Version 4.3.16 Pinned Report Changes

August 11th, 2017

This summer we released version 4.3.16 of FAST. You can read all of our release notes under the support menu and contact us if you have any questions.

This post is to clarify global changes made regarding Pinned Reports: sharing, security, access levels, etc. Specifically these release notes.

Here is a quick video overview of some of the Pinned Report changes.

And below are some frequently asked questions:

What is the difference between a Role and a Group?

The main difference is that a Group is intended to be used for communication purposes. If you set the Group Indicator on a Role (either a Baseline Role or a Custom Role), you are allowing communication to be shared between members of that group using Dashboards, Pinned Reports, Charts and Graphs.

In general terms, many Roles relate to functions; what users can DO in any given FAST application whereas Groups relate to access; what users can SEE and share in that FAST application.

I used to be able to save Pinned Reports to the Public library – you mean I can’t do that anymore?

You CAN, but we’ve limited the options to create less confusion. Any of your Public Pinned Reports have now been added to the Group option of “All Users”. By default, all users within an application will be auto-loaded to that role. If you want to save a Pinned Report that everyone within the application can see and run, just save it to the “All Users” Role.

For instance, in FAST Finance Reporting, you can save a report like Summary by Hierarchy: Comparative View and by assigning Run access to the Group All Finance Users, all users in FAST Finance will be able to see and run the report.

Only groups that have Menu Access to the report will show up on the list, so if you don’t see “All Finance Users” in the list, that is because this group has not been assigned Menu Access.

What does “read only” access mean when talking about Pinned Reports?

Read only is a limited role that allows users to view the Pinned Report without being able to modify the base filter options. They can see the report exactly as you’ve saved it, but that’s it! These users also do not have Menu Access to the base report so they can’t go and run it on their own. This is a function that is generally reserved for very limited users in FAST who may lack the training to locate and run their own reports and instead, you are delivering that data to them.

Here’s an important thing to consider: if a user is a member of a group that is set up as read only, but is also a member of another group which has normal menu access defined, the Pinned Report will not be read only for that user. Since the user has access to the base report through normal menu access they could just navigate directly to it and run it with whatever criteria they want, therefore the report will not appear as read only in this situation. The user will still be able to access the Filter Options tab to apply filters, change sort order, etc. This does not mean they can change the Pinned Report, just that the report will be fully functional for them as opposed to fully locked down.

What does “run and maintain” access mean when talking about Pinned Reports?

If you assign a user group the ability to run and maintain the Pinned Report and one or more users in that group have the role called “Create/Update Group Pinned Reports”, those users will now also be able to maintain, modify and/delete the Pinned Report as though they had created it. Keep in mind, this is a pretty powerful function and you should only assign “edit” access to a Pinned Report when that report should be maintained by that user group. But it’s a great option when you’re creating the reports centrally but ultimately want the control and management of those Pinned Reports to lie within a functional area or department rather than simply with the person who created it originally!

I assigned “read only” access to a Pinned Report to a Group but then found out one of the members of that Group can see it beyond read only – is FAST broken?

What has likely occurred is that the user you’re talking about has been assigned to more than one Group. Here’s an important note to make: if a user has Menu Access to a report based on one group, that user may also be assigned to several other groups. Their other Menu Access will always override the “read only” restriction because they can always go and directly run the underlying report anyway! A true “read only” report means that NO Menu Access has been defined and these Pinned Reports are therefore the only option for them to see the report data at all.

I am trying to save a Pinned Report and allow a user group access to edit and maintain it but the group is not showing up in the available drop-down options, what gives?

When saving a Pinned Report, and assigning the ability to maintain, edit or update that Pinned Report, the only groups that will display in the drop-down are those groups that have a) Menu Access to the Report and b) contain one or more users with the “Create/Update Group Pinned Reports” role within the application.

What does the role “Create/Update Group Pinned Reports” do?

This is an important role and it allows users assigned to this role the ability to create and manage your Group Pinned Reports library.

Used properly and in conjunction with your additional Groups and Menu Access, this allows users to be able to create and manage group Pinned Reports but always based strictly upon their underlying Menu Access; that means what reports do they have access to, based on which additional groups they belong to.  These go hand in hand and only provide as much power as you allow them to!

