Scheduling Data Delivery
If you can’t get to Customer Insights for some reason, well, don’t worry: it’s possible to have Customer Insights come to you. (At least the data part of Customer Insights anyway.) With Customer Insights, you can “schedule” any Dashboard or Look: that means that you can have the data (and, depending on your preference, the visualizations) emailed to you on a regular basis.
For example, suppose you start work at 8:00 AM every morning. If you wanted to, you could schedule Look data to be delivered each morning, Monday through Friday, at 7:55 AM. At 7:55 AM, Customer Insights will execute the Look query, package up the data according to your specifications, and then email that package to you. When you get to work, your report will be waiting in your Inbox.
That’s the good news. The even better news is that there are multiple ways to schedule data delivery in Customer Insights. For example, you can:
- Click the Settings icon in a Look or Dashboard and then click Schedule.
- Click the Create Schedules link while viewing a Look.
- Click the settings icon for a Look or Dashboard in the Shared folders folder and then click Add Schedule.
Regardless of which approach you take, the net results is a scheduling dialog box that looks like this:
And don’t worry, we intend to explain what all those options are. In fact, we intend to do that right now:
The title of the report being sent. By default, Customer Insights uses the title of the Dashboard or Look as the report title. However, you have the option of entering a custom report title. If your Look is entitled DemoRptJan18 you can title the report emailed to people Demographics Report for January 2018. That’s entirely up to you.
Click Send Test to immediately send a report to the currently-selected destination/recipients. Despite the name, this is an actual report using actual data: the test report uses the current dataset and is formatted using the options currently selected in the Schedule Geographic Locations dialog box. The primary difference between a test report and a “real” report is that the test report is sent on demand and is not scheduled.
If your Dashboard or Look includes filters, you can use those filters to limit the amount of data included in the report. For example, suppose you want data only for December 25, 2017. As long as there’s a filter that lets you filter by date, you can do that:
In that case, the emailed report will only include data for December 25, 2017, regardless of how many days’ worth of data the Look is capable of retrieving.
As implied above, you can only use the filters defined in a Dashboard or a Look. If a Dashboard or Look does not use filters, then this option will not be available:
Specifies how often you want updated reports sent to you. Allowed values are:
- By minute
Specifies the days of the week that reports should be delivered. Allowed values are:
- Every day
- On week days only. Reports will not be sent on Saturdays or Sundays.
- On specific days of the week. You can specify any (or all) the days of the week.
Time zone used to when executing queries and delivering data. For example, suppose you schedule delivery for 3:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. That means that users in the Pacific Time zone will get delivery at 12:00 PM.
Specifies where the Dashboard data should be sent. The only allowed destination Email, which enables you to send data to one or more email addresses. By default, Customer Insights lists your email address as the sole recipient:
To add additional recipients, type the email address in the Email Address fields; to send data to more than one recipient, separate the email addresses by using commas:
To remove a recipient, click the X next to their email address:
And yes, you can remove yourself: even though yours is the default recipient address, you do not have to receive a copy of the report.
The scheduling dialog box also gives you the opportunity to select the Run schedule as recipient option. With this option, the query used to retrieve Dashboard data is run using any access filters and attributes that have been applied to individual user accounts (based on email address). That means that users will get the same report but, depending on those filters, could receive different datasets.
We should also mention that, if any of the recipients are not registered Customer Insights users, the query will fail and the report will not be sent. You can verify whether it not a recipient is a user by Looking for the purple icon on their email address:
Users with a purple icon are registered users; users without this icon are not registered users.
However, this restriction applies only to running schedules as recipients. If you do not enable this option reports can be sent to anyone.
By default, reports are emailed to users without any accompanying message or text:
By filling out the Message field, however, you can preface the report with any sort of customized message:
Specifies the format of the report. Allowed values are:
- PDF (Tiled). The report is sent as an attached .PDF file that mimics the look of your Dashboard.
