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Report Builder

Report Builder

Publicado el
Published on
September 6, 2023
Actualizado en
Updated on
December 21, 2023


The report builder is an intuitive tool designed to simplify the creation and customization of reports. It allows you to create reports tailored to your needs, defining everything from basic details and access permissions to data presentation and grouping. In this article, we will explore step by step how to make the most of these settings to obtain accurate and useful reports.

1.1 Report Builder

The report builder has two essential sections:

  1. Configuration Panel
    This space lets us set the foundation of the report. You can choose the data source, select which columns to display, and apply necessary filters.
  2. Report View
    Here, you can see a preview of what the report will look like, including search filters and sample data. This section allows you to interact with it, simulating the user experience, filtering, and generating results to anticipate the final product.

Now, let's define each section within the configuration panel.

1.2 Configuration Panel (Options)

When designing a report in the Cashflow Report Builder module, you have the freedom to define multiple aspects that will determine its structure, content, and accessibility. Here's a breakdown of the main settings you can adjust:

  1. General: This section is the foundation of your report. Here, you will set its identity through a title and provide a summary or description so that any user can understand its purpose and content at first glance.
  2. Permissions: Controlling who can access your report is essential. You can keep it Private for your exclusive access, make it Public so that all users can access it, or Share it with specific users, granting them exclusive viewing permissions.
  3. Columns: Define the core of your report. Select the data source and specify the columns you want to appear, ensuring that relevant information is displayed for your analysis.
  4. Search Filters: Adding search filters provides flexibility to the end user. These fields allow users to adjust and refine the displayed information according to specific criteria when generating the report.
  5. Pre-filters: These act as an initial filter, excluding certain data from the original source before generating the results. It's useful to omit irrelevant information and optimize the report's presentation.
  6. Sorting: Presenting data in a logical and coherent order facilitates its interpretation. This setting allows you to establish a default order for the results, whether by date, alphabetical, or other criteria.
  7. Grouping: When dealing with large amounts of data, grouping can be your ally. It allows you to consolidate information under specific categories or criteria, making the report analysis and comprehension easier.

With these tools at your disposal, you are ready to create robust, customized, and valuable reports for your business in Cashflow.

2. Creating a Report Step by Step

2.1 General

To start creating your report, follow these steps:

  1. Access Reports from the main menu.
  2. Click the (+) button in the list of reports.
  3. Under the General section, set the report's name, description, and the area it belongs to.
  4. In Permissions, decide how you want to share your report: Will it be private, public, or shared with specific users?

2.2 Data Selection

  1. In the Columns section, choose the data source from the dropdown menu.
  2. Select the columns you want to include in your report from the list.
  3. If you need to add or remove columns, simply select or deselect as needed.
  4. Adjust the order by dragging each column to your preferred position.

2.3 Setting Search Filters

  1. In the Search Filters section, select the fields that will be used to filter your report.
  2. Define the operator for each filter; the available options will vary depending on the field type.

2.4 Pre-Filters

  1. Within Pre-Filters, specify the fields you want to use as preliminary filters.
  2. Just like before, set the operator for each selected filter.

2.5 Sorting

  1. In the Sort section, choose the column that will determine the order of your data.
  2. Next, select the sorting criteria.

2.6 Grouping Modes

  1. In the Group section, decide how you prefer to group your information: List, Blocks, or Summary.
  2. Finish by clicking Apply to save all your settings.

While configuring the report details, you'll see real-time changes in the preview. When you save the changes with Apply, in this view, you can select the filters and click Generate to test how the report works.

Data Source

A data source refers to a specific table or view in a database. It acts as a centralized repository where information from a particular module or area, such as "Invoices," is stored. This source not only determines where data will be extracted for queries or reports but also the columns that will be available in the report and the filters that can be applied.
What Are Pre-Filters?

Pre-filters are like a preliminary filter. Before you create a report, they remove certain data that you may not need to see. For example, you could use a pre-filter to prevent records in a "draft" or "canceled" state from appearing. This way, when you generate the report, you only see the most relevant information, without extra data that could be distracting or complicate the analysis.

Operators are conditions you can set to filter your data. Think of operators as the "rules" that dictate how certain data should be displayed or excluded. For example:

  • Equal to: Shows data that matches exactly with the value you set.
  • Not equal to: Excludes data that matches the value you set.
  • Greater than: Shows data greater than the value you set.
  • Less than: Shows data less than the value you set.
  • Greater than or equal to: Shows data greater than or equal to the value you set.
  • Less than or equal to: Shows data less than or equal to the value you set.
  • Contains: Shows data that includes a specific part or fragment of the value you set. For example, if you search for "sun," it would display "sun," "sunny," "consolation," etc.
  • In (Together): Allows you to select multiple values from a list. If the data matches any of those values, it will be displayed. It's like saying "I want to see data that is A, B, or C."
These operators help you fine-tune your reports to contain exactly the information you're looking for.

