Knowledge Base and FAQs

02. ExpressView

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

Making an ExpressView


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.

Express View Create-1

Express View CreateDragging a field onto the Design pane

4. Continue to add fields as desired. Fields can be added or removed at any time.

Tip
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:

  • Generate +number to get the next number of data rows and add them to the existing report.
  • Generate All to get the full data set.



  1. Click the Save icon to save the ExpressView. In the Settings window, enter a Name and select a folder where it should live. Then click Save Report Info.

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.


About the radial menu

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:

  • Click the radial icon, move your cursor left, then click again.
  • Click-and-hold the radial icon, drag your cursor left, then release.

To close the radial menu without selecting an option, click in the center.

Grouping

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

Making a group

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

Summarizing group data

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:

Sum

    Totals the data values in the group. Only available for numeric fields.

Min

    Shows the smallest data value, or first value alphabetically, or earliest date in the group.

Max

    Shows the largest data value, or last value alphabetically, or latest date in the group.

Count

    Counts the number of values in the group.

Distinct Count

    Counts the number of distinct values in the group.

Avg

    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:

  1. Click the Group Expand/Collapse Options icon.
  2. Click Hide All Group Content to hide all the rows, or Show All Group Content to show all the rows.

If you have nested groups, this hides all but the top level groups.

Managing Data

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

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:

  1. Click the Formatting and Style icon to open the Formatting page.
  2. Click the data rows to format. They will highlight in blue.


Selecting data to format

  1. Click the Data Format tab.
  2. From the Format Type list, select a data type from the following options:

General

Format the data using the default settings for your environment. The application will assume the data type.

Number

Format the data as a number.

Optional: Choose how the number displays:

  • In the Decimal Places field, enter a number for how many decimal places to display. Then, in the field to the right, enter a symbol to use as the decimal mark.
  • To show a delimiter every three digits, select Use 1000 Separator. Then, in the field to the right, enter a symbol to use as the delimiter.
  • To show a currency symbol before the number, select Use Currency Symbol. Then, in the field to the right, enter the symbol to show.
  • To show a percent sign (%) after the number, select Append Percent Sign.
  • To show no value if the number is 0, select Blank When Zero.
  • To show a minus sign (-) in front of negative numbers, select Show Negative Symbol.
  • To show parentheses ( ) around negative numbers, select Show Parenthesis.
  • To show negative numbers in a different color, select Color, then enter a color code or use the color picker to choose a color.

Date

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

Text

Do not apply any formatting to the data, and show it exactly as it appears in the database.

Tip
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

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:

  • On the Sorts page, drag fields up or down.
  • Use radial>down to give a field the highest precedence.


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:

  • On the Sorts page, select asc for ascending, or desc for descending.
  • Click the column header to swap to the opposite direction.

For more information on sorting data, see Sorts.

Filtering

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:

  1. On the Filters page, click the Standard tab.
  2. To add a data field to filter, either:    

  • Use radial>right on a data column or group.
  • Drag a data field from the Data pane to the Meet all of the following conditions pane.

Tip
This allows you to filter any accessible data field, not just those on the ExpressView.

  1. Choose a filter operator from the list. See Filters for details.
  2. Enter a filter value or values, or select them from the list.
  3. Repeat steps 2-4 for every filter condition that the data must satisfy in order to show.
  4. If you are viewing live data, click Apply Changes to apply the filters.

To show only the data that satisfies at least one of several conditions:

  1. On the Filters page, click the Standard tab.
  2. To add a data field to filter, either:

  • Use radial>right on a data column or group. Then drag the filter to the meet any of the following conditions pane.
  • Drag a data field from the Data pane to the meet any of the following conditions pane.

Tip
This allows you to filter any accessible data field, not just those on the ExpressView.


  1. Choose a filter operator from the list. See Filters for details.
  2. Enter a filter value or values, or select them from the list.
  3. Repeat steps 2-4 for every filter condition, of which the data must satisfy at least one in order to show.
  4. If you are viewing live data, click Apply Changes to apply the filters.


