The ExpressView Designer is a data discovery and reporting tool that simplifies grouping, sorting, filtering, and aggregating data with a drag-and-drop interface. A chart can be added with a single click, and ExpressViews can be styled and saved as PDF, RTF, CSV, or Excel files.
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The ExpressView Designer
ExpressViews allow you to quickly see data and make reports without the minutiae of old-fashioned report building.
To make an ExpressView:
1. Click the New Report icon and select ExpressView.
The ExpressView Designer is divided into the Data pane on the left, and the Design pane in the middle. The Data pane comprises all of your accessible data categories, containing groups of related data fields. Click the Choose Data icon to expand or collapse the Data pane. For more information, see Data Pane.
2. Expand the Projects category by clicking the arrow icon. This shows the fields currently available in your Project Cover Page.
3. Drag a field onto the Design pane to add it to the ExpressView. This expands the field into a data column. It will only show placeholder data initially.
Dragging a field onto the Design pane
4. Continue to add fields as desired. Fields can be added or removed at any time.
As you add fields, unrelated fields will become unavailable. To learn about how fields relate to each other, see Joins.
5. When you are satisfied with your data selection, click Live Data to populate the ExpressView with data. You can now page through your data using the navigation icons in the toolbar.
Truncated results displayed
This icon and message indicates that the report has only returned a partial data set. There are fewer detail rows than the full set, and aggregate formulas and visualizations apply only to the data that was returned to the report.
To get more data, click the icon and select either:
These steps illustrate how quick it is to make a tabular report from scratch using ExpressView. But ExpressViews can be more than basic. You can make groups, charts, calculations, and customize the look of the report. And it is all designed to be easy to use. The following sections describe how to use these powerful features.
Throughout this topic you will see references to a menu called the radial menu. The radial menu is a menu of options for each data column and group, which is accessed by clicking the colored Radial icon on the top left of the column or group.
Using the radial menu
Each radial menu has four options arranged in a circle around the center. When this guide prompts you to select a radial menu option, you will be asked to "use radial>direction". Direction is one of the four cardinal directions corresponding with one of the four options: left, right, up, down.
For example, "use radial>left" means to open the radial menu and select the left option. To do this, you have two options:
To close the radial menu without selecting an option, click in the center.
Groups collect a set of data rows, based on a common value, into a column called a group column. This allows you to identify rows with common factors. You can perform summary calculations on grouped data, such as counting all the rows in each group, or adding up the values for a data field in each group. You can also make charts to visualize the data in each group, and compare groups to each other.
Grouping data in an ExpressView
To turn a data column into a group column use radial>up. Doing this will organize the other columns into groups. Each row in the data column is a unique group of the rows in the other columns. The group column has a new color to distinguish it from the data rows. Remember to turn on Live Data to see your actual data and verify that this is the desired grouping.
To ungroup a column, use radial>left. This turns the group column back into a data column.
Groups can be created inside other groups. These are called nested groups. To make a nested group, add another group to an ExpressView which already has one. Additional levels of nesting can be made as needed.
Changing group level
If you have two or more levels of grouping, you may decide that they are nested improperly. For example, if you had Products grouped by Orders, then you add another grouping on Employees, you may end up with Products grouped by Employees grouped by Orders.
One possible data grouping
However, it makes more sense to have Orders grouped by Employees instead, since Employees have multiple Orders, but Orders does not have multiple Employees. To move the Employees group up one level, use radial>up on the group column.
Changing the data grouping
Each group has a footer that contains summary calculations, or aggregates, for each column. There is also a report footer, which contains summaries for the entire ExpressView. You can choose one of several calculations for each column.
To change the calculation for a column, click a footer and select one of the following options:
Totals the data values in the group. Only available for numeric fields.
Shows the smallest data value, or first value alphabetically, or earliest date in the group.
Shows the largest data value, or last value alphabetically, or latest date in the group.
Counts the number of values in the group.
Counts the number of distinct values in the group.
Takes the average, or arithmetic mean, of the values in the group. Only available for numeric fields.
Choosing an aggregate
Hiding data rows
If you only want to see the summary calculations, you can hide the data rows, for each group, or for the entire ExpressView. This does not remove the data or alter the summaries; it only hides the rows from view.
Click the header for each group to toggle whether its rows are shown or hidden.
To hide or show all the rows in the ExpressView:
If you have nested groups, this hides all but the top level groups.
You can exercise some fine grained control over the actual data that appears in the ExpressView. You can choose how the data appears, you can filter down the rows to appear, and you can change the order of rows in their respective sections.
Formatting allows you to specify a data type for specific data fields, and choose how that data displays.
To change the data type for a field:
Selecting data to format
Format the data using the default settings for your environment. The application will assume the data type.
Format the data as a number.
Optional: Choose how the number displays:
Format the data as a date, time, or date and time.
Optional: From the Date/Time Format menu, choose which date and time components to display, and how to show them.
Choosing a date/time format
Do not apply any formatting to the data, and show it exactly as it appears in the database.
If the data field cannot be formatted as a number or date, then selecting one of those options will have no effect on the appearance of the data.
Sorting allows you to set the order that the data rows appear in each section. Click the Sorts icon to open the list of sorts. Every data column in the ExpressView that is not a group column is automatically sorted.
