OracleBIBlog Search

Monday, January 31, 2011

Answers Dashboard Reports: Directory Structure Best Practices

When developing reports and organizing them on dashboards, it is important to keep the reports named and grouped in a way that is consistent and intuitive, making life easier for yourself and others who may work with them in the future.

1. Use a Consistent Naming Convention

  • Use names that are descriptive but concise

  • Include a theme, dashboard topic or subject area in report names, such as AR, Bonus Goals, or Executive Summary to communicate the general content

  • Using a theme, dashboard topic or subject area consistently at the beginning of report names can make it easier to organize reports, since those with similar names will be listed together within the directory and will appear in alphabetical order

  • Include a general description of what is in the report, such as Accounts Past Due or Commissions by Region, to make it clear what is contained in the report

  • Full report names may look something like this: "AR Accounts Past Due" or "Sales Commissions by Region"

  • Additional detail may be added to the title if there are different variations, such as "AR Accounts Past Due (Top Ten)" or "Sales Commissions by Region Year to Date"

  • Use abbreviations for generally accepted business terms or terms used within your organization, such as "AR" for "Accounts Receivable" or "YTD" for "Year to Date"

2. Create folders for each dashboard page and/or tab to make the reports easier to find for updating and editing

  • If using identical reports on more than one dashboard, both can refer to the same report, or a duplicate can be created

  • If the report will be customized or changed for use on another dashboard, make another copy so the original version does not get changed inadvertently. If there is more than one version, especially in the same directory, make the names descriptive so it is easy to tell which version is which, e.g. "Accounts Past Due by Month" or "Accounts Past Due YTD"

3. Housekeeping

  • Keep only the most current version and delete previous copies that are no longer used. This makes organization easier, makes it easier to find what is needed, and helps prevent the inadvertent use of an incorrect or outdated version of a report