Advanced Training: Admin

Custom Reports

The pre-set reports are useful for getting quick, at-a-glance views of key metrics, but the real power of the Report Engine is in its ability to create reports fully tailored to your needs.

All that power, however, comes with a price: you need to be ready to use it. Ever element of your training and experience with up to this point will be put to use.


  • Keep in mind your KPIs, and how the system has been set up to report them.
  • Remember your key report types: Counts, Rates, Ratios, and Ratings/Polls/Dispositions.
  • Remember the principles of ownership as they relate to activity in the system.

Now let's get started.

The Builder Interface

To get started, click the "+" sign next to the Add link in the Custom Reports heading.

You'll first be asked to give some basic properties for your report, its name, category, and data type.

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For easier organization, we recommend creating at least a few report categories. If you don't have any categories set up already, click the Edit Categories link to create one.

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After the initial properties setup, you'll move step-by-step through the rest of the sections, indicated by the grey flowchart:

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  • Permissions—Establishes users' ability to view the report, and modify its setup.
  • Data Grid Definitions—Lets you choose the grouping view for the data (i.e., how the report will "cluster" the data you want to see, based on how you filter it), and the grouping columns, which controls which numbers/metrics will be visibly shown. These two concepts can be a little confusing, so we'll be looking at them more closely in just a minute.
  • Filters—Just like your filters for a Dialer Initiative or an ELF campaign, these control which metrics will actually appear in the report. In many cases, you may never need to set a filter other than a date range, as the grouping view and grouping columns often "pre-select" the data to be presented.
  • Graph Settings—Sets the basic parameters for the visual representation of the report.
  • Detail Information—Controls what you will see if/when you drill down into a specific column grouping.

Data Grid Definitions

This section is the heart and soul of your custom report—and if you've never used a tool like it before, it can feel confusing at first.

The most important thing to understand initially is that your choice of data type in the Properties panel will constrain the available information included in a report. For example, if you choose Lead as your data type, the report engine assumes that you're looking for counts, rates, and ratios related to Lead records—where they came from (Lead Source), what has happened to them (Lead Status, Events, and other activities), and patterns surrounding them.

If you're looking for call data—dials, talk time, initiative performance, etc.—you'll want to look at the Lead Outbound data type.

Consult the table for more details.

Data Type Description
Account Shows activity relating to accounts, including new account records added, accounts modified, and so on.
ACD Inbound dial data, call time, connect time, leads generated per ACD, anything related to the ACD management system.
Employee CDR CDR data is generated directly from the dialer servers. This is the most "pure" call data, because it only shows activity happening on the server; however, many user activities are captured and logged that never actually touch the dialer server.
Lead All metrics related to Lead record objects, including status reports, lead source report counts, and historical conversion data.
Product For companies using Deals with product line items, these report types show detailed breakdowns of individual product performance.
Deals Opportunity reporting, pipeline data, revenue forecasting.
Campaigns Campaign performance, lead conversion metrics on a per campaign basis.
Case Case performance metrics, such as time to response, time per case resolution, case type counts, and so on.
Events Event activity logs, completion ratios, delegation measurement, and so on.
Response Loop Tracks records enrolled in various ELF campaigns, interval statuses and interval actions, and actions performed.
Tasks Task activity logs, completion ratios, delegation, similar to Events.
Employee Monitors employee activity levels in aggregate, including dials, emails sent, voice messages left, call time, connect time, and talk time.
Lead Inbound Related to the ACD reporting, but more specific data related to lead creation and response data via the inbound system.
JabberDog Self-explanatory, monitors JabberDog connections, opt-outs, connect-throughs, and instance data.
Mass Email Tracks mass email broadcast data, including sends and opens.
Mass Fax As mass email, only for faxing.
Lead Outbound Outbound calling data, aggregated by Lead record, user, or dialer initiative.

PLEASE NOTE: Once the data type is set for a custom report, it cannot be changed. If you need a different data type, you'll want to go ahead and create a separate report.

Selecting Data Rows - Primary and Secondary

An easy way to think about how the report engine works is to think of it terms of a spreadsheet. You have rows and columns of data, and the intersection of the two contains the "cell" of data.

The idea behind the report engine is to mix and match rows and columns to produce the appropriate data views. Our first objective is to decide what we want to represent the "rows" of data in our theoretical "spreadsheet."

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(As a side note, if you're having a hard time visualizing how the report will be set up, don't worry; it takes some practice at first to get used to the setup. Once you get a feel for how the report engine lays out data, you'll easily start generating your own reports with very little hassle.)