You can choose which columns take precedence for sorting. The order of fields on the Sorts page is their order of precedence, from highest to lowest. Their order is also indicated by a number on the right of the column headers: The lower the number, the higher the precedence.
To set the sort precedence of data fields, either:
Dragging a sort to change its precedence
You can choose which direction to sort the data for each data field: ascending or descending. A field's sort direction is indicated by an arrow on the right of the column header: Up for ascending, down for descending.
To change a field's sort direction, either:
For more information on sorting data, see Sorts.
Filtering allows you to narrow the scope of your ExpressViews by restricting the amount of data shown. You can filter data by only showing rows whose values satisfy certain conditions. These are Standard filters. You can also filter data to only the rows with the top or bottom values, for either data fields or data summaries, per group or for the entire report. These are Top N filters. For more information, see Filters.
Click the Filters icon to open the list of filters. The filters page has two tabs: Standard and Top/Bottom.
To show only the data that satisfies several conditions:
This allows you to filter any accessible data field, not just those on the ExpressView.
To show only the data that satisfies at least one of several conditions:
This allows you to filter any accessible data field, not just those on the ExpressView.
Adding a field as a Standard filter
To show only the top or bottom values, for either data fields or data summaries:
Only numeric data fields support Sum and Avg calculations.
Adding a Top/Bottom filter
Charts allow you to showcase your data in a visual format. They allow you to quickly scan your data for patterns and trends. Charts can be easily made and customized in ExpressViews, in as little as one click.
An ExpressView visualization
To add a chart to an ExpressView:
Click on a chart series to drill down into the data for that series. This filters the data columns to only the series you select.
You can add many more personal touches, small or large, to the visualizations you create. See the following sections for details on how to customize your visualizations.
Choosing chart data
When a visualization is first added, the application presets the chart fields to try to match the ExpressView data as closely as possible. This may not always match the data that you want the chart to use.
To see the chart data fields, click the Visualizations icon, then click the Data tab. There are two fields: Labels and Values.
The Labels field is a group column, where each group is a series on the chart. For example, using an Employees group field as the label field represents each employee as a series.
Several charts allow an additional labels field. This is useful if you have a nested group, which represents common series to be measured across several groupings. For example, to compare the number of sales per product per employee, you could add a nested Product field as a second label to the aforementioned employees chart.
To add a chart label, either:
Drag a field onto the visualization or onto the Data tab to add it as a label
The Values field is the data values to plot on the chart for each Labels group. For example: The number of sales per employee.
Several charts allow for multiple values fields. This is useful if you have common series to be measured across several groupings, and the values fields are in the same data row. For example, the number of sales and number of lost sales per employee.
To add a chart value, either:
Drag a field onto the visualization or onto the Data tab to add it as a value
ExpressViews can be styled in a variety of ways. Click the Formatting and Style icon to see your available options.
Using a premade theme
If there are any available, you can select a premade theme to use for the ExpressView, or to use as a baseline for further customizations. On the Formatting page, click the Theme tab. Then select a theme from the Theme Selectorlist:
This is the default theme.
This option indicates that you are not currently using a premade theme.
Selecting a premade theme overrides any custom styling you have. Be sure to save the ExpressView first, so that you can retrieve your styling if you accidentally override it.
Choosing a premade theme
Styling data cells
Data columns and group columns can be styled independently, using the Style tab on the Formatting page. You can style the data cells, as well as group headers and footers.
To style a data cell:
Selecting an element to format
You can also use the Formatting page to edit the header names of the data columns. To do so:
Changing header text
Changing data row colors
The background colors for the data rows can be customized, and you can set the pattern by which the colors alternate. This affects every data section in the ExpressView.
To set the background colors:
to delete all the colors except one.
to add more colors.
Choosing data row colors
Changing group colors
The headers and footers for group columns are prefixed by a different color depending on the level of grouping. These colors can be customized, and you can set the pattern by which the colors alternate. This affects every group header and footer in the ExpressView.
To set the group level colors:
Choosing radial menu colors
The data pane provides a search function, data type filtering, and a list of data categories that can be expanded to show their data fields. To learn about data categories, see Categories. Click the Choose Data
icon to expand or collapse the data pane.
Viewing the available data fields
To locate a specific data field, type the name of the field into the Search field and press Enter. To see all the data fields, click
to clear the search field.
You can show only data fields of a certain type by clicking one of the type icons under the Search field:
All available data categories are usable on an ExpressView. You do not have to worry about adding categories manually or thinking about join structure. Adding a data field is as simple as dragging it onto the Design pane. This turns it into a data column. Use
radial>left to remove a data column.
ExpressViews can be used as a starting point to quickly add fields to a report, before delving into some of the more Advanced Reporting capabilities. The ExpressView format is not compatible with the Report Designer, but you can export it to an Advanced Report and edit the copy.
To export an ExpressView to an Advanced Report:
If you to save an ExpressView as a file, it is exported as PDF, RTF, CSV, or Excel. Each format has some advantages and disadvantages.
You can make some customizations to the appearance that the exported files will take. With the Settings page open, click the Export Settings tab to see the available options: