Usage Metrics in XLCubed

With a wide range of reports being accessed and published daily, it is important for administrators and management to be able to keep abreast of their usage. Common questions are:

  • What reports are being published?
  • How many reports have been updated?
  • How long are they taking to open?
  • Who is publishing the reports?
  • Which reports are not being used?

Our latest 9.2.47 release provides an updated version of the Usage Metrics Dashboard for XLCubed Web which gives visibility on the questions above and more.

A View of Usage Metrics Report

Features

The dashboard is built using standard XLCubed features and can be further personalised to meet your specific needs. The dashboard is installed with XLCubed Web, into the \reports folder. The key components of the dashboard are covered below.

KPIS

Four high level KPIs show the number of new reports published, updated reports, deletions and used and unused reports over the period selected. These provide a quick, at-a-glance visual of the key metrics.

KPIs indicating number of reports published, updated, deleted and used and unused.

Report Usage and User Logins

Line charts show the number of users, number of reports being opened/refreshed, and the trends for each. These are implemented as interactive small multiple charts, allowing us to zoom in to more detail as seen below.

Demonstration of zoom-in feature on charts

To see more wonderful things that we can do with small multiples, read this blog.

Chain of thought Navigation

Buttons created using XL3Link and a paged viewport are used to enable simple drill to detail report links. In this dashboard, buttons link to ranked tables of the users and report usage so that each can be viewed in more detail. Moreover, when we are on the reports page, we can go back to our dashboard or even view the unused reports in a pop-up viewport.

Demonstration of navigating through the report using button links.

Identifying Issues

This dashboard helps identify the most commonly used reports, but also the unloved ones lurking in the shadows. For example, if a report hasn’t been opened for over year it’s probably adding little but clutter to the overall system and should be removed. Similarly if what should be an important report is barely being used, that knowledge allows for the appropriate follow up. – Is it badly named, in the wrong location, is no one aware it exists, or is it just not delivering the information the business needs? All these problems can be addressed, but the start-point is being aware of the low usage.

Runtime statistics help identify performance and usability issues and allow for report optimisation.  As a CIO or team leader, you can also see users who are not utilising the system, and start to find out why.

A View of the Report Usage

Always-on, on any device

The report is built as an XLCubed dashboard, meaning it’s responsive and can be viewed on any device, be it a laptop, mobile or tablet. You can access it anywhere and at any time so whether you are in the office, stuck on a train or on a sunny beach in Spain, you can still keep an eye on system usage! 😉

Usage Metrics Mobile View

Availability

The dashboard is available as part of the Enterprise version of XLCubed Web. It needs to be set up with a SQL repository (which brings lots of other benefits including Version Control and Text Commentary).

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