Interactive Dashboards: Scheduling Reports by Email (4/5)
This is the fourth of five posts I'll be making this month on Interactive Dashboards and Interactive Dashboards Plus. I know that it's important for your teams to be comfortable in the new tool as Insight begins sun-setting, so please follow me to be updated every time I post. And I will be monitoring the comment sections, so if you have questions please feel free to post them! I'll do my best to reply.
UPDATE: You can find a recording of my presentation on Interactive Dashboards on Oracle University
You can open the catalog from the top right hand menu – Catalog. It provides the folder structure within Interactive Dashboards. You’ll spend most of your time in the Shared Folders, where you can see folders for each of the communication channels you have active on your account. And for each channel, there is a subfolder of Reports. Everything else in here is a system folder that you can ignore. But in Reports, you can find a list of all the standard analyses – these are the individual tables, charts or graphs that you see on the Dashboards.
You can open each analysis from the catalog but take note that you won’t have the smart prompts to filter the data and there is no gear icon in the top right corner, so while you can do a lot of the same adjustments – add and rearrange columns, drill and sort – you can’t save or apply a customized view. You can only use customized views if you are looking at the analysis on the dashboard.
In the “More” menu for each analysis there is an option to “Schedule” – but please DO NOT use it until further notice. Scheduling from the Catalog will apply a feature that isn’t active yet. Instead, go to the “New” menu in the top right and create an Actionable Intelligence Agent.
I like to think of Agents like James Bond sneaking into the villain’s study, breaking into their computer and forwarding the valuable data to his contacts back at MI6. Whatever helps you remember – Agents are the tools that trigger a report to be run.
The Agents tool is an example of how Interactive Dashboards has a strong roadmap ahead to add functionality. About half of the tabs here are features still being developed and fine-tuned. I’ve indicated in this image which areas you should be concerned with – ignore the rest for now.
On this tab, you’ll set up when you want the report to run. First select the frequency – as with most scheduling tools in Responsys, you have a lot of flexibility in scheduling options. You can set it to run just once, or on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
You select your start day and time, and you can even set a time zone different from your account’s default. Or you don’t have to set a schedule at all – you can leave the Frequency as Never, and just run the agent manually from within the tool.
You can also set an End Date for the Agent.
The Re-run Agent settings should be left alone, as should the whole Condition tab. Conditions is a feature that is still in development – it will allow for a report to be sent or not in certain pre-selected situations – for instance if there is no activity in the date range you selected then you won’t be sent an empty report. This is why you shouldn't schedule from the catalog, because it automatically adds a condition to the agent, and conditions are live yet, so the agent wouldn’t work.
Delivery Content (What)
The Delivery Content tab is where you tell the agent which analysis to send. You set the subject line of the email you’ll receive, and for now an Analysis is the only option you can choose to send, but in the future you can send a whole dashboard.
Browse the catalog to find the analysis you want.
You’ll then have the option to customize that analysis using prompts – just like you can on Dashboards. You should at least set a relative or custom date range – otherwise you’ll get everything from the last two years in your report!
Also note – there is an Event Date range here, which is not included on the Dashboard prompts. If instead of seeing all the activity for campaigns launched in March, you want to see all the activity in March – even clicks on campaigns that were sent earlier, and excluding any conversions that happened in April – then use the Event Date prompt and the “is between” operator to set your activity window.
To set a filter, click the pencil icon next for that row. Drop down the Operator menu and select “is equal to / is in”. There are a lot of operators to select from, but “is equal to / is in” and “between” are really the most useful ones.
Once you have set the operator, you’ll get a value text box. Click the magnifying glass icon, which will give you a searchable list of values.
Take note – this might seem obvious, but when it comes to date ranges, only select one. If you select more than one date range, the report will total up the number of events for each range. So a campaign that you sent yesterday with 5 opens will be counted once for yesterday range, another time for Last 7 Days, another time for Last 14 Days, etc. So if you select all three ranges, you’ll have a report with 15 opens. Same issue if you set both a relative date range AND a custom date range.
These settings are only for this agent to use – you’re not changing the bones underlying the Analysis. You could set up two different agents sending the same analysis, but customized with different prompts, resulting in completely different reports being delivered. For instance, you can send yourself a monthly Campaign Performance report with just data from the last month of your Winback strategy, and send your manager a weekly Campaign Performance report with 7 days of data on all the promotional campaigns. Two agents, customizing the same report.
Once you’ve completed customizing the delivery content, you choose what format you want the report sent in. For HTML and Plain text, you can choose to have the report either embedded in the email, or as an attachment. With CSV, PDF, Excel and other formats they can only be sent as attachments. And as with the Dashboard, if you send HTML, Excel or PDF, what you see is what you get. But if you send your self the raw data, as a CSV or txt document, you get all the hidden data of the report. This is a new feature, as you couldn’t email yourself raw data reports in classic Insight.
You can add a note for the body of the email if you’d like. And of course, ignore the Conditional part for now.
In the Recipients tab, add who you want to receive the email. We recommend using the envelope icon with the green plus sign, so you’re adding actual email addresses, not just Responsys user accounts. This way, you can send to people who may not have a Responsys login. You can also remove people from the list using the ‘X’ button.
And don’t worry about the Publish for Subscription and Use Analysis sections here, or the Destinations or Actions tabs.
Use the buttons in the top right to save your Agent – you can save it in My Folders, where only you can access it, or if you have authorization, in Company Shared / Shared Folders so everyone can see it.
Setting up an Agent can be intimidating at first, but once you’ve built one or two, you’ll get the hang of it.
Agents Can’t Send Customized Views (for now)
Remember how you could rearrange, add or exclude columns, sort and drill down on the Dashboard and save the final result as a customized view? You can export that with the Export button on the Dashboard, but for now you cannot select it to be emailed using an Agent. You can only email the standard Analysis, customized only by using the prompts in the Agent. For most users, this is just fine. The Agent will send the standard report, you will see the data you need to see and not worry about the exact order of the columns.
If the precise layout is important to you, you can export the raw data of an analysis and then set up some macros in your workbook application to recreate the formatting you want.
Or, you can get into building custom analyses in Interactive Dashboards Plus…!