I want every user within the application (say, Finance Reporting or Student Reporting) to be able to run the Pinned Report, but I do not want anyone to be able to make edits to it, what should I do and do I need to assign access to every single group on the list?

Definitely not! There is a new Group Role that has been added to each FAST application as of 4.3.16. This role is called All Users and is replacing the need to distinguish between Public and Group Pinned Reports. If you want all Student Users to be able to see a basic Pinned Report that you’re saving, just assign Run access to the All Student Users Role. Just make sure, before you do, that Menu Access has been granted to the All Users Role to that report!

You keep talking about Menu Access… what exactly does that mean?

Good question! If you have not seen the Menu Access page, it likely means you’re not an application-level administrator. That’s ok – we just want to make sure you know how it all works! In a nutshell, Menu Access is what determines what reports (or menu nodes) are visible by what employees based on what user group(s) they have been assigned to. What you can see in FAST is determined, report by report, by your administrators and the reports that YOU see, may be very different than an employee in another department, who belongs to different groups.

What do User Groups have to do with the Report Scheduler?

When you create Pinned Reports, and intend on scheduling these out to automatically deliver to your end users using the Report Scheduler, you must save that Pinned Report to a Group. That is still a requirement for the Scheduler. By saving a Pinned Report to a specific User Group, you can then access that Group from the Report Scheduler option and schedule it for automated delivery; then each member of that Group will get the report, by email, based on the schedule you’ve set-up!

If you have any further questions about these changes in version 4.3.16 just contact Customer Support and we’d be happy to help!

Are you making use of FAST dashboards?

July 11th, 2017

If not, now may be the time! If you’re a fan of graphing, you want to pay attention right about now. There are some major changes brewing in the FAST Dashboarding world as of FAST 4.3.16+, so stay tuned!

FAST Dashboards allow you to create as many personalized Dashboards as you like to meet any number of reporting and workflow needs. You can then add as many different charts, graphs and grids as you need to keep track of! The beauty here is that you can keep track of your work, your way. Create charts and graphs for weekly, daily or monthly reference. Keep track of Registration, Vendor and PO Details, YTD Budget to Actuals or total spending, Admissions or Employee Leave – and make sure the data from each category is available quickly and easily! We also offer some handy new “sharing” options for your dashboards and the underlying reports.

From the dashboard, you can pop out the graph for review, you can click down to view the full details of your report, or you can even click on any individual section of your graphs (e.g. think of a delicious and colourful piece of pie in a Pie Chart or a single segment in a Bar Chart!) – and view the detailed results reflected in that sub-section of data.

Much more detail more to come, but if you’ve ever wanted to explore the wonderful worlds of Charting, Graphs and Dashboards, now may be the time! We are also offering some dedicated training programs to walk you through the essentials of these fab new features!

Save Time with the FAST Report Scheduler!

May 9th, 2017

If you’re not already using the FAST Report Scheduler to run, and automatically deliver your Pinned Reports to your in-box as a PDF or Excel file, we think you’re missing out on a great time-saving feature!

The Scheduler allows you to schedule any of your personal Pinned Reports to deliver automatically at any interval, frequency, day of the week and even time! We know that running pinned reports is a time-saver in itself – so this is just us being over-achievers as usual! Now you don’t even have to log into FAST to have those reports delivered as attachments to your email in-box when you want them!

Create your amazing and personally formatted pinned reports, schedule them for automated, regular and on-demand delivery!

If you need help getting started, be sure to check out the 5-minute How Do I? videos to learn more!

Ever tried to Cross-Tab your Report Results?

April 7th, 2017

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!

 

 

 

Schedule it and leave the rest to FAST!

January 30th, 2017

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:

  1. Save your Pinned Report (as private)
  2. Click “Schedule”
  3. Choose a delivery schedule!
  4. 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.

Don’t like one of the titles of a report column or don’t think it quite captures the information correctly?

January 3rd, 2017
How about changing it?

If you are an application administrator, did you know that you can do this yourself  and on a global level? Here’s how:

  1. Locate the Report and find the Administration Tab (note: this is probably under your + More tab)
  2. The first tab, called Datagrid Columns lists all the current columns in this report.
  3. 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!
  4. Click Save and update changes.

Re-run the report – it is now changed for all end users who run this report!