Report Builder Overview
Beeswax has released Report Builder, the next generation of Beeswax reporting tools, which replaces the Query Tool. This article will highlight the key differences in workflow and functionality in Report Builder compared with the legacy Query Tool:
Navigating to Report Builder Reports
With the change to Report Builder, navigation to reports will be slightly different than before. Under the “Reporting” dropdown field, users will now have the option to select each report individually which will bring you to a dedicated page for that report:
Selecting a report type will navigate you to a new reporting pane. Having landed on the Report Builder page, you can move from one report type to another by selecting report type from the dropdown again. If a user has restricted access to one or more reports (as set at the Role-level in Buzz), those reports will not appear in this dropdown.
We now distinguish between “Dimensions” (formerly known as “Fields”) and “Measures” ( “Metrics”). Just like in legacy Query Tool, these objects specify fields to group by and to associate desired metrics. You can distinguish these objects from one another in the UI as Dimensions will be in black and Measures will be in gold in the field selection sidebar. Likewise, as in Query Tool, thematically related fields are grouped together within a collapsible tree for ease of navigation and UI cleanliness.
It is now also easier to search for a specific field, rather than through browsing the list of available fields:
To run the report click on the “Run” button in the top right corner. Selecting different Dimensions and Measures will add column headers to the report pane, in order to illustrate the format the report will take once it has been run. You can drag and drop the columns to re-order them (with measurements staying on the far right to allow for grouping).
You can sort results by clicking on the column header, with a caret appearing to illustrate whether the results will be in Ascending or Descending order. Users will also be able to filter on both Dimensions and Measures by either clicking on the gear icon in the column header to open a drop-down, or by using the Filter label alongside the Measures in the sidebar.
Filters can be combined using AND and OR conjunctions, as well as using more advanced operators such as ‘contains’, ‘is equal to’, ‘does not contain’, ‘is not equal to’ etc.
Report builder also allows you to pivot your results, reducing the need for external spreadsheet software.
In order to pivot data by a specific dimension, click on the ‘Pivot’ option when selecting a field to add to the report:
The powerful features of Report Builder allow users to visualize the data displayed in the results pane within the same view. In order to start building a visualization, start by uncollapsing the ‘Visualization’ tab and choose a chart or visualization type from the available options.
The tool will automatically try to interpret the data within the results section and apply the most logical and applicable visualization. You can also toggle and adjust different settings in order change axes and create a more intuitive graphic. When a report containing a visualization is saved, the configured visualization will also be saved alongside the report.
Note that certain visualizations may not be compatible with the results data (e.g. Too Many Rows), however you will receive detailed feedback on your screen when this occurs:
In order to fine tune your visualizations you can use the Edit bar on the side:
You can also specify which fields should not appear in the visualization:
Similar to Query Tool, Report Builders allows you to save reports for future reference. Once a query/report has been run at least once, the option will appear within the gear icon in the top right hand corner to “Save as a Look...”.
You will be prompted to give the report a saved name. To access this report in the future, you should pick any report from the Reporting Dropdown. In the top right-hand corner of any report, there will be an icon of four tiles. Clicking it will reveal all saved reports:
Clicking on the report will re-run the associated report and display the saved Visualization. Editing an existing saved report is easy. Clicking on the gear icon will reveal an option to “Explore from Here”, which will return you to the Report Builder view for this specific report.
The option to download a report results can be found by clicking the gear in the top right corner and selecting the “Download” option after the report has been run. This will open the following modal allowing you to specify criteria for the download file:
All of the following file formats are supported by Report Builder:
- PNG (of the Visualization)
Users can export a boundless set of report results by choosing the “All Results” option under “Limit”, so users of Report Builder will not be subject to a maximum row limit when downloading their report results.
Sending and Scheduling Reports
If you would like to export data out of Report Builder to another system, they can do this either on a scheduled cadence or an ad hoc basis using one of many new delivery methods.
Note: by default, only ‘Email’ will be available.
To send a report to another system or client on an ad hoc basis, select the “Send…” option from the gear menu in the top-right corner. This will open a modal with the sending options:
In order to schedule a report to be run at a specific time, and the results to be sent to certain recipients, you will receive a list of options as well as the scheduled window. Important: Please reach out to your Beeswax Account Manager before setting up any reports which will run on an ‘Hourly’ (or less) schedule.
The schedule window can be chosen down to 5 minute increments:
Q: Is the old Query Tool being retired?
A: Eventually the legacy Query Tool will be sunsetted as part of the transition to the new Report Builder. However, the timing for this is not yet finalized and you can continue to use both versions in parallel for the time being. Customers enabled after the Summer 2020 will only be enabled on the new Report Builder.
Q: What types of Data Visualizations are available out of the box?
A: Standard data visualization types are available: bar, column, line, pie, area charts, and more.
Q: Will there be API Support for the new Query Tool?
A: Yes, we are actively working on API Support for the new Report Builder, but currently new features are only available via the UI. Customers who use the report_queue API may continue to do so, but also use the new UI.
Q: Is there anything I can do in Query Tool that I cannot do with Report Builder?
A: Report Builder has restrictions on lookback windows for reports. You can continue to access data from before this lookback window using the legacy Query Tool until it is retired.
Q: Can I hide the new Report Builder from some of my users in the same way I could hide Query Tool?
A: Yes, like before you can still hide reporting and individual reports from your users.
Q: What does this mean for the old Dashboard Page and the Visual Geo Report?
A: The Geo Report (Beta) page will be retired soon. We plan on updating the Dashboard page soon. In the interim, both of these reports will still be available for your use.
Q: Does this impact and/or interact with Metamarkets at all?
A: No, your Metamarkets integration is unchanged, and you can still continue to use it as before to visualize and understand inventory and performance.
Q. Do I have to use the new Report Builder? / My engineering team built against your report_queue API and it will be a lot of work to switch…
A: You do not have to switch immediately, but you should expect the existing Query Tool and the report_queue API endpoint to be removed in the next several months. We will provide customers with plenty of notice before that happens.
Q. The Report Builder defaults date filtering to the last seven days. Why is this / can this be changed?
A: Most reports customers request are for recent periods of time, and including this filter makes the query performance much faster. As of now, this default cannot be changed.
Q. We use custom field-level permissions and naming within reports - is this supported?
A: Custom field permissioning is not yet supported. Customers who need custom fields should not migrate to Report Builder until this is enabled.
Q. Can I enable Report Builder in my sandbox (sbx) account?
A: Report Builder is only enabled on production accounts.