For example, let's say we wanted to create a report that showed us a count of all of the Leads in the system that were created today, and we wanted them broken into a pattern showing us the Lead Source for all of them.

First, we'd obviously want the to set our Data Type in the Properties panel to Lead, signifying that we're looking at Lead objects.

Now in our Primary Grouping we want to choose Lead Source, so we can inspect which sources produced leads today, and which ones didn't.

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Next, we'd need to decide if we want to sort our results ascending, or descending. For most count reports (which this one is), we'll leave at as ascending.

There are two other options in our Primary Grouping panel that are currently greyed out: Increment and Count. These items only apply to row groupings with a time-based element. For example if we wanted our primary row data to be Date Created, and then chart a count of leads created on each day/week/month.

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Once your first row grouping is established, you can choose a second row grouping, following the same principles, just to the right of the first grouping. This is not required, but can be useful if you want to see two major groupings at once.

Report Columns

The rows form the first part of our virtual "spreadsheet"; the columns are the second. Remember, the data we see in the report will be the "intersection" of the rows and columns, or the "cells."

One easy way to visualize this process is to use a report column for row count. This column would basically be the same as going into Excel, and counting up the total number of rows in a particular sheet, and displaying that number.

Try adding a column grouping for Row Count, just to get a feel for the concept.

There's simply too many potential column group options to go through them one at a time, but look through the various options to see what's there. Over time, you'll find that a small number of data patterns will consistently emerge. Some might include:

  • Lead statuses
  • Record and dial counts
  • Call to contact ratios
  • Call time and talk time per agent/per hour
  • Qualified leads per opportunity

One particular note about lead statuses: notice that column groupings can be built to show records' current status, and historical statuses (i.e., if a qualified record was EVER in a particular status show the historical count, even if it is no longer in that status). This is an important distinction, especially for marketing teams wanting to track long-term lead generation and conversion trends.

Again, the best way to visualize the process is to get in and explore the Report Engine. We'll give a detailed breakdown of common Primary Groupings and Summaries for each data type later in this guide, but in this case, experience will be the best teacher.

Calculated Summary Columns

The Report Engine includes the option of creating custom calculated summaries. This gives Sysadmins the ability to mix and match report data in unique ways, suited to your company and workflow.

To add a custom calculated column, click the Add Calculated Field button.

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When you open the tool, you'll see a small calculator (go figure). The concept is that we're going to build an "equation," or "formula" by hand by inserting the appropriate field data into the right spots.

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For example, in the screenshot shown, we've created a potential custom field that calculates the average number of dials made per employee by creating the formula:

(total dials made) / (total employees)

This same process makes it easy create a field that only adds up certain totals. For example, if you wanted a custom column view of all Leads from five different pay-per-click Web sources, you would simply add those together— PPC Source 1 Total + PPC Source 2 Total + PPC Source 3 + PPC Source 4 + PPC Source 5.

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Be sure as you create your custom calculations to use correct mathematical notation. Remember:

  • Multiplication and division operations precede addition and subtraction.
  • Operations inside parentheses () precede other operators.

Remember also that you can use the Row Count option for some calculations. For example, let's say you wanted to calculate the total percentage of leads form Source X against the total number of leads. You'd calculate:

Count of Lead Status X / Row Count

Recursive Calculations

Finally, remember that custom calculation columns can be recursive, meaning that once you create one, you can use it as a parameter in a different calculated summary. This allows you more flexibility and the ability to "loop" calculations.

Graph Settings

The Graph Settings are fairly simple compared to the rest of the Report Engine features. Once you've selected your Summary Types, the Graph Settings lets you choose which summary you want represented.

Choose the chart type, and column you want represented in the chart.

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Detail Information

This section lets you define a detailed listing view for any of your column groupings. Maybe you'd like to see a detailed breakdown of the information contained in the actual Leads as you sift through the report.

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Notice when you open the panel that it shows you a list of all of the available fields for your Lead objects. To create your information detail, click to move the fields you want into the active column.

Checking Your Report

When you've finished adding all of the key information, click Save. Go ahead and close the window for the Report Editor.

Now go back to the main Reports page and refresh your browser. You should now see the report category you created, with your newly added report. Click the link to the report, wait for the system to compile your data, and check out the results!

To add new reports to your list, follow the same process we've outlined here. Over time you'll build a significant library of reports that will give you the insight you need into your processes.

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