Adding a field as a Standard filter

To show only the top or bottom values, for either data fields or data summaries:

  1. On the Filters page, click the Top/Bottom tab.
  2. Select the Limit the report to the top/bottom values check box.
  3. Select either Top or Bottom, for whether you want to show the top or bottom values.
  4. Enter a number for how many values you want to show.
  5. Choose how you want to limit your data
    • If you want to show the rows with the top or bottom data values for a field or group, select Values from the list.
    • If you want to show the groups with the top or bottom summary values for a parent group or the ExpressView, select one of the summary calculations, Sum, Avg, Min, Max, Count, or Distinct Count, from the list. See Grouping for details on the calculations.

Tip
Only numeric data fields support Sum and Avg calculations.

  1. Select the data field or group field to filter from the Of list.
  2. Optional: To show the top or bottom values for each group:

  •         Click Add Group.
  •         Select a group field from the For Each list.


Adding a Top/Bottom filter

Visualizations

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:

  1. Click the Show Visualization icon. A bar chart is added and populated with the data from your ExpressView.
  2. In the Visualizations pane, select the type of chart you want to use. The chart immediately swaps to that type.

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.

Labels

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 data field onto the chart and release on the Add Label area.
  • In the Visualizations pane, click the Data tab. Either:

  • Drag a data field to the Labels area.
  • Click Add Label, then select a field from the Field list.


Drag a field onto the visualization or onto the Data tab to add it as a label

Values

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 data field onto the chart and release on the Add Value area.
  • In the Visualizations pane, click the Data tab. Either:
  • Drag a data field to the Values area.
  • Click Add Value, then select a field from the Field list.


Drag a field onto the visualization or onto the Data tab to add it as a value

Styling

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:

Legacy

This is the default theme.

Custom

    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:

  1. With the Formatting page open, click the section, header, or footer you want to style. It will highlight in blue.

Selecting an element to format

  1. Click the Style tab.
  2. Choose a look for the cell text and background.

You can also use the Formatting page to edit the header names of the data columns. To do so:

  1. With the Formatting page open, click the header which you want to edit. It will highlight in blue.
  2. Click the Edit icon on the header.
  3. Type a name for the header.

Changing header text

Press Enter.

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:

  1. On the Formatting page, click the Row Shading tab. By default there are two colors which alternate every other row.
  2. Choose the number of colors that you want to alternate between:
    • To make all rows the same color, click

to delete all the colors except one.

    • To make rows alternate between more than two colors, click

to add more colors.

  1. Enter a color code or use the color picker to set each color.

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:

  1. On the Formatting page, click the Group Colors tab. By default, nested groups alternate between four colors.
  2. Choose the number of colors that you want to alternate between:
    • To make all group levels the same color, click X to delete all the colors except one.
    • To make group levels alternate between more than four colors, click + to add more colors.

  1. Enter a color code or use the color picker to set each color.

Choosing radial menu colors

Data Pane
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:

text

numeric

date/time

other

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.

Exporting

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:

  1. Click the Settings icon.
  2. Click the Create Advanced Report tab.
  3. Enter a name for the report and select a folder where it should live.
  4. Click Create 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.

  • PDF is closest to the look of the ExpressView, and is suitable for printing and emailing. But if there is a large amount of data, you may have too many pages, or too large a file size.
  • RTF retains the basic look of the ExpressView, and can be opened in a word processor for any additional editing. But it may look different depending on the program it is viewed with, and it is not suitable for viewing large amounts of data.
  • CSV retains only the data, and none of the look of the ExpressView. It is best used if you need to process a large amount of data in an accounting or analysis program.
  • Excel retains the data, visualization, and optionally, some styling. It is a good hybrid format if you have a lot of data, but you still need it in a visually presentable form.

Export settings

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:

  • Page Options affect the size which PDF, RTF, and Excel exports will show on a screen and in print.
  • General Options allow you to restrict available export types, and choose a default type.
  • Other Options:

  • Include Setup Info: Choose whether to include some information about the fields, sorts, and filters in the body of the file.
  • Use Group Color Styling: Choose whether to include the group header colorings in the output file.
  • 'No Data Qualified' Mode: If the ExpressView returns no data, choose whether to render an empty file, or show a user message instead.
  • Flatten Groups in Excel and CSV: For Excel and CSV files, choose whether to automatically ungroup, or flatten, all group columns into data columns. This may make the output more suitable for data analysis.
  • Keep Cell Styling in Excel: For Excel files, choose whether to show styling, such as font and row shading, or to show only the bare data.