If you’re on your way to upgrading to the very cool 4.3.15 release or higher, you need to check out the new Admin video series that covers the new features including the FAST Table Builder that shows you how to create a quick and easy Oracle Table in FAST. You can create a table using a simple Excel upload or make one from scratch! You can then use that Table to create a multi-faceted data entry page right in your favourite FAST application! Capture data right in FAST and you manage who sees the page as a read-only report and who has data entry access to it.
If you don’t yet subscribe to the FAST training video libraries, what are you waiting for? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started or for more info! We add tons of new video content all the time and it’s your best way to stay current on what’s new!
As a sneak peak – check out this brand new How Do I video on managing security for your new custom reporting pages!
If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, I’ll take it as a “no”. If you’ve ever used a Pivot Table, this will be really fun for you! This is a great reporting feature that allows you to change the look and feel of your report results. It allows you to take the data from any column and flip it around to become your column header!
You can then select what you’d like to use to populate the data in the report and how you’d like it to display – Average? Sum? Count? Really depends on what sort of data you’re collecting today. You can even customize the formatting of your new column data to include specific numbers, currency, percentages and rounded to the number of decimals you want to see!
Finally, you can add back in up to three more columns from your original report to display back in your new, modified dataset!
You can then save your report data as a Pinned Report to keep your formatting in place for next time, and you can even enable it as a “Grid” to access directly from any of your personalized or executive-level dashboards!
Do you use one of the many FAST data-entry style pages? If you do, did you know that you can now import your data directly from an Excel spreadsheet? True story. You’ve always been able to download your FAST report data to Excel but you can now also save time, keystrokes and avoid input error by importing your external data right into your FAST data entry page!
Next time you’re on a data entry page, check out the Excel icon on the bottom right hand corner; it looks a little different now, right?
Click the arrow and select “Import Data from Excel”. Follow the simple instructions and watch your data populate right before your very eyes! The cool thing is, that you can also combine manually keyed-in data with your spreadsheet uploads – one will never over-write the other!
Save time, save effort and above all, reduce the risk associated with manual data entry!
Visualizations…I have a feeling you haven’t tried them yet, but they’re awesome now so it’s time!
Let’s say you have a report that gives you a ton of really valuable info…but I know sometimes you might wish that you could display some of that great data visually instead of just a bunch of data. A picture paints a thousand words, after all, right?
Here’s how it works:
Let’s say you have a column where you are tracking Budget Variance information… if that Budget Variance is favourable (like really favourable!), maybe you want to display the number with a nice big happy face! Now if it’s favourable but starting to slide a little, maybe you want to display that variance data with a caution sign. And of course if that variance has slid past the point of where you’re comfortable, maybe you want FAST to show you that data as a big, red “thumbs down”….you choose the parameters and you choose from our huge library of cool and cheeky images!
Run the report and then get visual indicators about where that budget really is! Plus, this works in any and every FAST App! Create cool Visualizations for age grouping of employees, application status or course enrolment numbers – the sky’s truly the limit!
PS – don’t forget to add a Virtual Column so that you can see both the original data and the Visualizations side by side!
For those of you using FAST JV, Web Req and/or Budget Transfers, there is an important, but often overlooked feature that allows you to ensure that any supporting documents you upload remain Confidential! In other words, they won’t be shared with other systems or flow through to the documents page in FAST Finance Reporting! Confidentiality is a big deal – make sure you know exactly what is going to show up and who can see it!
This can be crucial if those documents are sensitive in any way! You can opt to make all document uploads confidential or just pick and choose depending on the type of document being included.
As an Administrator, you can also pre-define the default for your Application by setting Configuration Setting #1338. End users can still override this setting by selecting (or de-selecting) the indicator.
We know you love your Pinned Reports….who doesn’t? But are you making use of the Report Scheduler yet? Once you create your own Pinned Reports, you can schedule them to deliver, right to your e-mail in-box at any interval you decide! That means you don’t even have to remember to “run” that report to get your hands on that data when you need it.
Here’s the skinny on how it works:
Save your Pinned Report (as private)
Choose a delivery schedule!
You can pick everything from:
Frequency (Daily? Weekly? Twice a week? Monthly? Quarterly?)
Time of day
Duration (A couple weeks? A couple months? Till the end of the year? Forever and beyond?)
The format – choose from PDF, Excel or CSV
Hit GO and leave the rest to us
Nothing could be simpler! When you’re done, click on your “My Schedule” Tab to check out your delivery schedule at-a-glance and then just sit back and wait for those reports to start rolling in.
You can now create “virtual” columns at either the individual level or even at a global level for all end users of the report! This gives you the amazing ability to add one or more NEW columns to your report results! Just think of the possibilities:
Concatenate two or more columns in the report quickly into ONE
Create a formula based on existing column data…something like:
Column C \ Column F – Column B = BRAND NEW USEFUL COLUMN X
Duplicate an existing column to display it a second time and/or use Virtualizations to render it as a visual icon or image
The possibilities are endless and the power is amazing! Customize your report, YOUR way.
Here’s a quick run-down (but be sure to check out the detailed training videos for a way more thorough explanation!):
Make sure you are running 4.3.06 or higher – if you’re not, what are you waiting for?
Run your report
Click the GEAR button on the top left hand corner of your report:
Click + to add a new column
Fill in the Virtual Column worksheet to define the parameters of your new column including title, width, format, and of course the formula. The formula is the trickiest part, so be sure to ask for help if you need it!
Click SAVE and the report will re-execute with your new Virtual Column right where you want it!
Best part is, you can still use any of the Advanced Options, Grouping features, Pinned Reports, Graphing and more to refine, aggregate or modify your new report data!
If you are an application administrator, did you know that you can do this yourself and on a global level? Here’s how:
Locate the Report and find the Administration Tab (note: this is probably under your + More tab)
The first tab, called Datagrid Columns lists all the current columns in this report.
Locate the column title you wish to change; change the text right on this page! – the cell is case sensitive and if you need to make it slightly wider or more narrow, just change the “width” column right next to it!
Click Save and update changes.
Re-run the report – it is now changed for all end users who run this report!
Did you know you can tag them as “faves” on the Approval page so you don’t have to keep searching for their Employee ID’s every time?
The best part is, tag them ONCE and they maintain as long as you need! AND if you use the same approver in FAST Budget and Forecasting, JV and Web Req, they’ll automatically carry over to your other apps!
The process is simple:
Click on “send for approval” in whatever application you’re working in
Locate your approver using the search box or typing in their Employee ID
Once you find him/her, click the yellow STAR button next to the name
Never search again! Next time you need to send for approval, just click from your list of TAGGED approvers.
You can also tag as many as you like if you use more than one on a regular basis!
If you have not yet checked out the FREE FAST “How Do I?” Video library, you’re definitely missing out! The Video library is available on the Training Video Tab of your FAST Portal home page. Did I mention it’s FREE to all FAST users?
The best part is, this is your one-stop shop for not just all the latest and greatest new FAST features but you can also brush up on some of the classic tools that you may not use every day. The videos are short & sweet (5 minutes or less) and cover one key feature or concept in FAST! Most of the videos are module neutral which means you can apply the tips and tricks to any FAST application.
We have tons of topics to choose from and update the video content monthly to correspond with our new release schedule! There is also a dedicated tab to cover all of the “admin” features in FAST!
Did I mention it’s FREE? You really need to check it out. This is going to help everyone!