How to design a DIY report

Need help/ inspiration getting started?

We recommend you check out some of the ‘basic information and layout section’ of the user guide and DIY recipe videos/ step by step guides in the ‘recipes’ section and use them alongside the following information in order to learn how to build DIY reports.

Building Tips

Keep it Simple

  • Try to work out the purpose of the report you are building and the minimum information you want before you begin. 
  • Think about what the basic structure of your DIY report will be. Plot out on paper/ excel beforehand how you think the row, column, filter and qualifier sections will be used as you will save on loading times moving fields around when building.
  • Work out which of the DIY templates you should use to build your report. Remember the main template is DIY Service Client, and then you may need the others for more specific reports.
  • Example – I want to see if there is a relationship between homelessness and main language spoken at home. 
    • This is a client count, so I use ‘number of clients’ in the data items section.
    • My rows are homelessness status then main language spoken at home. This should group homelessness status responses (e.g. yes, no, etc), then within each of those groups I get the languages spoken. 
    • Over on the right there should be a count of the number of clients in each homelessness status/ language group.
    • I also decide I want to break up the results to see clients under 18 and over 18.
    • I sketch up the following DIY plan below.
    • I could try slotting these fields into a DIY report to see how it runs, or maybe I look at it again and think I might get a better looking table by running ‘main language spoken at home’ as the row, and homelessness status as the column field to break up the results, and either forget age group, or run it as a separate filter to see youth/ adult results only.
    • I also need to consider which template to build this DIY report in. This report uses client fields (language) and service fields (homelessness status) and nothing around the action fields, so I can go ahead and use ‘DIY Service Client’ for this one.

Make it faster

  • Using less fields and/or shorter time periods for your DIY report will make it run faster.
  • Avoid entering start and end dates for the DIY report until you have set up the row, column, filter and qualifier fields you need, as it is much faster moving fields around without the report trying to load results each time.
  • When you have built your report, try running the report with a small date range to begin with, so you can see if the field layout you have selected and overall logic works. From here you can expand the date range to get the results you want. If you are running a very large report you may need to break it up into years, months, etc.

Two structures

There are 2 basic structures you can use when building a DIY report:

List view report

The first is a ‘list view’ – essentially a table of information.

List views are more about displaying information than they are about statistics.

  • Examples of this might include:
    • A list of centre workers by name, and services assigned to them by service ID, service type, client ID, client first name, client last name, service status
    • A list of clients showing client first name, client last name, client email address, a custom field indicating whether they agree to be emailed for feedback.

A good example of this is CLASS DIY report Recipe 1:  Enhanced Service Search with a Custom field, which you can find in the DIY recipes section.

Sum/ ‘number of… ‘ report

The second is a more traditional Sum/ ‘Number of… ‘ report – counting number of clients/ services/ actions/ additional parties etc

This style of report is more about displaying stats than unique client/ service/ project information.

  • Examples of this might include:
    • The number of clients who speak a main language other than English, by language.
    • The number of actions, by action type, attached to different service types.
    • The number of services where a particular field has a value of ‘blank’ (in order to amend records)

An important tool in sum/ ‘number of… ‘ reports is ‘sub-time periods’. These are time period fields like ‘day’, ‘week’, ‘month’ etc which you can drop into the column section to divide up the ‘number of …’ results across the relevant sub-time periods.

A good example of this is CLASS DIY report Recipe 7: Number of Actions by Action type report, which you can find in the DIY recipes section.

Other report structures

You might use ‘number of fields’ in a list view, or use unique identifiers in a ‘number of …’ report. The above structures are the two archetypes you can build as reports.

Which DIY template to use?

DIY Service Client is the catch-all DIY Report. It has the most fields from across the widest area of CLASS. However, some fields are not included. For this reason, there are a number of specialised add-on reports:

Some advanced Tips

  • There are of course other ways of building DIY reports – you could have a list view style but still performing a ‘number of …’ count on something.
  • We have a table of all standard fields and which DIY template reports they are available in.
  • Most custom fields should appear in the pivotgrid field list for DIY Service Client template and their respective other templates e.g. a client custom field should also appear in DIY Client Additional Details template.
  • New custom fields may require refreshing/ clear cache to appear in the pivotgrid field list.
  • Depending on excel formatting, you are able to slot the results into National Map
  • If there is specific data you need to compare which is only available across multiple template reports, you can use a unique value common across reports e.g. service ID to join two different DIY reports in excel etc. We do not endorse this as there are security concerns with moving your data outside of CLASS.

Does the report already exist?

Always consider if the results you are after would be better handled by an existing report? The standard reports are pre-made, fast and well tested.

Testing and documentation phase

Note that we may not be able to provide detailed assistance with DIY reports until we have more complete production testing and documentation.

We are best placed to provide assistance based on concepts around our existing documentation, videos and DIY recipes.