Stay on Top of your Numbers With Scheduled Reports

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So, you have brought in all the relevant data from the diverse business applications you use, into Zoho Reports, and created all those beautiful reports and dashboards. Now comes the hardest part. How do you share them with your colleagues/clients and make them consume the reports/dashboards regularly? This is where scheduled emailing of reports comes in handy.

You can create appropriate schedules based on the reports you need to share. Say, you can create a schedule that will mail a bunch of monthly reports to your CEO every first of the month. Or a weekly report on every Monday to your Sales Manager of how the previous week’s sales have been.

There are lots of schedule options available, ranging from daily to weekly to monthly to yearly.

Try the scheduling feature from the Export menu button. Hope you will be scheduling all the reports you have created in Zoho Reports from now on.

Zoho Reports: Cascading User Filters

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As you get to use a piece of software or application more and more, you tend to discover more and more about its capabilities. A little icon here, a shortcut key there – finding those hidden jewels results in Eureka moments that make you go, “Aha, so it’s done that way!” Sometimes, you may even find Easter eggs, cleverly placed by fun-loving programmers.

Before I digress further, let’s take the case of ‘User Filters’ in Zoho Reports. While continuing to use the drag-and-drop report designer, one day you might have noticed the third tab and asked yourselves, “How different is this ‘User Filters’ tab from the other ‘Filters’ tab?” and clicked on it. Then, as you first created your user filter, it may have dawned on you about how it works and how useful it is for the viewers of a report.

Till recently, though, there was one little niggle with user filters. Let me explain with an example. Say you are a Manager of a retail store that sells many ‘Products’. And these products fall under a few broad ‘Product Categories’. Now, let’s say you’d set up a user filter for ‘Product Category’ (for the report’s viewers to know how sales have fared in each category), and then you’d put in a second user filter for ‘Product’ (for viewers to further drill down sales based on products).

When a viewer chooses a ‘Product Category’ to view, what will her expectation be with the ‘Product’ user filter? To display products of that particular product category alone, right? Sadly, this wasn’t the case, and Zoho Reports simply continued to list products of all categories. This has been corrected now with the ‘List only relevant values’ option.

When a value is chosen in the first user filter, it cascades over the subsequent filters, giving the report’s viewers a better user experience.

Hope you liked learning about how the working of user filters has been improved now in Zoho Reports. If you notice a need for any such improvements when using other features, do let us know in the comments below or write to us at support@zohoreports.com. We’ll do our best to bring them in for you :)

Dashboard: US Economic Indicators

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Articles about the state of the economy in the media invariably feature one or more graphs. Say how the GDP has fared over the last few quarters or how the inflation has been over the last few years. Various government agencies are involved in publishing these indicators. Sites like http://www.data.govhttp://www.bea.govhttp://www.census.gov etc publish lots of such data regularly. The difficulty here is that you might get overwhelmed with loads of data. You can get lost in searching for what you want across multiple sites. So we thought of putting some of the important indicators all at one place, as a Zoho Reports dashboard.

You can mouse over/click a bar or a point to see the underlying data. Let us know if you would like any other metric to be included in the above dashboard. The whole reporting database is available here.

New in Zoho Reports: Dashboards Resizing and More Chart Sorting Options

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The latest update to Zoho Reports brought in two nifty features. Let’s look at them in detail.


Dashboards Resizing

A dashboard in Zoho Reports is created by dragging and dropping multiple reports on a single page. Till now, we had one/two column layout options with fixed width & height. We have brought in greater flexibility to the layout now. You can now resize each of the embedded reports within a dashboard. This makes your dashboard look prettier, allotting more space for longer/wider reports, avoiding unnecessary blank spaces where you need to have shorter/smaller reports etc.

Resizing the reports is easy. Go to the Edit Design mode, hover your mouse over the report’s borders that need to be resized and drag as needed.


Charts – More Sorting Options


We have added two more sorting options in Charts, important ones at that. When your chart contains a String or Date column in one axis and Numeric column in the other, you can order the values in String/Date column based on the numeric data in either ascending or descending order.

