Another entry in our 'Basics' series, this article will cover how to used the Advanced Options for Chart reports in Report Toaster.
Note - While included in our Basics series, these Advanced Options are typically intended for more sophisticated users of Report Toaster. Feel free to ask us for help!
We'll start off with our Sales by Customer report:
In an earlier article
in the series, we went over how you can apply filters to a report. The metrics filter works off a similar principal, but is instead applied as a filter based on an individual metric.
This is perhaps best understood via an example, so let's look at a Sales by Customer report, and imagine we're looking at the last 365 days.
Imagine that a regular filter is used to sort data into 'buckets'. As this is a 'by customer' report, each customer has all their orders from the last 365 days grouped together.
So we would have Bob's Orders, Mary's Orders, Tracey's Orders.... all in their own 'buckets'.
A regular filter could look at this and choose a bucket to remove. E.g. If the Customer's name contains Mary, exclude them from the report. We would then be left with Bob and Tracey.
A Metrics filter however is something that looks at a single metric within each bucket to filter based on certain criteria.
For example, I could have a metric filter look at the Order Amount and be set to include only "Customers that have ordered more than $500.00 in the last 365 days".
In this case, the Metrics filter would go through each Bob's, Mary's and Tracey's 'buckets' and check the amounts on the orders they had placed. Looking at the below then, we can see that Bob and Mary would be excluded, but Tracey would not:
However, let's see how this works in practice in Report Toaster!
First, we need to adjust the date range on the report.
Next, we'll need to go to Metrics Filters. This is located under Advanced Options, which you can get to by clicking on the '3-dot' button top right, and choosing 'Advanced'
From here, we can select Metric Filters
Now in this case, we want to filter to show only customers that have a Gross Sales greater than, say, 100.00.
Note - If you're using dates in your metrics filters, make sure any ranges you specify aren't mutually exclusive with a date range on the report itself. E.g. if we had the metric filter only include order dates from 2021, but the date range on the report was set to 'This Year', we'd have no results).
Click Ok when you're done. And you should end up with something like this.
Don't worry if Metric Filters sound complicated, because they are! To decide whether I need to use a filter or a metric filter, I try to use the following rule of thumb:
- Am I trying to group the data into different 'buckets' and pull out certain bucket(s) to use? Use a filter.
- Am I trying to go through each entry within a bucket and exclude the bucket as a whole based on the certain criteria? Use a metric filter.
Report Toaster supports a variety of different chart types, so changing them up is quite simple. Note that before you change a chart, you need to make sure that the checkmark is toggled 'on' besides at least one of the column headers you would like to create a chart to graph.
For example, if I wanted the Sales by Discount Code to display 2 different charts comparing Gross Sales and Net Sales, I could toggle on both like so:
Now suppose in this case I would like to display this data as a bar chart, with the respective fields side by side? To do that, we need to go back to Advanced options and go to Chart Options:
From here, you then have several options:
- Under Chart title, you can give the chart an optional title.
- Under Type, you can choose from doughnut, pie, bar or line (we'll pick bar here, for an easy side-by-side comparison). Note - for bar charts, you will see an optional toggle for whether you want to make it stacked (one bar on top of the other) or not (bars appear side-by-side).
- Under Height, you can select the height (in pixels) you want the chart to be. Probably about 200-400 is best to get good readability, but you can always leave that blank.
- Under Chart Color, you can select the chart colors. Both RGB or HEX are supported, e.g. rgba(248,172,89,0.9) or #666ADF. However, most of our current dimensions and metrics are hard-coded for now and cannot be changed.
Once you're done, hit Ok. We've selected a bar (non-stacked) and now our data looks like this:
By displaying our data as a bar chart, we can draw comparisons more easily between two different attributes.
Table Options let you customize the results of the table underneath the chart.
Strictly speaking, most of these options can be adjusted on the reports themselves (Sorting via column headers, and number of items per page at the bottom) but this is slightly easier to adjust for more complex reports.
Here your options are as follows:
- Under Items per page, you can choose how many rows you want to be displayed on the table for a report. Normally your options under a table are limited to 5, 10, 25 or 100 rows per page of a report, but this is useful if you need a very specific number (e.g. 30 rows because you are compiling a top-30 products list or something).
- Under Allow multi-sort, this toggle simply decides whether your report will have multiple sort levels (e.g. Sort by Column X, THEN by column Y) or not. It is on by default, but you can always toggle it off if you want to remove this option.
- Under Sort, you can click the pencil 'edit' button to edit which columns you want the data to be sorted by.
- Next to that, you can click the trashcan icon to delete a particular sort option.
- Finally, above that, you can click the + button to add a new Sort level.
Clicking Edit under Sort options pulls up the following options:
From here, you can choose from the dropdown which column you would like to sort on, and whether you want to sort by descending (High to Low) or ascending (Low to High). Hit Ok when you're done. You can then choose to add other sort levels by clicking the plus icon in the previous screenshot.
This sort functionality is very similar to the basic Sort options covered in our other article
, except that you might find this interface easier to work with for complex multi sorts.
Gaps in Dates
This functionality is useful if you want to compare two sets of data, but skip the dates with blank values in between. For instance, suppose I looked at this modified version of a 30-day Sales Summary report, and expanded to cover Sales over the last year in a monthly breakdown:
Now suppose I want to compare only my sales between Q2 and Q4 last year, but leave out Q3 (for whatever reason). I can do that by introducing a filter like so:
You'll notice that by doing this, we're left with a bunch of blank rows in between because the report has filtered out any orders that don't fall between one of these 2 date ranges.
However, this is easy to resolve. Click the 3-dot option menu at the top again, and go to advanced. From here, you can go to where it says 'Gaps in Dates' and choose one of the following options:
- Fill with zeroes. This is the default option, and fills any gaps in the time span with 0 values (as applicable).
- Open gaps. This works the same for the table, but effectively leaves any gaps open on the chart. This is mainly used to avoid having lines drawn between values on the chart (perhaps because it could be misleading). So if you had a line chart, it might resemble more of a scatter graph like so:
- Span gaps. This tells the chart/table to effectively 'skip over' any gaps, so they aren't displayed on the table or the chart. (Note - This is also applied if you remove the 'x' mark to disable the fill with zeroes default option)
Span gaps is incredibly useful if you want to limit your comparison to a certain range. For example, you might be looking to compare your holiday sales in 2021 vs. those in 2020, and want to exclude rows or chart entries for all the data in between.
Report Time Zone
Finally, Report Time Zone is relatively straightforward - it lets you set a different time zone for a specific report without having to change the time zone for your whole account.
For example, suppose I have a team that operates on Mountain Time (US) but I am located in Germany. This would let me set a specific time zone for this report, so that when I export it to them (or even setup a Scheduled Report
), it uses their applicable date/time.
To do this, simply go to the 3-dot options menu at the top right, and go to Advanced again. From the time zone dropdown, you can then set the appropriate time zone for this individual report:
Hit okay and that's it, you should be good to go.
That just about wraps it up for this piece on advanced options, but if there is something you would like us to cover in more detail, feel free to let us know :)