Using Informer Metadata to Support Your Report Writers

Posted on November 13th 2013

Jane Fleury is a Senior Business Intelligence Analyst in the Office of Information Technology at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. Within her role as an IT and BI professional, Jane provides support for the school’s reporting software users. As an Informer administrator, she is helping RISD move from QueryBuilder reporting to Informer.

In this guest blog article, Jane explains how she uses Informer metadata to create reports for power users in order to manage the high volume of Informer reports that are created. In order to do this, Informer is itself set up as a datasource (the same way as any other database), and reports are run to find already created Informer reports containing the parameters specified by the report runner.

Using Informer Metadata to Support Your Report Writers

By Jane Fleury

Informer administrators often write reports against Informer metadata to make their own jobs easier.  It is possible, in addition, to use Informer metadata to create reports that make life easier for Informer report writers.

Like other Colleague schools, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is rewriting QueryBuilder reports in Informer.  Since some report writers will end up with hundreds of reports, Informer power users at RISD requested these two reports to help them manage and write reports in Informer.

The first report is for managing reports. The report writers at RISD wanted this report to manage the reports of which they are the owner, as opposed to all the reports that are listed when a person logs in to Informer.  They wanted to review whether they had locked their reports once they had completed testing.  They wanted to review if/how they had shared their reports.  Also, they would be able to export or print the report as a work list.

Here is a sample:

 

Here is the parameter selection for this report:

 

 

 

This report lists the following properties:

Report Column Metadata Mapping / Calculation Metadata Property
Report Owner REPORT OWNER_SID
Report Name REPORT NAME
Report Description REPORT DESCRIPTION
Locked? Calculated column with REPORT mapping LOCKED property as input.  Translates the numeric values of LOCKED to Yes and No.
Report  Sharing Mode REPORT SHAREMODE
Report Shared To (Informer groups and users that can view the report, for shared reports) REPORTSHARE (reverse by REPORT_ID) SID (defined as numeric)(In the Column Display Editor, the Code File Display is “Description Only” *

**Visit the Informer Wiki page here to learn how to set up code files.

The second report is a tool to find an existing report to use as a template for a new report.  On the Informer Report Template tab there is a Mapping field. Here at RISD we have many reports that link several mappings deep, so we refer to the mapping on the Report Template tab as the “anchor” mapping for a report.   Our second report selects reports on the anchor mapping, and, optionally, on report owner, so that a report writer can identify existing reports with an anchor mapping required by a new report.

Here is a sample of the report:

And here are the selection criteria for the second report:

 

 

 

 

Most of the properties on this report are from the Informer metadata REPORT mapping:

Report Column Metadata Mapping / Calculation Metadata Property
Report Anchor Mapping REPORT > MAPPING (by MAPPING_ID) NAME
Report Name REPORT NAME
Report Owner REPORT OWNER_SID
Report Description REPORT DESCRIPTION
SHAREMODE REPORT SHAREMODE
Shared to REPORTSHARE (reverse by REPORT_ID) SID (In the Column Display Editor, the Code File Display is “Description Only”)

We have chosen to make the selection criteria optional, to give the report writers more choice about which reports they want to select.

Reviewing these reports suggests other reports I might write for the power users. What reports can you think of that would help your Informer users?

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Entrinsik offers Informer-specific databundles that can help get you started with helpful ready-made reports. Contact support@90ddev.com/entrinsik to learn more.

About RISD (www.risd.edu)

Founded in 1877, Rhode Island School of Design (or “RIZ-dee” for the acronym RISD) is one of the oldest and best-known colleges of art and design in the U.S. Each year approximately 2,300 students from around the world pursue a creative, studio-based education at RISD, which offers rigorous bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in 19 architecture, design, fine arts and art education majors. The college is located in Providence, Rhode Island, which offers its own vibrant art scene and is conveniently located between two other major cultural centers: Boston and New York.

About Entrinsik Informer

Entrinsik Informer is an agile reporting and business intelligence (BI) solution delivering ad-hoc reporting, self-service data analysis, and interactive dashboards in one complete solution. Informer’s intuitive, web-based interface is easy to navigate, enabling users to access data from multiple sources to create and customize their own reports and dashboards on demand. For a demonstration or a free trial, visit http://90ddev.com/entrinsik/informer/request-demo, call 888-703-0016 or email sales@90ddev.com/entrinsik.

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