- PDF (Single Column). The report is sent as an attached .PDF file, with the visualizations arranged in a single column.
- Inline (Image Tiled). The report is sent as a single .PNG image that is effectively a screenshot of your Dashboard. The .PNG file appears in the body of the email.
- Inline (Image Single Column). The report is sent as a series of .PNG files, one for each visualization in the Dashboard. The .PNG files appear in the body of the email.
- CSV ZIP File. The report is sent as an attached .ZIP file. Inside the .ZIP file are a series of comma-separated values files, one for each visualization on the Dashboard.
Specifies the file format for the report. Valid formats include:
- TXT (tab-separated values). Plain text file with data fields separated by tabs.
- Excel Spreadsheet (Excel 2007 or later). With this option, the report includes the raw data, but does not include any visualizations options such as row color.
- CSV. Plain text file with data fields separated by commas. If a field contains a comma (for example, January 1, 2018) that field will be enclosed in double quote marks: “January 1, 2018”.
- HTML. The report is returned as an HTML file, formatted to match the format of the visualization.
- Markdown. The report is returned as an unformatted table using the Markdown markup language.
- PNG (Image of Visualization). The report consists of a “snapshot” of the visualization. Data can be viewed, but cannot be manipulated.
If you choose HTML or PNG, emailed report data is sent inline as part of the email body. If you choose one of the other formats, emailed report data is as an attachment.
Apply visualization options (Looks-only)
If selected, data is downloaded after applying table chart visualization settings. These settings include the following visualization options:
- Show Row Numbers
- Hide Totals
- Hide Row Totals
- Limit Displayed Rows
- Show Full Field Name
- Custom Labels
If this option is not selected, data is returned without applying table chart visualization settings.
For example, suppose you create custom labels for each column in your table chart. With visualization options applied, the returned data (and the column headings) might Look like this:
Country,City,Zip Code,Total Number of Users Canada,Kitchener,N2H3T2,1 Canada,Halifax,B3M1N1,1
If visualization options are not applied, the returned data and column headings might Look like this, with the default column headings (the underlying database field) used in the header row:
Location Dim Country,Location Dim City,Location Dim Postal Code,Location Dim Count Canada,Kitchener,N2H3T2,1 Canada,Halifax,B3M1N1,1
Formatted data values (Looks-only)
Specifies whether data is returned using any applied numeric formats (such as rounding numbers) or is displayed in its “raw” form. You must select one of the following:
- Formatted: Data is returned after applying numeric formats. This is the default value.
- Unformatted: Data is returned in its raw, unformatted state.
This option typically applies to table calculations.
Send If (Looks-only)
Instead of receiving reports on the same days (and at the same), even if nothing has changed, you can configure reports to be sent only if specific conditions have been met. For example, instead, of automatically sending a report every day at 4:00 PM, you can set the schedule to run every day at 4:00 PM, but to send the report only if:
- There are results. If the query returns at least one record, the report is sent.
- There are no results. If the query does not return any records, the report is sent.
- There are either results or no results. In other words, send the report regardless of what the query does or does not return.
You also have the option of enabling the setting And results changed since last run. In that case, the report is only sent if it differs from the previous report. For example, suppose the query runs and it returns records A, B, and C. That information is sent out. Now suppose that, at the next scheduled run time, the query returns the identical 3 records: A, B, and C. Because nothing has changed, this “duplicate” report will not be sent if And results changed since last run is enabled.
Specifies the maximum number of rows included in the report. Options include:
- Results in Table. The reports file contains the same number of rows specified in the visualization. If the visualization only allows 300 rows the downloaded file will only include 300 rows.
- All Results. Returns all the rows returned by the query; this will often be more rows than specified by the Look. Note that the All Results will not be available depending on such things as the size and complexity of the query, and whether the query includes “add-ons” like row totals or table calculations. This option should be selected only if you are sure that the resulting report will not tie up the network and/or your local computer.