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Best practices around organizing your reports?

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Level 10
Hey everyone, So I don't know about you, but my reports area is a total mess....!! Before I invest an afternoon in cleaning it up, I wanted to reach out to the group to see if anyone has any tips on how to keep it all somewhat organized? - Im trying to get better about using the folders, but its seems like you can only move reports into folders one by one? is that correct, or is there a way to "bulk organize"? - Anyone using custom fields / forms as a way to help tag and organize? - Any other suggestions, for naming or filtering? One tip I wanted to share that's been helpful for us- - When we create quick reports that probably wont be used more than a couple of times, we put "(TEMP)" at the start of the report name. This makes cleanups a lot faster, as these can usually be deleted. (and, we're very much looking forward to being able to report on report usage soon!) Thanks, S Steph Scherer Diversified Communications, Inc.
17 Replies

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Level 10
Hi Steph, Well, at the risk of disturbing the awkward silence on this one, I'll take a run at it. To organize my reports, I like to keep a (c) 2018 at the tail end, and update it to the current year whenever I make a change to the report. Recently, I've also started using more meaningful names on the reports to help sort and filter those that are related more quickly -- which is the same approach I use with Custom Parameters. The downside with both of these, though, is that end users then see my conventions: although training them to ignore a three letter prefix on a Custom Parameter isn't too bad, the every-increasing length of the taxonomy we've started to use on dashboards (not to mention the confusion caused by looking at 2018 data in a report called "...2015") is making me rethink my approach. Since there's no custom data available on Reports, I am tempted to moving all the "librarian" stuff to the description column (which is sortable, filterable, but not too visible), in the interest then opting for call-it-what-it-is names of the objects themselves. That said, if there's one final caution I can offer: once a name is out there, think twice before renaming it, since the folks who do use it will be looking for it (even if you don't realize they were using it). Regards, Doug Doug Den Hoed - AtAppStore Got Skills? Lend a hand! https://community.workfront.com/participate/unanswered-threads

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Level 3
I haven't been as engaged with organizing our reports in the last few months as I should be, given other priorities, but one of the pain points I have found in the past is this: Many of our reports were created by my predecessors who did not create folders. Since I can only create folders for My Reports, how can I organize all those existing reports we still use. So much visual noise going on here. I'm sure better minds than I have have a workaround. Any takers? Michelle Yard Manager, Marketing Operations Insperity Houston, Texas

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Level 10
I thought I saw Report Folders on the roadmap for this year. Maybe someone from WF can confirm that. Michael Lebowitz Marketing Analyst Michael.Lebowitz@guidewellconnect.com T 904-436-4240 | M 904-200-1364 Fax 904-565-6156 4800 Deerwood Campus Pkwy DCC 800-4-272 Jacksonville, FL 32246

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Level 10
I'll be honest with you (with apologies to the standards and organization police) I never used the report folders. Essentially I just use the search function to find the reports I need. In a few cases (but not all) we used naming standards on some of our reports which made them easier to find (i.e. all Helpdesk reports begin with "Helpdesk –"). I know it's not the best system, but for our needs it's adequate. I haven't had an issue not being able to find something. If I did I just created a new one 😊 . We're not at risk of hitting a limit. And my thought was if I create folders, I'm going to have the same issue having to sift through them. So I'd end up using the search anyway. I know others in this thread are glaring my way right now and wondering how to expel me from the group 😊 . But that's what we do. I'm sure they have a more structured approach to offer. Vic Alejandro, PMP, CSM | IT Program Manager Denver Water | t: (303-628-7262) | c: (303-319-6473) "http://www.denverwater.org/"> http://www.denverwater.org INTEGRITY | VISION | PASSION | EXCELLENCE | RESPECT

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Level 10
After reading.. a few of us just did this. LOL Michael Lebowitz Marketing Analyst Michael.Lebowitz@guidewellconnect.com T 904-436-4240 | M 904-200-1364 Fax 904-565-6156 4800 Deerwood Campus Pkwy DCC 800-4-272 Jacksonville, FL 32246

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Level 5
Folders and descriptions. I add a quick "category" description to each report so I can quickly sort or filter. Alternatively, folders are very handy. Jazmin Allen-Collins Analog Devices, Inc.

