A recent update to the ETO Software that makes using reports a lot more user-friendly is the View Reports (New) feature. This feature helps users locate reports quickly and easily by creating and organizing categories of reports, assigning individual reports to categories, and assigning program and user-levels to each report, however many organizations are not using it. This post will focus on the pros and cons of View Reports (New) to help you decide if it is right for your organisation, and then outline how you go about customising this feature.
View Reports vs. View Reports (New)
The major differences between View Reports and View Reports (New) is that View Reports lists all custom reports in one list based on the Reporting Role in the Manage User Accounts. View Reports (New) on the other hand, lists reports in categories and security is set per report based on user role in the program and site.
View Reports (New) is the ideal choice for those that use ETO Results and build custom reports in ETO as it enables you to access your reports quickly and easily.
Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of View Reports (New) so you can decide whether or not to use this feature in your own ETO database.
Advantages of View Reports (New)
There are four main advantages to using the View Reports (New) feature as opposed to the previous View Reports feature.
With the new feature, you can break reports into categories, which means smaller and more manageable lists for end users. Of all the advantages, this is one of the most helpful.
2. Separates “My Reports”
In View Reports, all custom reports are in one list, making it difficult to differentiate reports in “My Reports” from reports that are Public reports. In View Reports (New), there is a category called My Reports, which pulls only reports from the My Favorites Folder of ETO Results.
2. Security Settings
Access for each report can be given to a program, site, and various user levels within each program. This feature works with the user’s security level in the program, which is similar to Touchpoint security.
An ETO user will only see reports they are given permission to see in View Reports (New). This is different than View Reports which is based on Reporting Role, which could be different than Program role. So using the old View Reports could mean that your organisation has to have everyone set to Reporting Role of Site Manager to be able to see all of the data, rather than give users access only to the reports they need, which can be confusing!
4. Touchpoint Flat File
At the bottom of View Reports (New), under the Touchpoints Standard Reports Category, there is a section labelled “Touchpoint Flat File.” This feature runs in ETO (not ETO Results) and is perfect for quality assurance.
Pick the Touchpoint and the date range, and all data for that ETO Touchpoint will be returned (Note: It may take time to load if there is a lot of data—just be patient!). The flat file can be exported into CSV or Excel.
This feature can help you see if there is data for a Touchpoint, if the data is matching the report, and to get a quick feel of a Touchpoint, rather than running a custom report.
Note: Choose “Touchpoint Flat File” and not “Touchpoint – Flat File.” The hyphenated version opens Webi and is not the one described in this example.
Disadvantages of View Reports (New)
There are few disadvantages to this new feature. Here are a few to consider.
1. Access to reports
Reports will not show up in View Reports (New) if they have not been categorized and assigned security levels, however, the report will show up in View Reports.
2. Single category organization
Reports will only show up in one category, so categories need to be broad enough to encompass all appropriate reports, yet specific enough so users can find them.
Note: You can make a copy of a report in ETO Results and save it to another category if needed.
3. Public report categorization only
It is not possible to categorize My Reports (or My Favorites in ETO Results). Only public reports can be categorized.
Customising the View Reports (New) Feature
After weighing up the pros and cons of this new feature, if you have decided that it is right for your organisation, you will need to follow these steps to start customising it for your users:
Step 1: Activating the “View Reports (New)” Functionality
The View Reports (New) link may not be activated in your site. To determine if access is available for your users, look in the Navigation Bar under the Reports category – you should see View Reports (New) as the last option in the list of Report options. If View Reports (New) is already activated, you are ready for Step 2. If you do not see the View Reports (New) link, you need to activate it.
To activate the View Reports (New) link, you need Site Management Level access in ETO. The activation functionality is found in the Navigation Bar under the Site Administration category. In the list of options under the Site Administration category you can find the Manage Site Navigation link. This link allows you to add the View Reports (New) functionality to your site. By checking the box next to the View Reports (New) category, this feature will be accessible to users within your site.
Note: When you add the View Reports (New) access for users, it is also a good time to remove any functionality links that your organization does not use in ETO. This could include Employment, Housing, or Education reports if these are things you do not currently track. They can be reactivated at any time if needed by following the same directions. It is important to note that the Manage Site Navigation should never be disabled, if it is disabled you will no longer be able to change access to functionality in ETO (if this happens, contact support to re-enable this link).
Step 2: Managing Report Categories
As mentioned previously, the updated View Reports (New) page is broken down into standard categories of reports. These categories can be enabled or disabled as needed. You can also create new categories to streamline and organize the reports in your site.
Adjustments to categories can be made by clicking on the Manage Reports button located in the top of the View Reports (New) page and then clicking the Manage Categories button located at the top of the Manage Reports page. Once in the Manage Categories page, categories can be disabled/enabled and new categories can be created.
Any categories of reports that are not currently used by your organization should be disabled by clicking on the Disable link next to the category name. For example, if your organization uses touchpoints rather than points of service and assessments you can disable all categories related to the points of service and assessment functionalities to limit the number of reports and categories seen by users. Categories can be re-enabled at any time by checking the box next to Show Disabled Categories in the upper right hand corner of the page and then clicking Enable next to the categories to be re-enabled.
Adding New Categories
Although there are numerous Standard Categories built into the View Reports (New) pages, there is also the option to create new categories specific to your organization’s preferences. A new category can be created by clicking the Add New Category link on the top of the Manage Categories page. The category should be named and a description added and then saved by clicking the Add link on the far left of the new category row. Just like the standard categories, custom categories can be disabled by clicking on the disable link and custom categories can be deleted by clicking on the delete button.
Step 3: Managing Reports
Once the View Reports (New) functionality has been activated and report categories have been customized for your organization the next step is to manage the list of reports available. There are three ways to manage the View Reports (New) page: assign reports to categories, customize report descriptions, and assign program and user-level access.
From the Manage Reports page, each individual report can be assigned to a category, description customized and access assigned by clicking on the Edit button next to the report name.
- Assigning to Category:Use the category drop-down to assign the report to a standard or custom category.
- Adding Custom Description:Add a custom description to the report by typing into the description box. (it is recommended that you note what the report is for, how often it should be accessed, what data is included etc.)
- Assigning Program & User-level Access:Assign program and user access by clicking on the “+” button next to the name of the appropriate site, this will open up a list of all programs and user-levels available for the report. Choose which programs and user-levels should have access to the report by checking the appropriate boxes.
Doing this will make a report visible in View Reports (New).
Although it may require some upfront time to go through and customize the View Reports (New) page for users, the time saved in the long-term and the increased user satisfaction is often worth it. Also, as new ETO reports are created, this process of assigning categories, programs and user-levels should be completed to ensure continued ease of use and streamlined reports access.