3. Editing an Existing Report

If you've created a report and need to make changes to it, simply follow these steps to edit it:

  1. Access Reports from the main menu.
  2. In the list of reports, find the one you want to modify.
  3. Click on the actions menu (three horizontal dots).
  4. Click on Edit.
  5. Make the necessary adjustments.
  6. Click Apply to save the changes.
Default Reports

The reports that come pre-configured in the system are set to maintain a standard structure. It is not possible to modify them directly to preserve their integrity. However, if you need to make changes to any of them, you can duplicate the default report and edit the copy as you like. This way, you'll have a personalized version without altering the original.

4. Duplicating a Report

While you can't change the default system reports, you can make a copy and edit that version. To duplicate and then modify a report, follow these steps:

  1. Access Reports from the main menu.
  2. In the list of reports, find the one you want to duplicate.
  3. Click on the actions menu (three horizontal dots).
  4. Click on Duplicate.
  5. Make the necessary adjustments.
  6. Click Apply to save the changes.

Tips & Best Practices

Getting the most out of your reports involves more than just putting data on paper. In this section, we offer essential tips to ensure your reports are clear and efficient.

  1. Plan Your Report Before Creating It
    Before diving into report creation, carefully consider what you truly need. What information is vital? Which columns are essential? Having a clear plan will make the process more efficient, and your report more effective.
  2. Define Who Can View Your Report
    Always consider who needs to see your report. Make sure to set the appropriate permissions to maintain information confidentiality.
  3. Use Pre-Filters
    If you already know that certain data is not relevant to your analysis, set up pre-filters. This speeds up the report generation process and makes it easier for the end user to read.
  4. Group Your Results
    Use grouping options to break down large amounts of data into logical categories. It facilitates interpretation and makes the report more manageable.
  5. Test Your Report Before Finalizing
    The report preview is an invaluable tool. Use it to test different configurations and see how your report looks in real-time. Doing so ensures you get the desired result.
  6. Duplicate the Report You Want to Modify
    If a default report is close to what you need but requires some changes, it's always a good idea to duplicate it and modify the copy. This preserves the original and gives you the flexibility to adapt the new one to your needs.
  7. Document Your Changes
    If you make significant changes to an existing report or a copy, consider adding clear notes or descriptions. This will be helpful if other users need to understand the adjustments made or if you need to review it in the future.
  8. Stay Updated
    Software tools and features in Cashflow can update over time. Make sure to regularly check for updates or tutorials to make the most of all available functions.
  9. Consult with Others
    Two heads are better than one. If you're stuck or unsure about how to structure a report, seek the opinion of a colleague or team member. Often, a fresh perspective can offer solutions you hadn't considered.
  10. Regularly Train Yourself and Your Team
    The capabilities and features of the report builder can be overwhelming for new users. Consider scheduling regular training sessions so that the entire team can make the most of this tool.

With these tips and best practices, you'll be well-equipped to maximize the usefulness and efficiency of your reports in Cashflow. Good luck and happy reporting!

Common Issues

When working with the report builder, it's natural to encounter challenges or inconveniences. Here, we identify and address some of the most common problems that users may face.

  1. Data Not Appearing in the Report
    After creating a report, you might not see all the data you expected. This is often the result of overly restrictive pre-filters or search filters that exclude certain records. Review the applied filters and adjust them as needed.
  2. Incorrect Data Ordering
    If data is not displayed in the desired order, it's likely due to incorrect settings in the "Sorting" section. Make sure you've selected the correct column and sorting criterion.
  3. Permission Errors
    If you can't see a report that you believe you should be able to see, or if other users report that they can't access a report you shared, there may be an issue with the permission settings. Review the "Permissions" section and ensure it's configured correctly.
  4. Duplicate Data
    Sometimes, a report might show duplicated records. This could result from duplicates in the data source or incorrect data grouping settings. It's essential to review the data source and grouping configuration in the report builder.
  5. Missing Columns in the Report
    If you feel that information is missing or you don't see all the expected columns, it's possible you haven't selected all the relevant columns in the "Columns" section of the report builder. Go back and verify that you've marked all the necessary columns.
  6. Pre-Filters Not Acting as Expected
    Sometimes, you may feel that a pre-filter isn't excluding the data it should. This can be caused by an error in selecting the operator or the defined value for that pre-filter. Review and ensure that everything is configured correctly.

These issues are the most common when working with the report builder, but with attention and practice, you'll soon master all its functionalities and create efficient and accurate reports.