Writing reports in ETO software using ETO Results (Webi) can be time consuming and cumbersome, especially as the complexity of the reports increases. When you also factor in the time it takes to blueprint a report, to build the initial structure, to tighten a report into its final version, and the time needed for ETO Results to load a process, it can feel like each report is taking forever to create. This post will outline a few simple, timesaving tips that you can implement in ETO Results today to streamline the report building process and make your job as a report writer much easier.
1. Use consistent naming conventions
When you combine data from two or more universes, like when you create a new detail based on a merged field, ETO Results will not let you name the detail the same as the source dimension.
Challenge: A new name or abbreviation must be assigned to a new report detail, which can make the details disorganized and wastes time as you reference details in the future.
For example, if you have an element called “Case Manager” the new detail cannot be named or formatted the same way. You could use a convention like “Case Manager Detail” as a way to find the new detail quickly, but there may be times when you may forget to use this exact convention. You would then need to look back at the source report and try and determine whether the report formula used a detail or a dimension, which can get confusing.
Workaround: Use all caps or all lowercase to name details (see the image below). Using the example earlier, “Case Manager” would become “CASE MANAGER” or “case manager.” When looking at a formula, this convention makes it instantly clear that it uses a detail.
2. Use document properties to arrange report tabs
Many reports will have multiple tabs which are a great feature as they keep data in a single report, which is easier for users than loading multiple reports. Tabs also organize reports in an intuitive way.
Challenge: Reordering report tabs can be extremely inefficient. Many ETO administrators use the following method:
- Right click on the tab name
- Select Move Report
- Select Move Report Left
You can only move the report one tab at a time, so if you are moving one tab seven spaces to the right; you must complete this process seven separate times. This process is a waste of time and can be painful!
Workaround: Instead of going tab-by-tab, right click anywhere on the report and select “Document Properties.” Scroll down in the document properties to arrange the report tabs with the up and down navigation arrows (see image below).
NOTE: If you click on the up or down button quickly, the report won’t re-process with each position change. It will only process once, as long as you use the buttons quickly, which can save lots of processing time!
For example, if you want to move one tab seven spaces to the right, click the button seven times in succession (count your clicks). The report will process when you are done with your seven clicks. This is significantly faster than clicking the button once, letting the report process, clicking it again, let it process again, and so on.
3. Rename blocks for clarity
Have you ever tried to apply relative positioning on a report block? When doing so, your list of choices might look like this:
Challenge: When building reports, you may not be sure which block is the one you want to position from. ETO Results orders the blocks based on their creation, not their spatial order. So as you add new blocks, arrange existing blocks, create copies, and develop charts, the creation order of your blocks isn’t the same as the top to bottom and left to right order on the report page.
Workaround: Rename report blocks so they are easy to reference in the relative position utility by:
- Selecting the block
- Going to the properties tab
- At the top of the properties tab, see “Name” or something similar and click on the cell to the right
- Choose one to three descriptive words to rename the block
Now, when you re-position other blocks, charts, titles, you can reference a specific block using the new descriptions.
For example, “Position Enrolment Table 20 pixels below Enrolment Chart” is much easier to understand than position “Block 2(1) 20 pixels below Box 3.”