create a table of quarterly and yearly changes.

  • We recommend that placeholders for tables and charts contain the same number of columns or rows as the widgets on your dashboard. This gives you more control over the final output.

  • You should also align the cells/columns with each bar. Since chart and table placement is a static template element; ensuring this is perfect the first time round can save you time.

  • Any text within the table will be overridden by the text from the dashboard.

Common mistakes

If the data labels don't fit well, you can do following

  1. In the template: decrease label size;

  2. In the template: increase a chart width;

  3. On the dashboard: decrease column width;

  4. Alter the decimal places (Settings -> Metrics).

If the table of changes is incorrectly formatted in the template:

  1. Ensure that the number of columns for the table&chart in the template matches the dashboard;

  2. Alter their alignment as you would like to show in the exported report.

If the legend text doesn't fit in one line as it's too long:

  1. Enlarge the width of the legend text box in the template;

  2. Reduce the legend font size.

When the PowerPoint template is ready save it and proceed to the dashboard to create all elements for the report.

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