This is the second part of the Report Generator Guidance. After the PowerPoint template is ready it's time to create a custom dynamic dashboard with charts and tables. This dashboard can be regularly updated with new data, and the Report Generator allows you to generate updated reports quickly and easily.
Add a color scheme to your database
To ensure brand consistency and visual appeal you should incorporate the business's color scheme into charts and tables by changing the database’s color palette.
Go to the Project settings ('cog' icon in the top menu of Data Explorer).
Switch to the Settings tab and choose ‘Colors’ in the left pane.
Here you can add colors or alter the hex codes of colors.
Organize elements for reporting
We suggest following the same order of elements as for the PPT template. It is useful to include text box dividers for each slide to keep track of the corresponding charts and tables. Additionally, you can have multiple tabs in one dashboard that can generate multiple reports, or be combined to formulate a single report.
Auto-sync the variables in your tables and charts
By auto-synching the variables, any changes or additions to a variable, such as including a new brand in a questionnaire, will be automatically updated and synchronized across all charts.
To ensure this, remember to double-click on variables while creating the table (in crosstab or grid report).
Dragging and dropping variables to the table won't enable auto-synching
For the rows, simply double-click.
For the columns, hold down Ctrl (windows) or Cmd (mac) whilst you double-click.
When they are auto synched a green line will appear
Build tables that track quarterly changes
It is useful to build tables that are linked to your charts, tracking yearly or quarterly changes. This simple process can vastly enhance the insights in your report. Below is an example of the output.
Create a new crosstab
Double-click on a variable from the codebook to populate the rows.
Drag the ‘wave’/'period' variable to the columns and select DIFF
Click the red spinner and select the desired output;
1 abs to track quarterly changes
4 abs to track yearly changes (across four quarters)
Edit the titles to QoQ% and YoY%.
Alter the Column settings (e.g. remove column headings)
Alter the Cells settings (e.g. adjust cell width to align with the chart)
Sync the x-axis of the chart and the table by selecting the chart, then clicking Sync Order: X to X
Build sample size tables
Creating sample size tables is useful for any tracking report. These can later be mapped to your PPT template as a table or as a text box.
Drag&drop the wave variable to the columns and select ‘As List’
Select VBase from the list of metrics
Go to Chart > Chart style and select Grid
Apply any chart edits for the visual output: we deselect Group row and select Metrics row.
Export to a dashboard.
Automate wave selection with a control button
Dealing with a large amount of data that is being frequently updated is tedious when you need to manually update each chart. On a dashboard you can make wave selection for charts automatically applying controls so they are always updated with the most recent data.
Open a dashboard, switch to the EDIT mode and click on the ‘Create a control’ icon;
Click the categories dropdown and choose which categories will be shown in the control:
Choose All to display all waves in the variable;
Choose Last and type 4 to display the last four waves;
Choose Last and type 1 to display only the last wave;
Drag & drop the waves or quarters variable to the central panel;
Rename the group (e.g. Q-L4) and save the changes;
Duplicate the group;
Change the control type to Dropdown;
Save the control;
Assign the control to charts and tables, either as a filter or 'Put on'. Click here to see how.
Remember to assign the correct wave control to your sample size tables too. The All-waves control can be ‘Put on’ the columns of the sample size table we made above. This allows it to be automatically updated with each new wave of data that's added.
After all the elements ready proceed to the next step and link the template and the elements together.