New options that have been added are:


Options when Y-axis has numeric column and X-axis has String/Date column:

By Y-value – Ascending: Sorts values in X-axis based on Y-values, ordered from smallest to largest

By Y-value – Descending: Sorts values in X-axis based on Y-values, ordered from largest to smallest

Options when X-axis has numeric column and Y-axis has String/Date column:

By X-value – Ascending: Sorts values in Y-axis based on X-values, ordered from smallest to largest

By X-value – Descending
: Sorts values in Y-axis based on X-values, ordered from largest to smallest

Try these new features in Zoho Reports and let us know how it goes.

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Explore Zoho Reports Series: Part III – Form Interface using Zoho Creator

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In Zoho Reports, data is stored as database tables. Unlike in conventional databases, this tabular data can be readily edited in Zoho Reports, using its spreadsheet-like interface. When new data is to be entered, it would be possible to do so using this interface. But wouldn’t it be easier and more functional if we had a form interface? There can be situations where data entry has to happen without the user seeing the whole database.

Enter Zoho Creator, our friendly online app creator and form builder. All you have to do is follow three simple steps as below to get your form interface.

  1. Create the form using Zoho Creator’s drag-and-drop interface.

  2. When creating the form, uncheck the ‘Store data in Creator’ option

  3. Include a short Deluge script that instructs Zoho Creator to directly store data in Zoho Reports.

Once the above is done, you can start entering data in the Zoho Creator form, see it getting collected in Zoho Reports and create all the reports you need in Zoho Reports as usual. Detailed documentation of how to go about this is available here. In case of any questions/clarifications, leave your comments or email us at support@zohoreports.com.

Note: While the above is for Zoho Reports users, in the past, we have had a couple of integration points for Zoho Creator users (where the web app is built using Zoho Creator and all data gets stored in Zoho Creator itself).

  • Zoho Creator has an in-built ‘Reports’ tab (that’s powered by Zoho Reports) which provides all the necessary reporting for your data.
  • If you wanted to use the full features of Zoho Reports, you can periodically export your data from Zoho Creator to Zoho Reports, for further reporting and analysis.
More about the above two options here.

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Openbravo – Zoho Reports Integration

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Asier Zabaleta, a consultant at Openbravo (open source, agile ERP solution for SMBs) has developed a nice integration between Openbravo and Zoho Reports. Openbravo users can now easily have all their data imported into Zoho Reports, create charts, pivot tables, dashboards in Zoho Reports and make them as a part of their Openbravo ERP system. Read more about how to set up Zoho Reports as Openbravo’s reporting module.

If you are an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) like Openbravo, you too can take all the advantages offered by Zoho Reports and make it as the integrated reporting module of your product/service. We offer a white label solution that you can use for making your own private labeled (re-branded) reporting solution for your clients. Know more.

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Case Study: How Zoho Reports Helps Optimize Globo’s TV Programming

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Globo, which is currently the largest commercial television network of Latin America and the third largest in the world (after CBS and NBC), uses Zoho Reports to analyze viewership data about videos and TV shows in its TV and cable TV divisions. Globo is watched by an estimated 120 million people daily.

Here’s what Alexandre Oppermann, Globo’s Business Intelligence Co-ordinator – Web Analytics, had to say about Zoho Reports:

Using Zoho Reports, we generate reports and dashboards that reveal the daily and monthly views of each show and video in its TV and cable TV divisions. Currently, Globo has 40 people actively using Zoho Reports to report against 8.5 million rows of data. And this data set is growing continuously as we aggregate more data everyday.

Compared to our earlier solutions, Zoho Reports gives us flexibility. We can give access to all the data and reports, and our users can do whatever they want. A lot of manual work that we were doing before, we aren’t doing anymore. And that’s increased the productivity of everyone, especially us.

Read the full story about how Globo is using Zoho Reports
here.

Analyzing the various data that your business generates will give you good insights about where you stand. The metrics can be from a wide spectrum. Say, your sales across different regions, the money you spend on different marketing channels and the subsequent returns, the number of support tickets you receive, the number of calls your support reps receive/make, the traffic that your website pages get etc. Zoho Reports, as a business intelligence and reporting service online helps you plot all such data in a graphical manner, makes it easy for you to spot trends and take action wherever necessary. Sign up for Zoho Reports now.

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