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Level 2

Jazmin,

How do you get your reports into the folder? I have tried and tried with my mouse but cannot get it to work.

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Level 10

I find the report folders cumbersome and certainly not global. If you organize them, they're only organized for you. I try to use a hierarchical naming convention beginning with whom the report is for, like "ADMIN | report name" or FINANCE | report name". I think this is more like the gmail method of tagging and searching rather than tucking it away in a folder. Except for tags I just use the name.

I have begun using more Filters and Views and less reports as well. If it's in a dashboard, I'll create a report so the user doesn't have to do anything. If it's a free-standing report, I lean more toward Filters and Views to modify the report rather than a new report. I've been able to significantly cut down the report numbers this way, so much so that we only have one user report with about a dozen views and filters for different functions.

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Level 10
LOL Sorry to disappoint my OCD compatriots Vic Alejandro, PMP, CSM | IT Program Manager Denver Water | t: (303-628-7262) | c: (303-319-6473) "http://www.denverwater.org/"> http://www.denverwater.org INTEGRITY | VISION | PASSION | EXCELLENCE | RESPECT

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Level 10
I think this was discussed in another thread but you could login as your predecessor and then create the folders in his account. so at least you have a semblance of order when you look into his/her reports. Polly Co

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Level 9
Great discussion thread! I'm glad to see I'm not the only one pulling my hair out over report organization. I support about 95% of our company's reporting requests, so I have amassed several hundred reports over the years, many of which were created on an ad hoc basis and are highly duplicative. I've moved them into various folders, but what seemed like a sensible organizing scheme at the time (i.e., Sales Reports, Operations Reports, Audit Reports, etc.) isn't actually very helpful when I'm trying to find something. Nowadays, I am realizing that I want to find a particular type of report for one of two reasons: 1. To determine HOW I used a particular reporting technique. For example, after I learned about using "collections" in filters and views I built a batch of reports that used that technique. Now I haven't used it in a while, so it would be useful to grab one of those reports and copy the code. 2. To determine whether I already have a report that does this. For example, our sales reps typically want very similar project data to present to their customers, just with slight tweaks in the arrangement. It's much better practice to build a single report that each rep can customize...but in reality I often respond by slapping together a customized version just for that rep. I haven't figured out how that translates into folder names going forward (I've been chewing on that for a while), but I AM trying to make a practice of documenting more fully in the Description field than I used to be. And I also follow the practice of adding "TEMP" to the beginning of a report name when I know if's needed for one specific request. Two other quick items: Yes, you can only move one report at a time to a folder (and yes, that's quite frustrating). And I think it would be useful to create Report subfolders; at the moment, only one level of Reporting folders is available. Is there an Idea posted on that? Hope my ramble was helpful, even if I didn't answer the original question. 🙂 Eric Manning Language Line Translation Solutions

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Level 3
This is all great info. First, it's good to know I'm not the only person working my way through this and second: Logging in as the report creator and doing the filing that way? Heck yeah! Why didn't I think of that? I know what I'll be doing when I get a few spare minutes. That alone was worth the price of admission, because ... None of us is as smart as all of us .... (with a nod to NPR's "Marketplace" podcast. Michelle Yard Manager, Marketing Operations Insperity Houston, Texas

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Level 4
I have just started looking at the new fields that track report usage. This way you can prune reports that are not being used. Daniel Cooley Kenall

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Level 10
Great feedback everyone, and thanks to everyone who chimed in! Steph Scherer Diversified Communications, Inc.

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Level 10

I've got my head in the sand on this one because—daunting. I have been trying to use prefixes like "TEST" and "Audit" for certain types of forms, but nothing beyond that. The problem is while I create most of the reports, there are some owned by two other co-admins, our original WF deployment specialists, and at least one WSA.

The whole "ownership" problem (i.e., we really think SysAdmin-created reports should be "owned" by "the system" and not a particular user…or could be assigned to such a proxy setting) keeps me from digging too deep right now with my limited time.