Report Parameters and Data Paths

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You likely have identified reporting needs that require data to be pulled in different ways and for different users using the same standard report template. Or perhaps you have custom reports that are very similar in their content but differ slightly in format. Rather than creating two custom reports that are nearly identical to meet these needs, communicate your needs to Faculty Success. It may be possible to use report parameters to meet your needs.

Report parameters allow you to use the same report template, but then vary the output slightly depending on your parameter selection. Using report parameters has a couple of benefits:

  • They streamline your list of custom reports since you only have one report with multiple variations handled through parameters.
  • They allow you to make revisions or adjustments to existing templates one time, rather than submitting revisions for multiple reports.
  • They increase the flexibility of each of your custom reports by giving users more options at report run time.

Report parameters can be based on a few things:

  • Attributes of a user (owner data paths)
  • Attributes of the data stored for the users in your system (entity data paths)
  • Variations in formatting of a report

Owner Data Paths

There are certain data elements you will collect to describe the users in your system. Some of these will likely be attributes you want to use to determine which users should be included in a report. For example, common attributes of users used in this way are College, Department, and Faculty/Staff Rank. In order to be able to use these attributes to run reports on the right users’ data an owner data path must be set up for these attributes. An owner data path is typically created based on the information captured on the Yearly Data screen, and is always based on the most recent Yearly Data record available for each user.

If an owner data path has been set up for a user attribute, you will see this in the Select Who to Include step of Run Reports, where you will be able to select the group of users for whom you wish to run the report. Under each owner data path you will find a list of the values in use, which you can use to select your subset of users. For example, under the College owner data path you will find all College values in use in the Yearly Data records for users in your system.

If you would like to investigate the potential of setting up an owner data path on a user attribute, submit a General work request noting the behavior you desire.

Owner data paths also determine what user attributes can be used to provision security for Faculty Success. If an owner data path is set up for reporting purposes, you need not have a security role created to reflect this. However, it is possible to create a security role to allow users to perform functions of the system based on the given user attribute.

Fields to which owner datapaths have been applied cannot be hidden.

Entity Data Paths

In addition to selecting a specific group of users to include in a report, sometimes you may also wish to filter a report to contain a specific category of records. For example, you might need to run a report on all activities that relate to a specific

  • Course Prefix;
  • Contribution Type; or
  • Publication Status.

In cases like this, an entity data path can be created based on a data collection field on one of the screens in your system. Entity data paths allow you to select specific records for the users that will be included in your report. In other words, while an Owner Data Path allows you to select which users will appear in a report, an Entity Data Path allows you to do an additional step of filtering which activities or records, belonging to these users, will appear. Entity Data Paths will be visible as additional steps within Run Custom Reports.

Unlike owner data paths, entity data paths cannot be used to set security in Faculty Success. Similarly they cannot be added to Run Ad Hoc Reports.

Additional Parameters

In addition to owner and entity data paths, reports can be setup to allow

  • summaries to be run at different levels;
  • different screens to be used to populate a common report template;
  • different citation styles to be selected.

These additional parameters also allow for a single custom report, with different output options based on the actual data that should be included, or the format of that data.

If you have a question about a parameter that you would like to use in a report, but are unsure whether it is supported, please contact your Success Consultant, or submit a work request to inquire whether it is feasible or not.

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